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US

Summer 2010

Developers Journal www.usdevelopersjournal.com

Southwest Commercial Interiors LP Certified for Full-Service Satisfaction

THE MAGAZINE FOR CONSTRUCTION EXECUTIVES


Certified for Full-Service Satisfaction Produced by Victor Martins & Written by Molly Cohen Southwest Commercial Interiors LP (SCI) has more than 60 years of experience between the Carrollton, Texas-based company’s cofounders and partners Ken Baker, president, and Brett Densmore, vice president/general superintendent. A full-service commercial drywall and acoustical contractor, SCI was founded in 1994. “We started this company from nothing but an idea, picked up a couple jobs that made us some money, and basically grew it from where it was to where we are in a real short period of time,” says Densmore.

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US Developers Journal

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Baker runs the business at the office as the prime estimator, while Densmore oversees operations in the field. “Ken and I are like a love/ hate relationship: we’re complete opposites,” Densmore jokes. “I guess that’s what works because you need someone to be the levelhead and someone to be the screamer in the right case. We complement each other.” While Baker has numerous years of experience in the office roles, Densmore began his career in the field. “I started as a laborer back in 1979 and worked for a company for a long time. I


was running big projects when I was 18 years old,” Densmore says. Personal Management Densmore’s work experience is the supportive drive behind Baker’s managerial style, and the combination has been SCI’s success. The company works around the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex, and northward up into southern Oklahoma, and has annual revenue between $9 million and $10 million. SCI is known for its work in the commercial, industrial and institutional sectors, in project types such as hospitals, hotels, labs, malls, commercial build-outs, high-rise development, schools and churches. “We do a lot of municipal work, that’s what we’ve done this whole time,” Densmore shares. “Some private work, but mostly municipal work, just seemed to be a niche we got into. We especially focus on schools and places-of-worship, and prefer our contract size to be from $500,000 to $1.5 million. That size job seems to be the most profitable for us.” Work on projects includes curtainwall framing, metal stud drywall partitions, acoustical ceilings and acoustical sound panels, and

more, following “green” guidelines wherever possible. And these skills require a strong workforce, of course. Currently, SCI employees 65, down from a pre-recession peak of 200, and Densmore would prefer to grow back toward the 100 to 130 employee range. “I know a lot of other companies have gotten bigger and made more money, but I really like reputations and relationships, dealing with contractors myself, and not having someone else do my job for me. So we decided to keep it at a certain level where we’re still making decent money and it’s not too big to manage,” he says. What Densmore likes most about that size company is “we’re a partnership, we’ll bend our rules and change and do what we want here, and that’s our luxury, because a big corporation can’t bend as the need fits.” Old School Work Ethic Utilizing its workforce, SCI’s in-house capabilities take into account all of the trades required to finish each project. When working a specific job the company tailors its work and schedule to meet the needs of its client. When working at an educational facility, for example, “we are self-performing all the work, but we get our materials delivered to job sites from a few

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suppliers around town,” Densmore clarifies. “We’ve got a schedule for delivery, because of school work. We can’t come in the mornings, we can’t come between hours when the buses run, and you can’t bother the kids when they are taking tests so they won’t even let me onsite, which is tough on a tight schedule.” Along with coordinating the workforce Densmore works to inspire them. “Back in the ’80s and ’70s, we were an older generation of carpenters and it was a different work ethic. You worked hard and fast and you were proud of what you did. You wanted somebody to see what you just finished building and say ‘that looks great,’” he says. “We push for the same pride in this workforce.” And SCI’s workforce has been able to produce very impressive projects, whether it’s comprehensive work throughout the Allen High School of the Allen Independent School District, or SCI’s role on Dallas Love Field’s baggage claim renovation and expansion,

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a project that is particularly memorable to Densmore. “It looked like it was built 200 to 300 years ago when we got started,” Densmore remembers. “We had to build while the airport was open and there’s only one baggage claim area there with four little conveyors. So it was a very challenging job, because we had to work around all the people coming in and out and it was mostly daytime work hours, meaning we had a lot of down time every time a new plane came in. But it actually turned out very well in my opinion.” Through notable projects like these SCI has proven itself as a very capable member of a construction team. With Baker and Densmore working together to guide the way for Southwest Commercial Interiors’ future endeavors, the company is ready for opportunities to increase its project volume, employee numbers and general foothold in Texas’ drywall and acoustical industry.•


COMPANY AT A GLANCE Established : 1994 President : Ken Baker Employees : 100+

w w w. s c i r o c k s . c o m

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Southwest Commercial Interiors LP Winter 2009

2833 Trinity Square Dr. Suite # 149 Carrollton, TX 75006 United States

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