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Clients sing praises of Walton Construction

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by Maria G. Hoover

SBJ Staff

When Kansas-City based Walton Construction decided to open a Springfield office in May 1994, the company hoped the southwest Missouri branch would bring in $8 million to $10 million in annual revenue.

According to Rick Quint, vice president and division manager for Walton Construction, the Springfield office has far exceeded that goal.

"This year, revenue for the southwest Missouri office is expected to exceed $20 million," Quint said, adding that business has gotten to the point where he has to turn down jobs. He even jokes around the office sometimes that they need to lock the doors.

Walton Construction is a general contractor that also provides design-build services and construction management. Quint said that means Walton works with a lot of subcontractors on various jobs. He said working with subcontractors saves the company money in terms of buying expensive equipment that might not be necessary for every job, and good subcontractors are one of the things that have helped Walton Construction achieve so much.

"Down here, there are so many good contractors to do various trades that you take advantage of their availability," Quint said. He added that the company also owes much of its success to its own employees.

"We're only as good as our people," he said. "What we look for in employees is ethics, morals and the ability to deal with people, almost as importantly as whether or not they can build buildings."

However, Quint said, Walton has different strategies it uses to succeed.

"I tell our guys 'Who cares what (competitors) do, who cares how they do it, let's do it the way we want to,'" he said. "That doesn't always get the lowest bid, and we come in second or third a lot."

He said that a lot of times in construction, business owners look to the lowest bidder for construction projects. But it can sometimes be difficult to maintain a low price range when dealing with quality issues. He said Walton Construction does its best to give owners the best schedule and the best quality for the lowest possible price.

That effort does not go unnoticed by the company's customers. Paul Brown is the manager of engineering development for ReGen Technologies. Walton Construction designed and built the ReGen facility in the Partnership Industrial Center. Brown said Walton's bid wasn't the lowest received, but the reason the company was chosen was simple.

"The quality of their work, the cooperation that you get with contractors. (Rick Quint) is willing to go the extra mile to make sure things are done right," Brown said.

Quint said one thing Walton does a little differently than the competition is work odd hours when it's better for the project to do so. He said that sometimes means pouring concrete in the wee hours of the morning so it can be poured all at once and concrete trucks don't have to worry about traffic. He also said Walton Construction divides projects into weekly segments and sets goals for each week.

"This division is very goal-oriented. Every week a new schedule is made for projects that takes into account the next 30 days."

He added that the schedules help keep Walton Construction organized, but the company is also willing to make schedule changes when weather or material shortages make it necessary.

Ron Herschend, project development manager for Silver Dollar City, said he worked with Quint, before he was with Walton Construction, on the Grand Village in Branson. He said when SDC decided to build the Dixie Stampede Theater, they went to Walton Construction, [[In-content Ad]]

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