How FCL Builders Grew A National Firm With The Personal Attention Of A Local Business
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Over 40 years of service in industrial design-build and bid-build construction, FCL Builders has grown from a Chicago-based firm into a national entity. In addition to its work in the Midwest, FCL serves Texas from its office in Dallas and the Southeast from its office in Atlanta. FCL works with many long-term customers throughout the eastern United States, building facilities ranging from 50k to 3M square feet. The company has subsequently grown its portfolio of industrial, cold storage, food production and office projects beyond its Chicago headquarters, all while forging lasting relationships with national companies.
Throughout FCL's growth spurt, the firm has maintained a singular focus on customer service and loyalty, refusing to sacrifice quality for national reach.
Whereas some firms that grow for growth’s sake run the risk of sidelining clients and shuffling responsibility of their projects off to various offices, FCL has strengthened partnerships by remaining singularly focused on its central value of customer satisfaction.
The secret behind FCL’s success is simple: provide every customer with the FCL Experience. It is an approach to construction comparable to the service industry, rather than traditional contractors. “Our customers trust us with large investments that have critical safety, quality and timing requirements,” FCL senior vice president Chris Linn said. “They have to make good on the promises they’ve made to their own customers, and we serve as their advocate, working to make the process a stress-free experience.” More than 97% of FCL’s customers return to the firm, a testament to its successful methods.
Having offices in far-reaching cities can lead to gaps in communication. Different business practices and resources develop, leading to unequal service. FCL avoids this tendency by sharing its resources across its offices and by strictly adhering to time-tested procedures. Quality, safety and timeliness are all part of the FCL Experience, as well as quality control measures developed over four decades of experience.
Every aspect of the construction process is defined at the beginning of the project, leaving nothing to chance. Layered checks and balances are employed from design through construction to find and fix small problems before they become big ones. Every FCL project is overseen by an FCL Principal, an owner with 30-plus years of experience. This keeps the whole company focused on its core purpose, keeping customers and employees happy.
Under this model, the firm can expand its client base to cover the eastern half of the United States, becoming a national leader in construction, while still offering uniform, personal service. “We strive to create the same FCL experience for our customers in Dallas, Atlanta or Indianapolis as they would have in Chicago or Memphis,” Linn said.
When it comes to providing consistent service, FCL staff are in it for the long haul. FCL project managers stay on for an average of 13 years and superintendents for 18 years. This ensures clients work with the same people and develop a human connection with staff.
While more growth is expected in the years to come, the FCL team will always have one thing on their minds: customer service.
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