Construction management firm Moore Construction Services offers design-build and general contracting services throughout southeast Wisconsin from its headquarters in Menomonee Falls.
Moore Construction Services was established in 2007 by President Mike Moore. Prior to that, Moore was operating another construction company, and his experience with that operation led him to change his strategy. “We were heavy self-performers. We had our own crews doing the work, and I decided to shift focus,” says Moore. “Now we’re a management company. We have superintendents, preconstruction services, and project managers, and we sub out all the trades.”
Moore also wanted to focus on negotiated work as opposed to bidding on projects. The goal is to negotiate eighty percent of the projects it takes on, and the company has been very successful in working toward that. Projects that go out for bid go to the lowest bidder, but for Moore Construction, the ideal client is one that understands the value of partnership.
The company has developed a reputation for reliability and has worked hard to maintain long-term business relationships. The confidence that the company has established in its operating territory means that many building owners are willing to negotiate contracts because they trust that Moore Construction Services can deliver.
When the company was founded in 2007, the economy was in the early stages of experiencing a major downturn, and the construction industry was suffering. Moore Construction Services struggled through and built a solid foundation for itself in the thick of it. The company found itself perfectly positioned to capitalize on the growth period that followed. Today, the market is busy, and the company is moving with it. “We were ready for it,” says Moore. “We had the people and systems in place so that we could grow.”
The company now employs twenty people who make up its office support staff, project coordinators and managers, preconstruction people, and nine superintendents. This team of nine represents the face of the company, and according to Moore, the central strategy is focused on supporting their efforts. The superintendents work closely with the customers and subcontractors, and every step the company takes is designed to make sure that the superintendents are in the best possible situation to serve the client. Office staff and project managers support the superintendents by getting them what they need as quickly as possible to make their job painless, which, in turn, makes the client’s experience a positive one.
The superintendent-centric approach simplifies the process and the line of communication from the perspective of the customer. One of the reasons that this approach works so well is that Moore Constructions Services’ superintendents are experts in customer service. They represent the company to all partners and stakeholders in every project, and they have great respect for that responsibility.
It is respect that the company has earned by taking care of its employees. “We focus on our territory because we don’t want anyone living out of a suitcase,” says Moore. “We take a family-friendly approach. Getting them home so they can watch their kids play sports or coach, that’s important to us.”
These values are at the very core of Moore Construction Services. “We look at everything we do – how we treat people, how we handle situations – as a way to impact lives. If we’re having a positive impact on designers and engineers, that will extend to the quality of the project, to the customer. Ultimately, we want to positively impact their lives, and in return, our employees are doing more meaningful work; they’re happier; they have a better life.” The guiding principle of positively impacting lives is threaded through every aspect of the business. The company considers it when hiring prospective employees and when deciding whether or not to pursue a project.
The company is committed to understanding what customers expect, so it can provide the best possible value to those customers. Moore Construction Services focuses primarily on commercial construction, but its ideal projects are the ones to which it can bring the most value. The company seeks out projects where it knows it will shine, creating goodwill and lasting partnerships that will result in repeat business.
A huge challenge for construction companies throughout the country is finding enough qualified people to do the work in the face of a growing labor shortage. In the subcontractor community, there is a shortage of workforce, and construction companies like Moore that depend on outside labor, are equally affected. Moore believes that quality people attract quality people, and so far, that approach has helped. Moore treats subcontractors as partners, and as a result, they enjoy working on projects with Moore Construction Services.
“We definitely have competition, but we look more to compete with ourselves. To constantly get better at what we’re doing and be less focused on what others are doing.”
Moore’s Executive Vice President Tom Smith has been in the industry for nearly thirty-five years. He is head of the company’s preconstruction group and an invaluable asset to the team. Bringing in an experienced professional at the beginning of the process can make a significant difference in the cost and the quality of the project. Often, the company is working with the client from the earliest concept and design phases of a job, and Smith’s experience enables it to present very reliable budgets and recommendations.
After preconstruction, Moore has four project managers who will do a deep dive into the details so that they can help the superintendents understand the project and have complete clarity from the very beginning. When the design moves into the build phase, everyone in the field will be prepared.
Moore Construction’s entire process is structured so it can develop lasting partnerships, and there are numerous examples of projects in the company’s resume that demonstrate this. Catholic Memorial High School in Waukesha was a ten-million-dollar project that was built in phases over four years. The project’s final phase involved building a chapel for the high school that would commemorate twenty-three servicemen who died in the Second World War. It was a deeply sacred endeavor that the school entrusted to Moore Construction Services with full confidence. The company was able to work with the customer long-term, eventually delivering a beautiful chapel within budget and on schedule, and a lasting relationship has come from it.
Last week, the company broke ground on a new facility. It has accepted an offer to sell its current location, and by next year, the entire team will be operating out of a brand new building a few blocks away. “It’s exciting for us to build ourselves a building when all these years we’ve been building them for other people,” says Moore. “It’s a milestone for us. I never would have thought, sitting at my dining room table in 2007, that we’d be breaking ground on a new building in a little over ten years.”
When considering projects, Moore deliberately seeks out customers that are willing to negotiate and jobs where the company knows it can provide the best value. The team wants to bring their construction and budgeting expertise to the project from the very beginning and carry the project through to an end that satisfies the customer and positively affects the lives of everyone involved. It is not a commodity company; it is a construction partner, and that is the foundation of Moore’s approach.
In a short time, Moore Construction Services has accomplished a great deal. A unique business model of being a true partner to its customers combined with a loyalty to its people and its values have brought the company a great deal of success. In an industry where relationships are often built on low bids, Moore aims to be more.
“There are people who that resonates with, and with some it doesn’t. That’s okay,” says Moore. “We’re not going to be something to everyone, but for the ones that it does resonate with, it really resonates, and that’s our whole deal.”