LaForce chose to enter the Phoenix market with a physical office presence back in 2011, to serve the growing construction market. Since opening the office in Mesa five years ago, this market has really taken off for the company. Our faithful Phoenix office manager, Jerry Shown, relocated from the Green Bay headquarters (where he had worked for ten years) to oversee this new, dynamic team from the outset. Read on for Jerry’s reflections and proud moments from the last five years!
“Going to work with people I had never met before seemed a little odd at first, but we developed a rapport pretty quickly, which is a testament to the good people who were here at the time. In the space of five years, we have built a complete team.”
Jerry’s talented team covers each of LaForce’s areas of business: Sales (serving both new and existing construction), Small Projects, Architectural Services, Security Integration, Project Management, Installation, and Shop. This close-knit team works hard on every project, balancing each other’s strengths, which has lead to tremendous growth.
“Sales growth has been one of our biggest accomplishments. The new construction side of the business took off quickly and has grown each year. We are now working hard to grow our Aftermarket Sales division, which serves existing facilities’ needs.”
With all this sales growth, it makes sense that Jerry and his team have developed key relationships with both large and small customers in Arizona!
“We’ve developed relationships with some well-established General Contractors in Arizona, including Kitchell, McCarthy and DL Withers. We’ve worked on a number of projects with Banner Health, the largest hospital chain in Arizona. With McCarthy, we’ve worked on several West MEC new campus projects.”
“Bruce and Hugo have been here since the beginning. They appreciate the ability to pursue projects of varying scope and size. They are a special team and we sometimes refer to them by their celebrity couple nickname: “Brugo!””
Not only does the Phoenix team bring many projects to the company, but they also bring new knowledge. An office in the U.S. Southwest has positioned LaForce in a unique market. Customers in Phoenix desire new and different products and services that allow the company, as a whole, to take advantage of changing trends in the construction industry.
“Being in Phoenix offers LaForce seasonal and geographic diversity outside of our Midwestern base. Being closer to the West Coast, the Phoenix office also provides a “sneak peak” into industry-wide trends that are making their way from the coast toward the heartland. Access Control, for example, has now taken off everywhere, but five years ago, it was more prevalent in this market as opposed to the Midwest.”
Phoenix-area customers especially appreciate LaForce’s ability to supply and install products. This competency in quality installation has given LaForce a leg-up in other offices as well.
“The vast majority of our customers want to purchase the material and the installation from us. We continue to work on meeting this challenge in multiple ways, including new and deepening relationships with outside installation partners, hiring our own installers, and promotion of the pre-installation process.”
Besides growing these other niches for LaForce, the Phoenix team provides diversity in experience and human capital. Jerry is quick to emphasize the value of each team member and the individual efforts that contribute to the office’s success, which is sure to continue into the future.
“Over the next five years, we are committed to demonstrating growth in all of our efforts. This includes growth in sales metrics, profit margins, size, and expertise. Each of us in the Phoenix office is committed to personal growth in an effort to keep pace with our changing industry.”
We look forward to seeing what you do with the next five years! Thank you to the entire Phoenix team for your commitment to LaForce.