DeLeers Construction Inc. maintains a reputation for quality construction while expanding its business.
BUILDING QUALITY HOMES on time and within budget are great ways for a multigenerational construction company to thrive in the competitive homebuilding market. However, Jim DeLeers believes relationships are the bedrock of his family’s growth, and he envisions DeLeers Construction Inc. and its subsidiaries will double in size within the next five years due to relationships it has nurtured since 1945.
“Our businesses have always grown because of our relationships, and I don’t anticipate this changing,” says DeLeers, who serves as president for his family’s business. “In fact, if anything changes, it’s that we will focus even more on relationships, both with customers and teammates.”
Patriarch Joseph “Jake” DeLeers began building homes in Wisconsin in 1945. When he joined the company, Jake’s son Jerry began seeking commercial construction opportunities along with introducing the firm’s paint and service divisions.
Today, DeLeers Construction, Inc. is run by the third generation of DeLeers – Jerry’s sons Jim, Paul, Tom and John – with the help of nearly 100 employees. The company continues to grow with new divisions – Beyond Building LLC provides human resource functions, and Joseph A. Interiors, a casework, millwork, retail and residential cabinetry firm.
“We started in the residential marketplace, and quickly we became known as a trustworthy company that doesn’t make excuses or cut corners,” Jim DeLeers says. “By delivering quality results and treating our clients fairly, we earned the opportunity to build banks, clinics, dental facilities, nursing homes, assisted living, education, religious and retail spaces. Our commercial and residential clients rely on us to take them from start to finish, and we continue to offer the same level of care in both markets.”
In September 2011, DeLeers Construction, Inc. launched Joseph A. Interiors to focus on residential cabinetry and architectural millwork.
DeLeers Construction, Inc. also owns and operates Beyond Building LLC, which offers human resources solutions to small, medium and emerging businesses in construction and construction-related industries. This company provides a variety of services to assess and enhance an organization’s human resources operation, whether that is an existing function or a loosely tied collection of programs and policies.
Beyond Building LLC’s HR services include policy and procedure development; employee handbook design; new hire orientation program development; performance management; employee relations; supervisory and awareness training; compliance management; workforce planning and staffing strategies; HR audit and assessment systems; HR department setup for startups; HR staff planning; recruitment and selection; compensation program development; benefit strategies; HR metric system; and leadership coaching.
“Across all organizations, we have a lean focus,” DeLeers says. “Eliminating wasted time, materials and effort is important to us. We are very focused on our process. We continue to innovate and streamline.”
A company doesn’t survive 70 years without adapting to new economic realities as they happen, and DeLeers Construction, Inc. is no exception. As the economy took a turn for the worst in the last decade, DeLeers Construction Inc. turned to lean construction techniques to eliminate waste and cut costs.
“Many of these concepts are common sense, but I feel it boils down to good planning and communication,” DeLeers says. “Most contractors have put effort toward working smarter, not harder. To some extent, I feel that the downturn in the economy had forced us to do this.”
In 2007, DeLeers Construction introduced its own “homegrown” electronic scheduling system since the company has evolved to electronic scheduling and planners.
“The No. 1 issue in our businesses will always be communication,” he says. “However, knowing this and working at it we will continue to evolve.”
DeLeers Construction operates on a set of core values abbreviated S.I.P.T.E.A., which stands for safety, innovation, process, trust, empowerment and accountability. This translates into an atmosphere of teamwork and dedication from all employees.
“I can’t imagine working anywhere other than DeLeers,” says Jodi Haack, continuous improvement leader. “They treat me like a family member, empower me to make decisions that will better the company, and push me to be the best I can be.
“My teammates are amazing to work with as we all share the same values and work ethics, and also care about each other’s success,” she adds.
DeLeers Construction, Inc. is taking more steps to craft a talented workforce by developing a new training program, allowing employees with no carpentry skills into master rough and finish carpenters, DeLeers says.
“There is always room to grow your career at DeLeers Construction,” DeLeers says. “Many of our employees, through hard work and dedication, have earned promotions.”
A dedication to transforming its workforce is key to the company’s growth plans. DeLeers says he expects his family’s business to nearly double in size in the next five years, and the company is onboarding new COO Don Murphy as part of the strategy.
“This will allow me to put more effort toward our growth strategy, employees and clients,” DeLeers says. “The type of work we do will not change drastically. However, we will expand into new markets and add teammates to work in those markets.”