A PUBLICATION OF DENHAM-BLYTHE SUMMER 2011
Celebrating 35 Years of Designing and Building Quality Projects and Strong Relationships
Crane Service Steel Fabrication Steel & Pre-Cast Erection Machinery Moving & Installation Heavy Hauling Congratulations to Denham-Blythe Co. on their 35th anniversary! Itâ€™s been a privilege doing business with you over the years and look forward to many years to come.
859.233.4080 Denham-Blythe Company
The Dog Did It. Dalmatian Fire has earned its spots throughout the Midwest. Our customer-first approach has strengthened our reputation as a leader in the fire sprinkler business. Look for Dalmatian Fire on many Denham-Blythe projects. Dalmatian Fire. On the spot, throughout the Midwest. Protecting people, property and dreams.
Congratulations on 35 Years of Success
InDIanaPOLIs, In 4
LOuIsvILLe, KY 35th Anniversary
LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT
We are very pleased to introduce this Denham-Blythe 35th Anniversary publication. It is with great pride that we put this celebration in print for our clientele to see. This is a wonderful opportunity to step back and highlight the success of our customers as well as our projects and our hard-working staff. From the beginnings of Charlie and Daleâ€™s vision to bring the design-build concept to central Kentucky, it has been the ongoing mission of the current management and staff to maintain this high level of service to our clientele. Continued pursuit of our design-build niche in Kentucky and beyond has allowed us to further grow our reputation in our industry. This strategy has empowered us and will be our motivation toward the future.
While our design-build industrial work in Kentucky and Tennessee has been our mainstay, our staffâ€™s ability to prosper in other construction disciplines, such as commercial fit-ups, hospitals, dairies and bakeries, has been a true testament to our continued growth. Like many of our colleagues in the construction industry, Denham-Blythe has had to redefine ourselves during the past couple of years due to the tremendous economic challenges that we all had to face. We are quite fortunate to have weathered the economic downturn and positioned ourselves to continue to offer the type of design-build services our clientele demands from our industry. Please join in the celebration, and thank you from all of us at the Denham-Blythe Company for your continued support and trust.
Denis G. Steiner President
Denham-Blythe Company A History of Service • A Dedication to Excellence
Charles Denham and Dale Blythe shared a vision — a vision of an honest company with honest values that delivered quality projects under the design-build delivery system. That was the vision that guided them when they founded Denham-Blythe Company in 1976. Now, 35 years later, that vision still guides all of us here at Denham-Blythe. We pride ourselves on providing our clients with the best in a variety of services, including: • Architectural • Engineering • Construction management • General contracting • Start-up • Interior design • And more The most important things we build aren’t buildings, however — they’re relationships. At Denham-Blythe, we have built long-lasting relationships
with clients in fields ranging from health care and education to manufacturing. And we maintain those relationships by providing first-class designbuild services in a timely, costeffective manner, leading to more than 80 percent of our projects being completed for repeat customers. At Denham-Blythe, we stand by our quality and our service. But don’t take our word for it. Contact us at our offices in Lexington, Kentucky, or Nashville, Tennessee, today to find out how we can put our dedication to work for you.
LEXINGTON OFFICE Denis G. Steiner, President 100 Trade Street Lexington, KY 40511 (859) 255-7405 Fax: (859) 233-4073
NASHVILLE OFFICE R. Vance Hohn, PE, Vice President 855 Springfield Highway Goodlettsville, TN 37072 (615) 855-2244 Fax: (615) 855-2249
Denham-Blythe – Providing Our Partners with the Path to Success www.denhamblythe.com
5 Letter from the President
8 H. Dale Blythe: A Foundation for the Future
12 Larry Hay: A Legacy of Expansion 16 Denis Steiner: Leading by Example 19 Exceptional by Design: Denham-Blythe’s Design Department Gives Company a Competitive Edge
22 Turning a Challenge into a Success:
Denham-Blythe’s Nashville Department
24 The Importance of Repeat Customers:
Good Relationships with Clients Are the Heart of Denham-Blythe’s Business
35th Anniversary is published by Innovative Publishing Ink. 10629 Henning Way, Suite 8 • Louisville, KY 40241 Phone 502.423.7272 • Fax 502.423.7979 Innovative Publishing Ink specializes in creating custom magazines for associations and businesses. Please direct inquiries to Aran Jackson at email@example.com.
H. Dale Blythe A Foundation for the Future by Michael Adkins
In celebration of 35 years of providing quality design-build services to its clients, Denham-Blythe Company is examining the leaders who helped shape the firmâ€™s success. H. Dale Blythe, Denham-Blytheâ€™s co-founder, provided many of the core values to which Denham-Blythe holds true to this day. Having retired in 2003 from the company he helped create, Blythe held the positions of executive vice president, president and CEO in his 27 years of service.
HYSTER PLANT EXPANSION
After graduating from the University of Kentucky in 1956 with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, Blythe joined the McDowell-Wellman Co. in Cleveland, Ohio, as a structural design engineer. While at UK, Blythe had been classmates with Charles R. Denham, who had also accepted a position at McDowellWellman. “Charlie and I had this dream of breaking away and starting our own company,” Blythe recalled. “We wanted to create a company that was honest and forthright with an emphasis on the design-build delivery system.” In 1976 — after Blythe had served as a navigator in the U.S. Navy, as well as
coming back to McDowellWellman and serving as a structural project manager at the Cunningham-Limp Company in Birmingham, Michigan — that dream finally came to fruition. Blythe and Denham founded Denham-Blythe Company in Lexington to provide design-build and construction services to central Kentucky and surrounding states. “We were very fortunate,” Blythe said. “Our timing really was impeccable. Toyota came into the area not long afterward and brought 100-plus satellite plants
with them, which created numerous opportunities. Sometimes, being lucky is better than being smart!”
CENTRAL BANK, GEORGETOWN BRANCH RETROFIT
Toyota suppliers made use of Denham-Blythe’s services on many occasions when building their central Kentucky manufacturing facilities, Blythe said. “We did a lot of in-plant projects for them — equipment foundations and facilities upgrade,” he explained. “We actually assisted them with their suppliers scattered throughout central Kentucky as well.” Building on their shared vision of an emphasis on design-build, which now comprises more than 75 percent of the company’s projects, Blythe said he and Denham sought to bring their expertise to an area they felt was underserved in the construction industry. “It was a special service we were able to provide that we felt was lacking in central Kentucky,” he explained. “In the 1970s, Kentucky was mainly an agricultural and coal-mining state, and we believed the design-build service potential was there for us to be successful.” Turning that potential into success, however, depended on Denham-Blythe forging strong partnerships with clients, as it did with Keeneland Race Course in Lexington. “That was a great relationship that led to a variety of special projects,” Blythe said. “We built a total of six horse barns for them, as well as an expansion of the grandstands to the north and the brand-new Keeneland Library. We did a tremendous amount
HUMAN RESOURCES, ACCOUNTING AND ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANTS
of work out there during an eight- to 10-year period.” Blythe also helped cement DenhamBlythe’s relationship with UK. “We completed multiple small renovation projects,” Blythe said. “From renovating some of their older buildings to upgrading classrooms and labs, including hospital revisions throughout the campus, they were responsible for several million dollars’ worth of work for us each year.” Lexmark International worked frequently with Blythe during his presidency as well. “In fact, my last big job before I retired was Lexmark’s $30 million, multistory office headquarters,” he said. “That was a notable project to go out on.” From the beginning, Blythe fostered relationships like these to steer the company on a course of slow and steady growth. “We didn’t grow as fast as some of the competition,” he noted. “But that
was OK with us. We played it pretty conservatively. We preferred to reduce our risk on projects — identify the risk and avoid it if possible. When we bid on jobs, we bid them competitively and hard on all components to ensure that we had good coverage all around.” These strong repeat business relationships helped form Denham-Blythe’s emphasis on recurring clients — another philosophy that persists today. “Repeat business helps carry you through the ups and downs of the marketplace,” Blythe said. “If you have that strong base to work with, it can carry you through the down years, like our economy’s currently facing.” (Editor’s note: For more information on Denham-Blythe’s recurring customers, please see the article on page 24.) Another company philosophy Blythe emphasized during his leadership tenure was working well with people. “We’re in the people business — it’s just one of the challenges involved with construction,” he declared. “Showing positive leadership and delivering the project the client needs while handling any conflicts that might come up all ties into a successful project. That’s what it’s all about.” Denis Steiner, current Denham-Blythe president, has known Blythe since joining the company in 1984. “Dale brought the patience of persistence to
the table during his leadership,” Steiner said. “He was a proponent of staying the course. In the end, you’ll either win the day or you won’t. Obviously, he knew we weren’t going to win every job, but he was always pursuing leads and working consistently to make us better. That was part of what we needed for success.” To this day, Denham-Blythe works in a similar role as it did when Blythe cofounded the company. “We recognize the niche that Dale and Charlie built and stay true to what Dale recognized at the beginning — providing a valuable service to our region,” Steiner stated. “Today, we take what Dale created and expand it where we can. Our core direction and methodologies are very much the same. It worked for them, and if it’s not broken, leave it alone.” Looking back on his 27 years with Denham-Blythe, the company’s co-founder doesn’t look to one or two particular projects as being more important than others. “They’re all important — every one,” Blythe said. “Small projects are important to keep a constant cash flow
RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT BUILDING OWNER: LEXMARK INTERNATIONAL SIZE: 187,000 SQUARE FEET LOCATION: LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY CONTRACT VALUE: $30.5 MILLION
coming in the door. Large projects are glamorous and help you get a foot in the door at a lot of places. But every project we did was just as important to our success as the others.”
“I was over there just yesterday, as a matter of fact,” Blythe pointed out. “I was introducing a client to Denis and Michael Cox that I thought would be a good fit for them.”
Today, Blythe maintains an active retirement. As a member of Southern Hills United Methodist Church, he does some small construction projects on a volunteer basis. “It’s small potatoes, but it’s fun,” he acknowledged. He also is active in his local branch of the Rotary Club.
Ultimately, Blythe is satisfied with the path he chose and the foundation he helped to build with Denham-Blythe. “It was a terrific career, and I was fortunate to be doing what I loved the most,” he said. “I never had a dull moment. But I’m glad to have turned it over to the young guys in charge there now. They’ve done a good job continuing what Charlie and I started, and they have shown great leadership and vision for the future. I figure, if they play it right, they’ll be celebrating another 35 years of continued
Occasionally, Blythe steers a potential client toward the company he helped establish more than three decades ago. Steiner said Blythe does this whenever he feels a client would benefit from the services Denham-Blythe provides.
PROJECT MANAGERS AND ESTIMATING
A LEGACY OF EXPANSION by Alexandria Lopez
When Larry Hay joined DenhamBlythe in 1978, he needed a job, and the company, still in its infancy, needed a field engineer. In less than two decades, Hay had moved up the company ladder to become president of the entire operation. “I started with the company in its very early stages, so I held all the jobs,” Hay chuckled. While at Denham-Blythe, he initially progressed from field engineer to field superintendent before being promoted to project manager. He also served as the company’s executive vice president. Hay’s many titles reflected on the rapid expansion that 12
the company experienced during his 24-year career with Denham-Blythe. “The jobs didn’t change so much as we kept developing the company from virtually zero to where it is today,” he remarked.
and skills upgrade training, through his involvement with the Associated Builders and Contractors. “All of the training went into developing a larger and more skilled workforce,” he explained.
Serving as Denham-Blythe’s president from 1994 to 2002, Hay was responsible for nearly every facet of the business, from project development and manpower to general operations. He played an active role in developing the company’s training programs, including field personnel training, apprenticeship training
Current Denham-Blythe President Denis Steiner is particularly appreciative of Hay’s foresight in this regard. “Supervisor and safety training become more important every decade as standards go up,” Steiner noted. “We started it under his tutelage and have continued the training, expanding it to meet today’s demands.” 35th Anniversary
LIBBY OWENS FORD
Hay can also take primary responsibility for Denham-Blythe’s expanded national presence. During Hay’s presidency, the company began regularly accepting jobs located outside of its Lexington base. “Over time, we became more of a regional, if not a national, company compared to just a local company,” Hay explained. “We became a multi-state contractor, with the bulk of our workers located around Kentucky, Indiana, Tennessee and North Carolina. We covered California to North Carolina — almost coast-to-coast — with projects.” During Hay’s tenure, Denham-Blythe also opened an office in Nashville, Tennessee. “That took us into a whole different territory of satellite offices,” Hay mused. “Vance Hohn directed that operation, which I oversaw from Lexington.” (Editor’s note: For more information on the Nashville office, please see the article on page 22.) Denham-Blythe Company
AUTOMOTIVE GLASS FABRICATION FACILITY OWNER: LIBBY-OWENS-FORD SIZE: 500,000 SQUARE FEET LOCATION: SHELBYVILLE, INDIANA CONTRACT VALUE: $30 MILLION
Hay credited the company’s successful expansion to DenhamBlythe’s commitment to providing high-quality service. “We tried to provide the highest level of service to the customer, no matter the size of the job,” he explained. DenhamBlythe’s attention to detail and emphasis on customer satisfaction paid off in the form of extensive repeat business. “Our customer base was made up of national companies that had locations in other areas,” Hay said. “Because of our success in
dealing with them, we got an opportunity to take a shot at providing services in their other locations. It was really a reward for good service on the projects we provided for various customers.” Hay’s leadership also offered Denham-Blythe the opportunity to develop the Japanese market. “When Toyota came to Kentucky, they brought a lot of Japanese satellite companies with them,” Hay explained. Steiner remembered working 13
RICHMOND AUTO PARTS TECHNOLOGY
on an early job for a satellite company with Hay that led to a flourishing client relationship spanning decades. “Libby-Owens-Ford Glass, now known as Pilkington, was the first big job we worked on together back in 1986,” he recalled. “They were a tier-one supplier that moved in to follow Toyota when they built their plant in Georgetown, Kentucky. The job gave us the chance to get into the Japanese market, and Larry worked very closely with them.” Hay viewed Libby-Owens-Ford (LOF) as a key factor in Denham-Blythe’s national expansion. “For me, LOF was the customer that elevated us from a somewhat small local contractor onto the stage of multi-million-dollar projects and multi-state projects,”
he mused. During Hay’s presidency, Denham-Blythe did extensive work around the country for LOF Glass. “The original project was a satellite plant that supplied automotive glass to the Toyota plant, but we built factories, renovated factories, rebuilt furnaces. For a stretch there, any project that they were interested in, we were involved in.” As president, Hay was also responsible for developing business with several other high-profile customers. “Larry brought in Keeneland as a client,” Steiner noted. Under Hay’s leadership, Denham-Blythe was involved in Keeneland’s grandstand renovation, the construction of six barns and building the Keeneland Race Course Library, in addition to numerous
small projects for the client. One of Denham-Blythe’s top customers today is Lexmark, a relationship that Hay was instrumental in building. Other notable clients during Hay’s presidency included Caterpillar, Link-Belt and Appalachian Regional Healthcare. Despite the accomplishments of Hay’s tenure, he insisted that his success would have been impossible without the dedication and talents of his predecessors. “All of my achievements at Denham-Blythe were made possible by the leadership shown by Dale Blythe and Charlie Denham,” he emphasized. “From the founding of the company, they maintained a solid commitment to honesty and integrity that was the
KEENELAND RACE COURSE - HORSE BARN
overriding factor in all our decisions. Dale was a mentor to myself and many others. He taught us how to provide facility services in a manner that we all could be proud of.” Though Denham-Blythe has been privileged to work with a vast array of Fortune 500 clients, Hay never differentiated between the companies he served. “We did not only industrial projects, but also schools, churches, health care projects — that’s a pretty broad spectrum of different needs for facility construction. We were effective with all of these projects,” he said. “We liked all of our jobs, to be honest, and we had a system that allowed us to develop outstanding relationships with not only our customers, but also with our subcontractors, suppliers and employees as well.” Despite the extensive growth and critical training programs that developed during Hay’s tenure, he considered maintaining a total commitment to honesty, integrity and a high level of service to be his biggest success as president. “If you tell your customers you’re going to do something, you do it; if you make a mistake, you make it right,” he said. “That’s always been what I consider the company’s biggest achievement — to maintain that dedication to being good people. I’m proud of the way we developed the business and the way we treated people. In the end, that pays off. It’s the path to true happiness because, if you do that, you’re also successful as a business entity.” Hay’s emphasis on treating people well extended to his employees. “Our employees, at all levels, became part of the team,” he said, noting that he is extremely proud of handing the reins of Denham-Blythe to others who were critical in building the company.
GRANDSTAND RENOVATION OWNER: KEENELAND RACE COURSE SIZE: 30,000 SQUARE FEET LOCATION: LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY CONTRACT VALUE: $7 MILLION
“Denis Steiner and Mike Cox were there every step of the way,” he said. “We recognized that they had special talents and were very lucky that they, as well as the next generation of leaders, recognized the opportunity and accepted the challenge of managing such a great group of people.” The respect and gratitude that Hay felt for his employees was reciprocated. “The working relationship between Larry and [me] was very good,” Steiner remarked. “He recognized my talents and immediately brought me under his wing.” Steiner, who credits Hay as a mentor, complimented Hay’s ability to share his gifts with others to produce a consistently exceptional product. Hay noted that he thoroughly enjoyed his time as president. “I always felt that I was just the luckiest person in the world because I could build all of these fabulous projects and, at the same time, I enjoyed the people I worked with. It really can’t get any better than that.” Though Hay officially retired in 2002, he’s not ready to spend leisurely days
on the links just yet, choosing instead to serve as a consultant upon occasion. “I still do a few things, just not at the pace that was involved at DenhamBlythe,” he clarified. Reflecting on his years with the company, he acknowledged that his job was an ideal fit for him. “I was a very lucky boy. I walked into it, had a feel for it, and it all worked out very well. Everything today has my fingerprints on it somewhere.”
Denham-Blythe continues to benefit from Hay’s “fingerprints,” particularly his fearless dedication to company growth. “Larry expanded the company’s horizons,” Steiner noted. “His legacy is the ability to spread our wings and not be afraid to step out of our hometown.”
BOARD MEMBERS OF DENHAM-BLYTHE
Denis Steiner Leading by Example by Deanna Strange
“No person will make a great business who wants to do it all himself or get all the credit.” — Andrew Carnegie
SENKO – DC FACILITY
LYRIC HISTORICAL THEATRE & MUSEUM
An effective leader has to be aware of his assets and treat those assets with respect. In the case of a strong business, good employees often form the best foundation for success. Most employers can attest to the challenges of the past five years with the economy and the added tension that has brought into the workforce. As a leader, Denis Steiner has thrived in his presidency in spite of a national recession because he understands that the most valuable component of his presidency is the company’s employees. Steiner’s journey to become Denham-Blythe’s current president began in 1984, when he joined the company as a field superintendent. In only his second career-oriented job, Steiner had experienced layoffs before and wanted to settle down with a company. His path at Denham-Blythe brought him into the office five years later as a project manager, and he would later become a partial owner. His years of experience in the design/build arena and overseeing the estimation department presented a strong candidate for the presidency when he took it on in 2006. Denham-Blythe Company
With a considerable amount of experience, Steiner can pride himself in the manner in which Denham-Blythe has handled the economic downturn, particularly in the case of its employees. “The downturn in the economy has been a big issue since I’ve become president,” Steiner affirmed. “We have focused on trying to keep jobs and keeping the customers happy. It is far more common sense and attempting to stick to our niche work of design/build that has allowed us to forge through the downturn.” For Steiner, bread and butter has meant relying on Denham-Blythe’s experienced and knowledgeable staff and strong relationships with repeat customers — which make up between 80 percent and 90 percent of DenhamBlythe’s projects. “It’s a dogfest with all the general contractors trying to secure low bids to win jobs,” Steiner said. “We’ve had to do that to some extent, but that’s not our style. We always strive to make our repeat customers satisfied, so we need to maintain a can-do attitude that assures our clients we can meet their demands.” Rather than taking pay cuts through low bids, Steiner has steered our team in a money-saving direction. “We’ve always been a very lean and mean machine, but with the downturn, we’ve had to be even leaner,” Steiner explained. “You have to instill that mentality in employees as well. 17
UK FEDERAL CREDIT UNION
They have to want to be cost-efficient. If you’re preaching this and doing it, employees will follow suit. It’s about leading by example.” In spite of the challenges of a down economy, Denham-Blythe continued to experience profitable years in 2008, 2009 and 2010 while competitors were struggling to keep employees. Steiner has taken great strides with Denham-Blythe employees not only to prevent layoffs but also to ensure employees continue to receive incentives for hard work. “We’ve always taken care of our employees — they are our lifeblood,” Steiner pointed out. “We’ve always given raises to our employees or at least bonuses when things were at their toughest. Meanwhile, it would appear that a large portion of our construction industry has not faired so well.” Throughout the challenges of the past few years, DenhamBlythe has continued to take on new and unique projects. Steiner recalled a 2005 project with Toyota in San Antonio, Texas. “I was more the executive oversight, and I would go down monthly to meet with our clients,” Steiner said. “It was challenging yet rewarding.” As the economy improves, Steiner sees ample opportunities available for the future of Denham-Blythe. “In the past few years, we are continuing to expand into the
dairy and bakery industry, and we have done several regional jobs with Kroger Engineering Group,” Steiner stated. (Editor’s note: Please see Nashville Department article on page 22 for more information about the Kroger– Jackson Dairy.) “We would also like to expand further with the hospital and medical market. People are always going to need to eat, and they are always going to get sick. Having a presence in those fields will continue to keep our employees working.” Recently, Denham-Blythe has teamed with Appalachian Regional Healthcare for multiple projects, including the Hazard Medical Mall, a psychiatric hospital and the Whitesburg Hospital wing addition. Additional medical work has included a project for the University of Kentucky/Samaritan Medical Center Behavioral Health Renovation. With the assembled staff Denham-Blythe currently has to offer, effective leadership and a continued future of strong leadership, clients can expect to see another successful 35 years. In spite of the obstacles that all businesses have faced recently, Steiner is confident that Denham-Blythe is on the right path for success. “I’ll be president until 2012,” Steiner said, at which point his successor will take over as president. “The ability to survive this economic downturn is to springboard from a rebounding economy.”
EXCEPTIONAL BY DESIGN DENHAM-BLYTHE’S DESIGN DEPARTMENT GIVES COMPANY A COMPETITIVE EDGE by Alexandria Lopez
During the last two decades, design-build has emerged as a leading trend in the private sector for construction services. A form of project delivery that attributes responsibility for all aspects of the project to the design-build team, design-build simplifies the construction process by giving the project owner a single point of contact instead of dividing responsibilities between outside architects, engineers and contractors. At Denham-Blythe, more than threequarters of the company’s projects can be categorized as design-build.
ENGINEERING & DESIGN TEAM
Though design-build has only found widespread popularity in recent years, as a design-build company from its genesis, Denham-Blythe was ahead of the curve. The company’s co-founders, Charlie Denham and Dale Blythe, were civil engineers with an interest in design. “The design department was founded pretty much at the onset of the company,” explained Bill Quenemoen, DenhamBlythe’s vice president. “It started with just Charlie and Dale, and from there, they expanded throughout the past 30 years as our business continued to grow.” From humble origins, the design department of Denham-Blythe currently encompasses 18 employees, including: • Three registered architects • Five registered Structural/ Civil Engineers • Four architect interns • Two engineers-in-training • Support staff members
Many of Denham-Blythe’s Fortune 500 clients appreciate the company’s reliance on the design-build method. Clients that have taken advantage of this aspect of Denham-Blythe include Lexmark, Sun Chemical, Okonite Cables, Kroger, Corning Incorporated and Caterpillar. “The industrial market in particular recognizes the value of design-build,” Steiner said.
All of Denham-Blythe’s designbuild projects are comprised of five basic stages: • Planning and conceptual design • Design and engineering • Procurement • Construction • Process and systems installation
The department’s critical tasks include developing proposal drawings, facilitating bidding and pricing, and creating construction drawings. “A proposal drawing is not a complete
The company also provides interior design services to help clients maximize their new spaces. The interior design services that DenhamBlythe’s design team provides include material and color selection, furniture selection and finishes, lighting, equipment selection, space planning, and signage and graphics.
The design department’s responsibilities are multi-faceted. “Every day is different — it just depends on what project we’re working on, what its status is, and what phase it’s in,” Quenemoen said. An average day in the department may include tasks ranging from visiting construction sites and meeting with owners to gathering field data and submitting permits. “An Architect’s day is different from an Engineer’s day,” Quenemoen explained. “Everybody is working on different projects, though we do some collaborative work as well.”
construction drawing; it’s just enough to allow us to get pricing information. We send these drawings out for subcontractors and suppliers to bid from, but we can’t build from them,” Quenemoen explained. If a client doesn’t accept the proposal, it’s back to the drawing board for the design department. If the proposal is accepted, it becomes part of the designbuild contract, and the department immediately begins working on the construction drawings, or the actual blueprints used to build a project. “It’s very risky, but it’s the name of the game,” President Denis Steiner remarked. “The design-build team is constantly feeding the proposal or the construction side of a project. They have to come up with new work all of the time.”
CERADYNE CERAMICS MANUFACTURING
2008 OFFICE ADDITION – CENTRAL KENTUCKY GLASS MANUFACTURING
Denham-Blythe’s design department gives the company an edge on competitors that utilize the traditional method of project delivery, also known as design-bid-build. A client using the design-bid-build method would employ separate designers and contractors for the project’s design and construction — often an architect and a construction company, respectively. With the inclusion of its design department, Denham-Blythe can easily fill both roles. “Our turnaround time is dramatically quicker [than companies who don’t employ design-build] because the changes are done in-house, so we can provide immediate service,” Steiner noted. “We control the project’s design, so we can redistribute our resources as necessary to meet the client’s needs,” Quenemoen added. Many of Denham-Blythe’s Fortune 500 clients appreciate the company’s reliance on the design-build method. Clients that have taken advantage of this aspect of Denham-Blythe include Lexmark, Sun Chemical, Okonite
Cables, Kroger, Corning Incorporated and Caterpillar. “The industrial market in particular recognizes the value of design-build,” Steiner said. “It’s the fasttrack method.” Quenemoen agreed: “Usually, what drives folks to the design-build model is cost and speed. The clients who utilize the design department the most are cost-conscious industrial or institutional clients ranging across the board — from manufacturing to hospitals to service providers.” During the past 35 years, advances in technology have had a marked impact on the design department. “It’s changed a lot since the late 1980s and early 1990s with the widespread introduction of CADD versus hand drafting,” Quenemoen noted. Computer-aided design and drafting, or CADD, is a popular form of computer software that made drafting by hand obsolete. CADD allows architects and engineers to draft in all three dimensions and can be used throughout the design-build process. “We now have structural design programs and 3-D modeling that allow for sophisticated, photo-quality
renderings of the facilities we build,” Quenemoen explained. Even minor shifts in technology can have a major effect on the designbuild process. “Things as simple as digital cameras really help from the design perspective,” Quenemoen acknowledged, also citing file transfer protocol (FTP) sites and Internetbased meeting software as relatively important technological advances that have changed the way the department does business. Quenemoen cited 3-D building modeling, “green” projects that are environmentally friendly and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified projects as hot building trends of the future. Though Denham-Blythe still competitively bids, he anticipates that the design department will continue to develop as construction operations expand. “Ultimately, we are a designbuild construction company, and the design department allows us to have a competitive advantage,” he said.
A CHALLENGE INTO
DENHAM-BLYTHE’S NASHVILLE DEPARTMENT by Deanna Strange
Recognizing a challenge and figuring out how to make it an opportunity can be a major asset to any company. Few companies can honestly claim they make decisions with the family and futures of their employees in mind, but that is just what Denham-Blythe did when the company decided to establish a branch in Nashville, Tennessee. In 2000, Vance Hohn, PE, project manager/superintendent, found himself faced with a decision between what was best for his family and his job. “My wife and I wanted to live closer to her family in Hopkinsville,” he explained regarding his decision to leave Denham-Blythe on a Friday. “They called me on the following Monday and said, ‘Why don’t you head down to Nashville and see if you can’t stir up some business?’ And I gladly accepted the challenging opportunity.” With an eye on expansion, Denham-Blythe took advantage of the potential loss of a good employee to widen its business. “The decision was kind of centered around Vance,” explained Denis Steiner, president of Denham-Blythe. “We were looking to expand, and Nashville was a great location.” Steiner continued to point out the difficulty of moving the Nashville office forward to a point of becoming self-sustaining. “I made a lot of sales calls and knocked on a lot of doors in the beginning before I landed a job in Cadiz, Kentucky,” Hohn added. The Nashville branch, with Hohn in charge as vice president, offers clients all of the same advantages as the Lexington location, including in-house design and construction services. “The architect, the construction and civil engineers are all Denham-Blythe employees. It makes
communication easier. There are not a lot of companies our size that have that service or advantage,” Hohn stated. In addition, with the office in Nashville, Denham-Blythe can offer better coverage across the region. “If you draw a triangle between Bowling Green, Hopkinsville and Nashville, there is a lot of industrial work in it for us. The Nashville office does a lot of work in western Kentucky, and Lexington focuses more on central and eastern Kentucky.” Despite the wide net Denham-Blythe has cast, Hohn noted the challenges the Nashville office has overcome for success. “In the early years, we struggled to keep the jobs profitable,” he said, describing the management process. “When it is your job, you want to make sure everything is successful. You have to take more of a global view and rely on your project managers. You have to decide who you need where, because it is too much to try to manage projects and project managers at the same time.” Learning the best way to run the Nashville office has allowed Denham-Blythe to acquire some very successful projects, including national jobs. One such job was the renovation of the Kroger – Jackson Dairy in Hutchinson, Kansas. “This was a job we earned by reputation and not based on a low bid,” Steiner pointed out. The completed project allowed Kroger to produce its own brand of organic and soy milk, and it has also generated more job opportunities for Denham-Blythe’s Nashville office. Projects like the Jackson Dairy stand out to Hohn. “They’re not the kind of jobs that you would see all over the newspaper, but they are complex and challenging,” he stated. “The dairy didn’t shut down just because we were renovating it, so our construction techniques had to be very clean and efficient.”
A SUCCESS ESL LINE ADDITION FOR ORGANIC MILK PROCESSING PLANT OWNER: JACKSON DAIRY (KROGER) LOCATION: HUTCHINSON, KANSAS CONTRACT VALUE: $7.4 MILLION
SUN CHEMICAL SIZE: 20,000 SQUARE FEET LOCATION: KANKAKEE, ILLINOIS CONTRACT VALUE: $8 MILLION
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE – OFFICE STAFF
Another unique job for Nashville is the Sun Chemical project in Kankakee, Illinois. Like the dairy, Sun Chemical posed a number of challenges for Denham-Blythe. Although the renovation was only 20,000 square foot, it required careful planning to ensure that it would be safe for the production of flammable liquids. The project included an explosion-proof air-handling unit, electrostatic dissipative floors and XP-rated electrical systems, and an exterior solvent tank farm. Other notable projects for Hohn have included the Country Oven Bakery in Bowling Green, Kentucky, and Sysco – Fresh Point Tomato in Nashville, Tennessee. As Denham-Blythe continues to expand, the Nashville office has also continued to stretch
its services across the nation. Hohn considers further expansion a certainty. “The market is certainly strong for us, and there are a lot of opportunities for us to grow,” he said. Finding the right team to further that growth is something Hohn deemed essential. “The challenge is to do a really good job of training,” he explained. “You have to hire employees while they’re young and train them the way you want the company to operate. It’s always hard to keep people interested in construction, and one solution is to attract young engineers and people from a background of hard work — those are the people that grab onto this industry. Construction can be very rewarding work because you are able to see a project from start to finish.”
CAKE ADDITION OWNER: COUNTRY OVEN BAKERY – KROGER SIZE: 64,000 SQUARE FEET LOCATION: BOWLING GREEN, KENTUCKY CONTRACT VALUE: $9 MILLION
J-LOK OWNER: JENMAR CORPORATION SIZE: 55,000 SQUARE FEET LOCATION: EARLINGTON, KENTUCKY CONTRACT VALUE: $2.8 MILLION
THE IMPORTANCE OF REPEAT CUSTOMERS
Good Relationships with Clients Are the Heart of Denham-Blythe’s Business by Michael Adkins
Trust. Familiarity. Dedication. These are important qualities to have in any relationship. But when it comes to a construction project that could potentially cost millions of dollars, these traits become even more important. When businesses can form true partnerships, where these qualities and more are part of the equation, the results can be very special indeed. Denham-Blythe Company has a long history of cultivating strong business partnerships with repeat clients, and this trend has played a large part in the company’s 35 years of success.
Steiner agreed with his colleague’s assessment. “It’s up to us to produce quality results from the start,” he said. “The clients want the product at the time they want and the quality they want. But if we can do that, we’re in a positive position, and we have a good shot at the next project with them.”
According to Denis Steiner, president of Denham-Blythe, 80 percent to 90 percent of the company’s business comes from repeat customers. “Our clients keep coming back to us because of multiple factors,” he said. “Quality, scheduling and price — all of these contribute to their overall satisfaction with us.”
Forming the Partnership
Even when Denham-Blythe is invited to bid on a repeat client’s next project, the pressure is on to maintain the high standards established in the past. “Once you’ve built that relationship, you still have to deliver on quality, scheduling and price, or the client will just go elsewhere,” Steiner explained. “No mater what, we’re always trying to go above and beyond to keep that relationship strong.”
Denham-Blythe’s business relationships often start out slowly. “Usually, we’re allowed to do a smaller-sized project for a new client to see if we can do what we say we can do,” said Michael Cox, Denham-Blythe’s executive vice president. “It’s all up to us then to deliver a good, quality product, and for the team to work with the client in a cooperative, productive, non-adversarial way.”
Despite the challenge of maintaining relationships with repeat clients, Cox finds working again with the same client is easier than the first project. “You already have some familiarity with them, especially if it’s the same contact person you worked with before,” he said. “Your knowledge of what they do and their line of work is valuable for developing the construction
The Next Job
THE OKONITE COMPANY, SANTA MARIA, CALIFORNIA MANUFACTURING ADDITIONS
LEXMARK OPEN OFFICE
project. Doing the necessary research and gaining as much information about your client as possible is extremely important, but it works out so much better when you do.”
The Little Things The success of the business relationship hinges on interpersonal relationships, Cox said. “The personalities involved are key,” he noted. “The more personable you are, the better the relationship is. So we always try to get to know our clients on a personal level — how their families are doing, what their hobbies are and so on. It carries over in your concern for your contact as a person and for the client’s company as a whole. It makes delivering a quality product for the client easier and improves the strength of the whole relationship.”
ARH OUTPATIENT SURGERY SUITE
Maintaining these relationships also takes time, but it’s worth the effort, Cox noted. “The personal touch is key,” he said. “Every so often, I’ll drop my clients an e-mail or give them a phone call. If I know the birthday of my counterpart at a client company, I’ll send that person a happy-birthday wish. “I don’t do this to pester them — I just want to let our clients know that we’re thinking of them and their company,” Cox continued. “I ask them if things are going well and let them know we’re there if they need us. It’s just a matter of keeping our name out there. It’s a simple thing, but it can mean a lot.”
ARH WHITESBURG OB WING, ADDITION
The goal, Steiner said, is to always work on furthering the relationship. “We work to make it more than just a simple business relationship,” he stated. “That personal touch is important. It means the client likes you and genuinely wants to work with you, rather than you just being a resource for them.”
DENYO GENERATOR MANUFACTURER ADDITION
MESSIER BUGATTI AIRCRAFT BRAKE FACILITY
Notable Repeat Clients Given the long list of returning customers from throughout Denham-Blythe’s 35 years of service, a complete listing would be impossible. However, both Steiner and Cox pointed to the company’s work with the Okonite Company as a good example of a successful ongoing business partnership. Okonite is an electrical-cable manufacturer based out of Ramsey, New Jersey, a suburb of New York City. “We worked on their facility in Richmond, Kentucky, back in the 1980s,” Steiner recalled. “We performed multiple additions to that facility.” “Our previous president, Dale Blythe, had visited the plant previously and left a few of our brochures for them,” Cox added. “That started the relationship, and when they had need of us, they asked us to bid. That led us to develop a really good working relationship, which led to us being invited to bid on further
expansions on the Richmond site, as well as our invitations to bid on two projects at their Orangeburg, South Carolina, location and their Santa Maria, California, location.” “When you bid a job like that, you’re working to further earn the business with your proposal,” Steiner offered. “We earned the initial business, which led to our relationship with Okonite. The ongoing relationship led to the opportunity for more work, which furthered the relationship.” Other notable recurring Denham-Blythe clients include: • Lexmark • Sun Chemical • Corning • Appalachian Regional Healthcare • Keeneland
MANUFACTURING AND OFFICE ADDITION OWNER: THE OKONITE COMPANY SIZE: 155,000 SQUARE FEET FOR MANUFACTURING AND OFFICE SPACE; 170,000 SQUARE FEET OF 12-INCH-THICK EXTERIOR CONCRETE; 20,000 SQUARE FEET OF RADIOFREQUENCY-SHIELDED SPACE LOCATION: RICHMOND, KENTUCKY CONTRACT VALUE: $6.75 MILLION
PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL OWNER: APPALACHIAN REGIONAL HEALTHCARE SIZE: 112,000 SQUARE FEET LOCATION: HAZARD, KENTUCKY CONTRACT VALUE: $12.6 MILLION
LEXMARK R&D FACILITY
FARRISTOWN MIDDLE SCHOOL
A Continual Process Today, Denham-Blythe’s emphasis on repeat clients continues — an aspect of the company culture that’s just good common sense, Steiner said. “It’s logical,” he noted. “It’s your lifeline as a business. A lot of people here at Denham-Blythe depend on us — employees and their families — and all of those people are impacted by our decisions. Making sure the company is viable next year, the next decade and beyond is important, and ensuring we have a steady base of repeat, satisfied customers is a big part of that. “Since the ’90s, we’ve had a succession plan in place here,” Steiner continued. “We’re continually growing the company
and grooming the young leaders of the future to take over for those of us who are here now. The loyal clients who keep choosing us are what make that plan possible.” Denham-Blythe has a proud history of serving clients throughout central Kentucky and beyond, and maintaining its high standards of serving clients’ needs is a necessity — particularly in today’s difficult economy, Cox concluded. “There’s a limited number of clients available, especially around our home office,” he said. “It’s important to keep customers happy — especially those who are close to home. Our goal is to keep every single one of our clients as our client. That’s just a super-important thing to consider in our line of work.”
Denham-Blythe would like to thank all of our valued partners who made our commemorative 35th Anniversary publication possible.
American Venture Industrial Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Arrow Metals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Artâ€™s Electric . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 C & M Disposal & Recycling, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Central Bank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Central Kentucky Sprinkler Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30 Congleton Lumber Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Control Power and Maintenance Electric . . . . . . . . 32 Cooper Painting, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 D-C Elevator Company, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Dalmatian Fire, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Davis & Plomin Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Dean Dorton Allen Ford PLLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Fowler Construction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Green Mechanical Construction, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 H & L Excavating . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Hensley-Elam . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Industrial Machine & Tool Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
Interphase Electrical Specialties Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Ivey Mechanical Company, LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Landmark Sprinkler Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Lyons Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Milner Electrical . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 MMI of Kentucky . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Nucor Building Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Parsons Electrical Contractors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Pearce-Blackburn Roofing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Powell Walton Milward Insurance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Reliable Roofing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Shotts Concrete Cutting Company LLC . . . . . . . . . . 34 Stites & Harbison PLLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 United Rentals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Weddle Enterprises . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Wilhite . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Wilson Equipment Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
“Quality From The Top” Congratulations “35 Years”
We are proud to have worked beside you.
2293 Maggard Dr. Lexington, KY 40511 Denham-Blythe Company
Art’s Electric is unique in the electrical industry. By responding to our diverse clients, Art’s Electric, Inc. has evolved into one of the most reliable and respected electrical contracting firms in the central United States. Concentrating on quality and service, we have developed and maintained longstanding relationships with indus-
trial and commercial clients throughout North America. Art’s Electric has been a proud sub-contractor working with the Denham-Blythe Company on numerous projects over the past 30 years. We congratulate them on their 35th Anniversary in 2011.
Phone: 502-223-5754 • Phone: 800-249-0278 411 Holmes St. • PO Box 524 • Frankfort, Kentucky 40602 Fax: 502-227-7608 • www.artselectric.com
InstallatIon, servIce, InspectIon and desIgn of fIre sprInkler systems
establIshed In 1979 desIgn and buIld IndustrIal and commercIal 24 hour servIce
Phone 859-885-7990 243 Industry Parkway Nicholasville, KY 40356 www.centralkysprinkler.com
Congratulations on 35 Years! P.O. Box 55486 Lexington, Ky. 40555 (P) 859.252.3501 (F) 859.252.6162 35th Anniversary
859.263.5137 (Phone) | 859.263.5139 (Fax)
Congratulations Denham-Blythe Co. 35 Years Rock-Solid Construction. Innovative, functional, efficient, & environmentally friendly designs by in-house professional Architects and Engineers Leading the Way to a Green Future Varco Pruden Buildings and Arrow Metals: proud members of your team approach
Residential/Industrial/Commercial Service Calls Industrial & Commercial New Installation
Controls Engineering Services Design Start-Up Panel Fabrication Engineering
Debug Drawings Maintenance Engraving
Control Power and Maintenance Electric
859-255-7462 Gary Athon • Vice President • 859-552-8010 (Cell) 2057 Mercer Road • Lexington, KY 40511 • 859-231-0390 (Fax) www.cpelectric.com • firstname.lastname@example.org
Lexington Office: (859) 254-4422 Fax: (859) 233-2320
Louisville Office: (502) 266-5093 Fax: (502) 266-5096
Lexington 2317 Frankfort Ct., Lexington, Kentucky 40510 P.O. Box 13580, Lexington, Kentucky 40583-3580 Louisville 11540 Blankenbaker Access, Suite 103 Louisville, Kentucky 40299
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 55350, Lexington, Kentucky 40555-5350 Physical Address: 949 Contract Street, Lexington, Kentucky 40505 (859) 231-9219 FAX
Steel and Sheet Metal Fabrication Machine Repair • Machining
“Our reputation is your guarantee.”
Please contact Andy Marcum
(606) 679-3342 Fax: (606) 677-9498 141 Sunset Blvd. Somerset, KY 42503
Lexington, Kentucky www.parsonselectric.com
Congratulations on 35 years of excellence! From all your friends at Green Machanical Construction, Inc.
Industrial Sheet Metal Lt-Med. Structural Steel Fabrication/Installation Dust Collection HVAC Air Pollution Control All Types of Welding
Fowler ConstruCtion speCializing in masonry
859-252-4646 Fax: 859-253-3657 2277 Danforth Drive Lexington, KY 40511 Visit us online at www.gmci.com
serving western Kentucky and middle tennessee for over 30 years
Tel: (859) 885-0496 131 Dewey Drive Nicholasville, KY 40356 Fax: (859) 885-0605
ConCreTe CuTTing Company llC. www.shottsconcretecuttingofky.com
WALL SAWING DIESEL FLAT SAWING ELECTRIC SLAB SAWING CORE DRILLING SURFACE GRINDING
BOB’S CELL: 859-351-5359 OFFICE: 859-548-3000 TOLL FREE: 888-380-4341 FAX: 859-548-2800
“BOB” SHOTTS 2561 HIGH BRIDGE ROAD LANCASTER, KENTUCKY 40444
Cooper Painting, Inc. PHONE:
C & M DISPOSAL & RECYCLING, INC. 2301 Frankfort Ct. Lexington, kentuCky 40510 Phone: 859.225.2521 fax: 866.646.5076 toLL free: 877.976.3366
Congratulations from MMI of Kentucky
1660 Jaggie Fox Way Lexington, KY 40511 P.O. Box 11835 Lexington, KY 40578
Rolloff Services 34
“An Employee Owned Company”
D-C Elevator Company is one of the fastest growing independent elevator companies with regional coverage in all of Kentucky and surrounding states. Contact your local office or the Corporate office for any of your Vertical Transportation needs. We have installed thousands of new elevators and lifts from 2-story churches and schools to multi-story mid-rise and high-rise elevator projects. Corporate Office 124 Venture Ct., Ste 1 Lexington, KY 40511 Phone: 859-254-8224 Fax: 859-231-8740
Louisville Branch 140 E. Woodlawn Ave. Louisville, KY 40214 Phone: 502-363-5961 Fax: 502-363-6026
Florence Field Office Phone: 859-746-8990
Hazard Branch 200 Begley Court Hazard, KY 41701 Phone: 606-436-2288 Fax: 606-436-1140 Paducah Field Office Phone: 270-444-7952
“ANYTHING WITH DIRT OR ROCK”
H & L EXCAVATING
1294 Bethel Road • Nicholasville, KY 40356
• CLEAN PONDS • FOUNDATION WORK • PAVING
• GRADE YARDS • SUBDIVISION WORK • SEPTIC TANK WORK
Please contact Donald House
(859) 885-0264 (859) 221-0742
WAITING FOR THE ECONOMY TO CHANGE? While you’re waiting, your competitors are changing their economy. They’re targeting Denham-Blythe readers who make purchasing decisions in this multi-million-dollar industry. And these members actively read this journal like you’re doing right now.
WANT TO INFLUENCE THEIR BUYING DECISIONS? Then contact Judah Jimenez at 502.423.7272 or email@example.com immediately!
DENHAM-BLYTHE 100 Trade Street Lexington, KY 40511-2634
PRSRT STD U.S. POSTAGE PAID LOUISVILLE, KY PERMIT NO. 1477
THAT’S A PROJECT YOU CAN BE PROUD OF. 35th
From start to finish, a publication like this is our project. We’ll help you make it happen.
YTHE N OF DENHAM-BL A PUBLICATIO SUMMER 2011
SO IS THIS.
To find out how your business or association can have its own quality publication, contact Aran Jackson at 502.423.7272 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Years of Celebrating 35 Building Quality Designing and ng Relationships Projects and Stro