A look back at 2019 at Carl A. Nelson & Co.

As we review the past year and enter a new year, our overwhelming emotion is gratitude for customers who have put their faith in us and for employees, subcontractors and suppliers who help us honor that faith by performing at a high level. Thank you!

It seems appropriate to review 2019 against our mission statement, which is the roadmap for our business. 

Our mission is to focus on The Customer as the most important aspect of our business by providing exceptional value, while encouraging safety, leadership, and an entrepreneurial spirit among all employees.  We will accomplish this mission through a team commitment to:

• Fairness and Honesty

• Quality Workmanship

• Service Second to None

First and foremost in this mission is the safety of employees, subcontractors and visitors to our jobsites.  Most likely we will end the year with zero lost work day injuries, zero restricted duty injuries, three minor OSHA recordables and zero general liability claims.  Our goal is zero in all categories, so as always is the case, we have work to do. But overall, this is an excellent safety year with more than 300,000 manhours worked.

One of many examples of delivering exceptional value this year is the value engineering results we delivered in collaboration with the design team in the new Sioux Center High School project.  When we were brought into the project as the Construction Manager, the initial cost estimate was $47,176,670, which was $4,676,670  in excess of the school district’s project budget of $42,500,000.  We reviewed the project costs and design from top to bottom to make sure every dollar was being spent to achieve the owner’s objectives for the project.  We were able to value engineer the project back into budget without compromising the owner’s goals for the project and not reducing the quality of the project. 

As one element of encouraging leadership development this year, we delivered a program based on the book The Leadership Challenge, by Kouzes & Posner, at our annual Leadership Meeting held on April 6, 2019, which includes all office and field managers and supervisors.  This content was reinforced with monthly follow-ups throughout the year. We also recognized Raleigh Annis with our George Harris Field Leadership Award and Randy Harris as our Salaried Employee of the Year.  Raleigh is a Field Foreman and Randy is a Superintendent, both currently building an addition at the plant of a confidential client in Cedar Rapids.

We see no better way to encourage employees’ entrepreneurial spirit than to own stock in our company.  For almost the entire time since Carl A. Nelson died in 1948, our company has been owned by full-time, active employees.  In 2019, we added six new shareholders and had fifteen existing shareholders increase their stake as we retired four shareholders this year.

There is much evidence and none to the contrary that we upheld our pledge to Fairness and Honesty in all aspects of our business. This is not a surprise, as this is an important hiring criterion and is embedded in the culture at Carl A. Nelson & Company.

One of our governing principals with regard to quality is the namesake of this publication, wibi, which stands for are we producing the quality of work that we would buy for ourselves.  With very few exceptions (which were promptly corrected at no cost to the owner), we produced quality workmanship on all our projects in 2019.

Our client surveys for 2019 show our customers are seeing our Service Second to None and as a result, 84% of major projects awarded to us in 2019 were from repeat customers.
 
Tim C. Seibert, P.E., President
Carl A. Nelson &
Company