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Summer 2008

Developers Journal

J&S Construction A Company of Principles


A Company of Principles Produced by Todd Rogers & Written by Olga Tsyganova

Since J&S Construction was founded in 1957, the company has completed over 5,000 projects and currently averages 30 million dollars in gross annual sales. J&S Construction utilizes the T.E.A.M. Build method of project delivery, in which they form a single contract with their client to provide for architectural & engineering design services as well as construction services. This allows J&S to plan and execute on a stringent timeline, and the results speak for themselves:


US Developers Journal

Summer Edition 2008

J&S Construction has received the Achievement Award from The Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence twice; completed over 550,000 man hours without a lost time accident; and were given the Commissioners Award for Excellence from the State of Tennessee. The company’s motto “Building Relationships by Building Trust,” has led to a high feedback rating from their clients: 100% of projects completed over the

past year (ending on 3/31) have received a service more cost-effective methods. As you can see, integrity questionnaire rating of “delighted/pleased” from the and a strong work ethic are perquisites for working company’s clients. “We and succeeding within have a ‘good day report’ this work culture.” here at J&S,” says We need to know how we can CEO Johny Stites, “our J&S Construction started accomplish the same things by employees are required out as a small residential to check whether they are working smarter, and that requires company and from there detracting or adding to our went on to hard bid. Now everyone’s participation. We learn they have evolved into a success on a daily basis.” This self-reflecting tool not design-build enterprise to do the same things in less time, only allows for employee and doing nearly 100% using more cost-effective methods. feedback, but drives the negotiated design As you can see, integrity and a measure of productivity: build projects. J&S has “We need to know how comfortably grown into strong work ethic are perquisites we can accomplish the their 100+ employee for working and succeeding within workforce, several of same things by working smarter, and that requires whom are award-winning this work culture everyone’s participation. architects and engineers. We learn to do the same “Construction is America’s — Johny Stites, CEO things in less time, using 2nd most risky business,


The average construction company doesn’t last five years. We are 50 years old, and I want to build pride in our workforce for keeping us going — Johny Stites, CEO next to the restaurant business,” says Johny Stites, “The Master craftsman used to be the most respected man in the country, but now things have changed because of the lack of professionalism in the industry. If you are going to be a doctor or a lawyer, you have to get a certain amount of training. In construction, you can put a sign on the side of your truck saying and start selling. This is why we only hire workers with a high level of integrity


US Developers Journal

Winter Edition 2008

and a strong work ethic. We’ve been doing this for 50 years, and we’ve transcended being a contractor and are committed to gaining and maintaining our clients’ trust. Trust is the most important thing in this business.” J&S frowns in low-balling bids, saying that the practice is deceptive: “Some contractors do what they do to get their foot in the door. They bid low and make it up on change

Johny Stites, CEO orders. Some clients go for the low bid, but it forces me to use people I don’t regularly use due to their lack or experience, and complicates producing quality projects on time,” says Stites.

and plan for cost-avoidance. In addition, the company wants to increase the awareness of their heritage: “The average construction company doesn’t last five years. J& S Construction is continuing to measure and improve We are 50 years old, and I want to build pride in our their processes. They plan to institute a new process to workforce for keeping us going,” Stites says proudly.• manage fixed price projects to avoid breaking budget by predetermining areas that may present obstacles

COMPANY AT A GLANCE Established : 1932 CEO : Johnny Stites Annual Revenue : $33 Million Employees : 115

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J&S Construction Winter 2009

1843 Foreman Dr. Cookeville, TN 38501 United States


J&s ConstruCtion THE MAGAZINE FOR CONSTRUCTION EXECUTIVES A C ompAny of p rinCiples Summer 2008