The Fleming Companies Make Their Mark in Steel and Construction
Sister companies Fleming West, LLC and Fleming Complete are celebrating their 20th and 10th anniversaries this year and Aaron Wolf, the President of Fleming West, LLC and Fleming Complete couldn’t be more pleased.
“It’s been really exciting to see these companies grow during their respective lifetimes,” says Wolf.
Founded in 1997, Fleming West, LLC has grown to be one of Phoenix’s go-to commercial and industrial contractors. Fleming West was purposely built to be “a company known for top-notch work, with highly ethical professionals who are experts in the latest materials, labor efficiencies, technology, permit requirements and compliance,” says Wolf. The company has many high-profile clients, but also prides itself on serving smaller private businesses throughout the Phoenix area. These are the past customers, both large and small, that consistently provide over 70% of Fleming West’s business each year in the industrial, office, education, aviation, restaurant and retail markets.
As Fleming West’s expertise and reputation grew—and their various markets ebbed and flowed—the company’s leadership decided to branch into new markets; therefore, Fleming Complete was started in 2007 and has developed a strong reputation in the building repair and tenant improvement markets.
“We were excited to take our general contracting expertise and knowledge to new heights in new markets. We had the people, knowledge, and professionalism that made us extremely confident about our choice to start a new company,” says Wolf. “We took the lessons we learned at Fleming West, supplemented them and focused on expanding on them into the building repair and tenant improvement markets under the Fleming Complete name.”
Four Principles for Success
Fleming West and Fleming Complete rely on four principles of success as follows:
1) responsible client services
2) open communication
3) effective technology
4) service toward the communities they serve
“From the beginning, we wanted to be different,” says Wolf, “and we knew without core principles, we would struggle finding the correct focus with which to guide our day-to-day activities. So, we thought about what truly matters and went on to create our business model around that which was most important to us…our clients!”
You’d be hard-pressed to find people who speak of “client satisfaction” more than the people at Fleming West and Fleming Complete. While many companies say they care about their clients, at Fleming West and Fleming Complete, they not only say it, they live it.
“We’re not just a general contractor building and/or maintaining a structure. Our goal is to be a partner with our clients throughout their company’s history,” says Wolf. “We focus on creating and sustaining the best client relationships possible, whether through new construction, additions, repairs, remodels and/or tenant improvements. We specifically endeavor to support our clients throughout the years by constantly meeting their facility needs, large and small.”
Five Key Concepts
Responsible client service and communications are key to developing and maintaining customer relationships in the world of construction. Things go wrong—equipment breaks, scopes are modified, the weather doesn’t cooperate—and it’s often difficult to overcome those challenges. Both Fleming West and Fleming Complete maintain a proactive approach toward meeting these challenges. They have created the following list of five key concepts that help projects—and relationships—stay on track:
1) agreeing on the scope of work to be accomplished
2) carefully reviewing contract details
3) documenting all changes to the contract
4) managing expectations
5) open and constant communications
“Open communications must start at the beginning of a potential project well before a contract is awarded. By utilizing the latest technological tools available to us,” says Ronnie Schmitz, Vice President of Steel Solutions at Fleming West, “we are better able to comprehensively define on paper the building details which always are a significant element in meeting a customer’s expectations.”
Technology and Steel
Fleming West cares about understanding and effectively using technology on every project. “For example, we will endeavor to engage the prospective client in the process of evaluating options that will ultimately make a project successful,” says Schmitz. “In our case, that is principally accomplished through the early-on utilization of Building Information Modeling (BIM).”
BIM has helped Fleming West, along with the affected client, to capture reality, maintain cost control and improve overall efficiencies on many projects.
“I am very enthused about how technology is changing the method by which projects are presently being designed and built…especially with BIM and how it incorporates all of the trades involved in a project,” says Schmitz.
Steel construction is key at Fleming West. The company is a single-source provider for Butler Manufacturing, the nation’s largest manufacturer of steel buildings and conventional steel construction. Internationally, Butler is known for its design, manufacturing and marketing of steel building systems for commercial and industrial construction.
“Through our relationship with Butler, we can provide our clients with one point of contact throughout the entire project lifecycle,” says Schmitz. “In other words, we will provide a single-source, design-build solution covering conventional buildings, pre-engineered metal buildings, multistory buildings, heavy and complex structures, as well as re-roof/retrofit projects.”
The Steel Solution Easy Button
Schmitz adds he would have potential clients think of Fleming West’s steel line as a “Steel Solution Easy Button.” “Whether a client needs design assistance, drop-shipped steel, building erection or advice toward value-engineering a project to get it into budget,” says Schmitz, “we’re here to help. When you add it up, we have over 150 years of experience on our team. There is literally nothing we can’t do for our clients.”
Fleming’s expertise includes the fine art of managing subcontractors. “We’re proud to manage a great group of subcontractors for our clients so we can help resolve just about any facility and construction challenge,” says Schmitz. “We take the time to review all subcontractor and vendor records, including the auditing of licenses, as well as insurance and public records before adding them to our network of approved subcontractors and vendors. We only accept selected subcontractors who will perform to our standards, so you know the tradesmen assisting in your project are qualified. Not everyone can work with us.”
“We’re not just a general contractor erecting a structure,” says Schmitz. “We focus on creating the best structures, either through new construction, additions or existing building improvements. Then, we continue to service our clients throughout the future years by supporting them in whatever they need.”
Once again, Wolf reiterates, “The biggest accomplishment we can ever achieve is exceeding our customer’s expectations. The success of their business is very important to us. No matter the project size—it can be a multimillion dollar project or one for a couple of hundred dollars—we are always driven to exceed the customer’s expectations.”