The Peterson Company

Peterson Companies pic copyThe Peterson Company’s customer-first mentality has been key to its success.
By Bianca Herron

Tim Peterson founded The Peterson Company in 2010 as a firm specializing in new construction, property maintenance and tenant improvements.  As part of formalizing the company, Peterson tapped five industry experts and longtime associates – Larry Siegler, Bret Stallcop, Don Piggush, Brett Dalton and David Charron – to join the organization as managing partners.

“We had all been completing new construction and property maintenance for the Peterson family for more than 20 years, so it was natural to join forces with Tim in this new venture,” COO Larry Siegler says. “Tim is CEO and is very well respected in the city of Indianapolis. While the five of us work in the day-to-day operations, Mr. Peterson serves as our mentor and leader.”

Vice President of New Construction Bret Stallcop agrees. “Tim is the reason why we do things with integrity and performance,” Stallcop says.  “That is what the Peterson family has stood for in this community for over 50 years, and we are determined to model ourselves in the same character moving forward.

“We aim to protect the Peterson name because if it weren’t for Tim and his father before him, none of us would be doing what we’re doing,” he adds.

Customer First

The Peterson Company’s new construction projects encompass mostly large warehouses ranging from 50,000 to 500,000 square feet. Its tenant improvements include a variety of services ranging from painting and installing carpeting to building new offices and docks in the industrial sector.

“Our property maintenance division boasts 20 employees that canvass the Indiana area fixing leaky toilets, squeaky doors, HVAC, electrical and repairing locks, and keys and doors,” Siegler says.

With each project the company takes on, its tagline of “integrity and performance” is always top of mind, according to Siegler. He adds the mantra has been one of the company’s keys to success, contributing to strong relationships and repeat clients.

“We really try to treat our customers like we would want to be treated,” he notes. “When a customer has finished its business with The Peterson Company, we want to ensure they had a very good experience.” Peterson Company box

According to Knute Lentz, owner and principal of Brybelly Holdings, there is no better example of satisfaction. “The Peterson Company was impressive to work with,” Lentz notes. “Everyone in the organization was respectful and carefully listened to our needs from start to finish keeping us well informed. 

“The project managers were very experienced and a daily pleasure to deal with,” he continues. “Although we had many changes and a tight deadline, the company delivered on time and under budget. We look forward to working with The Peterson Company again on future projects.” 

The Peterson Company achieves superior customer satisfaction by teaching its employees to put themselves in clients’ shoes, Stallcop says. “It doesn’t matter how big or small the project is,” he explains. “We have been hired to manage something that is generally a large investment for them, so from the initial start through to closeout we have to try to meet or exceed their expectations.”

Stallcop notes The Peterson Company has a client-first approach, which differentiates it from the competition. “I think once companies are awarded a project in this industry their focus is, unfortunately, on their own personal bottom line,” he explains. “Our focus is 100 percent on the client, and if at the end of the project they are happy we know we are successful.”

The company’s success is not driven by how much it can make on a project, but instead by ensuring clients’ expectations are met. It circles back to treating people how the company wants to be treated, according to Stallcop. “We think if we continue that philosophy – and our tagline – and maintain that character as individuals then our entire company will succeed,” he notes. “The bottom line will be there, and we will be successful.”

He cites, as an example, if a contractor has 99 successful projects but a lone bad one, the bad one becomes the company’s reputation. “I tell everyone that works with me it is not an option to leave a client with a bad taste in their mouth because it will cost you more down the road,” Stallcop says, adding that the reputation of a contractor is hard enough to maintain.

“With each new project I feel that we have to overcome the stigma that contractors aren’t the greatest people to work with,” he explains. “We have to prove that stigma false so that if a client needs something done again our company will be the first one they think of.”

Working Together

The Peterson Company works with dozens of subcontractors. “We can’t be who we are unless we carry that same philosophy through to our subcontractors, architects, suppliers and engineers,” Stallcop says.

He adds that the company is “very relationship oriented,” and works consistently with its subcontractors to maintain its high-quality standards. “We get the service and the response we require from our subcontractors,” Stallcop says. “We would never say that we are the cheapest contractor in town, but we do feel like at the end of the day we will give you 100 percent the best value.” 

These longstanding relationships also help to maintain quality control. “I have vendors I’ve worked with for years,” Siegler notes. “They are not only business associates but also friends. However, they wouldn’t have become friends unless they weren’t completely on board with our philosophy.”  

One of the company’s longstanding subcontractors is Ferrer Mechanical Services. According to President and Owner Kris Griffith, there aren’t many people who have had a bigger impact on the city of Indianapolis than the Peterson family and The Peterson Company.

“When Ferrer Mechanical is on a Peterson project we are treated as a true partner,” Griffith says. “We always know the entire team is on the same page due to their leadership and approach to achieving the safest project, delivered on time, and on budget. Our relationship with Peterson is one of the most rewarding I have ever known.”

Siegler notes that The Peterson Company’s clientele trumps friendship at the end of the day. “Friendships can’t take priority over our focus, which is the client,” he explains. “We have worked with people for years that we don’t work with anymore because we have to maintain our business’ integrity.”

Latest Project

The Peterson Company is constructing a state-of-the-art, 100,000-square-foot production facility for The Lindal Group in Columbus, Ind. The German company is a global leader in aerosol packaging. It develops and manufactures valves, actuators and spray caps for aerosol products used in cosmetics, household goods, pharmaceuticals, food and technical industries.

“They have some operations in the United States,” Stallcop says. “They have outgrown their current Columbus office, which is why we’re building this new facility for them. It will serve as their North American headquarters.”

The two-story facility, which is slated for completion by the end of 2017, will include production, offices, laboratories and warehousing. 

With nearly 15 subcontractors and more than 100 workers on-site, The Peterson Company hasn’t encountered any challenges and is taking a serious stance on maintaining safety.

The company not only has one of its senior project managers on-site overseeing the project, but also has hired a safety company to help. “I think safety is the one thing that cannot be compromised,” Stallcop explains. “Also, if you try to do too much of it in-house you have opportunities to cut corners. That’s why all of our project managers are trained by our outsourced safety group.”

The safety group visits the company’s jobsites randomly once a week. “Since it’s never on a schedule, people always have to be prepared,” Stallcop says. “After they complete their random check they meet with our project manager and provide them with a written report. By hiring professionals to assist us with all of our projects we are ensuring everyone’s safety.”

Branching Out

Although The Peterson Company has found success in Indiana, it recently ventured outside of its home state to expand its business. “I think companies run into a problem when they think things are in a good place and they want to remain there,” Stallcop says. “We had never done anything outside the state of Indiana at that time, and thought the best way to grow is to take what we do best and do it someplace else.”

The Peterson Company is working on its third building in Richmond, Va., and recently started its second in Cincinnati. According to Siegler, the company is all about growing strategically.

Stallcop agrees. “You can make the mistake of growing too fast and then you’re not prepared if things don’t work out the way you envisioned,” he says. “With every step we take we try to be smart about it.

“I think that’s a benefit of the structure of our company because we are all equal partners,” he adds. “So there are different opinions that have to mesh in order for us to succeed. That has been a huge reason why we have gotten where we are today.”

The Peterson Company has also been successful thanks to its clientele, who actually requested that the company expand across Indiana’s state lines. “They were continually asking us to go out of state,” Siegler explains. “So we did this at the request of our customers and decided it was the right move for us.”

Ultimately, the client is always right, Stallcop concludes. “You can decide what you think you’re good at and try to expand on it,” he says. “Or you can listen to your clients and expand on what they think you’re good at. I think that’s probably the most important route to go.” 

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