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The Best Type of Investment

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Bitcoin, crypto, stocks and bonds are some of the focus areas associated with investing, but what if there was a different type of investment? The type of investment that cannot be found on the stock market but guarantees great returns for your company. At Mowery Construction, time, money, and effort have been spent investing in a very unique asset that has helped the company to thrive for almost a century… people.

Investing in employees is an important aspect for all companies looking to succeed. This is why the people at Mowery Construction believe the more they invest in employees, the better the company performs. However, it’s not just employees they invest in. Mowery Construction has immersed itself in its local community through coaching, volunteering and more, all while also developing long lasting client relationships that span over 40 years. When it comes to creating strong relationships, this company is always willing to invest.

For almost 100 years, Mowery Construction has been conducting business in the United States. Initially focusing on residential and light commercial construction within the Carlisle and Harrisburg areas, the company has since implemented innovative ways to deliver more complex projects across a number of services including Construction Management, General Contracting, Design-Build Construction and also some Special Project Construction.

mowery construction worker using drone

Vice President of Customer Experience, William J Sutton, believes that having good people and solid foundational values allows Mowery Construction to sustain its business. The company’s focus on people and relationships has maintained its client base, but of course some changes to the overall business had to be made since its first opening date in 1925.

“In more recent times, we really began integrating technology into our construction practice. Technology has allowed us to do more complex projects, to deliver projects faster, and to really be transparent in how we communicate with our clients. We have invested in a thermal imaging drone, which allows us to scan our buildings prior to turning them over. We can identify if there’s any leaks in the building and we’re not only scanning sites with our drones, we are creating 3d maps, where we can track progress of the earth being moved and the buildings being built. So that’s a really cool technology that we’re utilizing now.”

Mowery now has 10 pilots to utilize its drones in numerous ways across different projects. The pilots are also able to take progress photos and upload those to Procore — a construction management software that keeps the latest drawings and dialogue between the designers, the owner, and construction team in one place — for everybody to see and help foster collaboration.

Some standout projects for Mowery Construction include the company’s largest project in terms of square footage. This was the 1.8 million square foot Walmart Distribution Center for Matrix Development in Shippensburg, PA. The project was completed in record time for Walmart with the initial shell complete in 10 months.

Another landmark project is the Members 1st Federal Credit Union Headquarters. Mowery was hired alongside the Architect to deliver preconstruction, design assistance and construction management of this 185,000 square foot headquarters. The project allowed Members 1st to consolidate several separate office buildings and increase their efficiency, collaboration, and connectivity. The team was focused on providing a highly sustainable and healthy workplace for its employees – one where people love to go and work in every day.

While skill and craftsmanship are enough to differentiate Mowery Construction from competitors, the company has also recently unveiled its purpose, which they believe makes them truly unique: Mowery is obsessed with making a difference. This purpose is focused on four main areas including employees, clients, community, and environment.

“That’s the thing about business, you have to adapt to the changing markets.”

“Our employees make us very unique; they are the face of the business. We work hard to develop our employees by investing in them and giving them balance in their life. We make our client relationships matter, if it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t be doing business. We have a partner program which is our toolbox for leading our clients through the design-build process. These thorough checklists and various technologies help us keep collaboration and communication at the forefront of our projects. Our commitment to support our community has been steadfast for almost 100 years. The non-profits we support are doing great things to make our region and our country a better place. We like to think we are doing our small part to contribute to that. Lastly, we are obsessed with making a positive impact on the environment whenever we can. Most people don’t realize this, but Construction is the largest contributor to landfill waste in this country. We have made a commitment to reduce our landfill waste by 95% and we’re now recycling on all of our projects.”

By focusing on these areas and investing in each area equally, Mowery Construction has managed to record its highest revenue year yet. Mowery believed it had built the team, the process, and the client base to eclipse 200 million five years ago, but this milestone had evaded them for the last four years. This year, with just a couple of new key projects and key clients, it was able to eclipse this target and prove that it can achieve anything it sets its sights on.

While those at Mowery feel fortunate to have reached this milestone, they are also realists. With markets continuously fluctuating, the company do not anticipate its top market will be as successful and as prevalent as it has been previously.

the menaker apartment building by mowery construction

“We think there’s a slowdown in a couple of our key market sectors. This is causing us to shift our focus on some of other surging markets, such as senior living, health care, higher education, and affordable housing. And so again, that’s the thing about business, you have to adapt to the changing markets. You can’t be a one trick pony. You can’t just do one thing well, but we’re very, very thrilled about this year and we’re looking forward to a great 2023 as well.”

Pennsylvania is known for having the most senior living communities per capita in the United States. By seeing this as an opportunity, Mowery invested a lot of time into developing great relationships within the senior living market. By adapting to market needs and trends, this allowed Mowery Construction to continue working and developing projects within not just one market, but multiple markets.

With plans to continue growing, Mowery Construction has no intentions of limiting itself to the Pennsylvania area. While PA may well be home, the company has plans for regional expansion. The loyalty of its long-standing clients is taking Mowery Construction to new locations such as New Jersey, Maryland, West Virginia, Delaware and into New York. But no matter how much the company grows and expands, William is certain of one thing.

“I think the fundamentals of building relationships, taking care of your customers, hiring good people, training, and developing them will always be important. It’s something that we can replicate in other areas as we grow.”

Mowery Construction’s continuous investments in people may not provide the same types of cash returns usual investments offer but trying to place a price on valuable relationships and client loyalty will never work. This is why more companies should be inspired by Mowery Construction and begin investing in people, because the returns will always be more rewarding.

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