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Businessexcellence September 07 46 for rework, on time and in full; in fact, it strives to complete ahead of time. After all, the Packers would not want to look for an alternative venue while the last minute problems are sorted out. “As self-performing contractors, we know where the costs are in concrete, carpentry and so on,” said Kippenhan. “We have a real good base of longstanding subcontractors, who know about time requirements, and also know they will be well-treated, paid fairly and on time. Treating people with respect is all part of our game plan.” What the company describes as its ‘Team Miron’ approach is focused on customer satisfaction. The team-based design-build methodology delivers design and construction quality, based on a template that doesn’t sacrifice individuality in order to achieve compliance with preordained ideas. Miron has over 1,000 skilled trades people on staff, which puts it in the top 125 in the construction industry across the country; fairly unusual for a regionally-based organization. Its commitment to excellence is reflected in its payroll of project managers, site superintendents, estimators and safety professionals, and its history and heritage have enabled it to build up the largest base of suppliers and contractors in the Midwest. diversify its portfolio. Miron was founded in 1918, by a Canadian immigrant named Patrick G. Miron. Its original home office was rented at $25 a month; today, it operates from a modern, 60,000-squarefoot state-of-the-art headquarters building in Neenah, WI. It has expanded both its client base and area of operations from the Fox River Valley to become one of the largest independent construction companies in the Midwest. Miron has grown through its ongoing commitment to delivering excellence to all of its customers, whatever the business or activity in which they are involved. “We differentiate ourselves by, first, being very competitive,” said Kippenhan. “Price point is always an issue. We believe we can always be cost-effective, through the involvement of key individuals from early on in the process, whether in design-build or in the bid situation. We take on a lot of ownership of projects from the outset. We’re known to complete in a timely fashion and we’re pretty aggressive on scheduling.” Anyone who’s ever been involved in construction, especially as a client, knows that ‘delivering on time’ isn’t always the same as completion when expected. Miron prides itself on delivering the finished product, without need

September 07 Businessexcellence 47 Miron’s ‘round table’ philosophy gets its professionals involved with projects and their owners from the earliest possible stage, and is designed to ensure close liaison throughout. Miron’s approach leads to informal, intense discussions that assure quality, that schedules are met, and competitive pricing is retained, which Miron does not believe is incompatible with a well-paid, highly-skilled staff. “We created our School of Construction about seven years ago,” Kippenhan said. “It uses education as the means to improve workforce standards and covers everything from safety to project-specifi c issues. We explain why our rules are as they are, which helps our people to take more pride in their work and to become more professional.” But quality people are expensive. How does Miron square that circle? “We fi rmly believe that quality people are more effective in the process. Quality is a benefi t that our clients are not willing to sacrifi ce. Quality and expertise demand a good wage and we feel that is a fair trade. As we’ve grown, we’ve gained a lot of dedicated individuals, who take pride in their work. It’s defi nitely a win-win situation, for us and our customers.” The future of construction is not going to be the same as its past; that’s a foreign country, where they did things differently. Miron is proud to have won LEED (Leadership in Energy Effi cient Design) accreditation. “Green issues are becoming more important, especially as energy prices have risen and continue to increase,” said Kippenhan. “Effi cient needn’t be expensive; the higher upfront cost works out at about three to four per cent, and that pays for itself in reduced utility costs over about two years. Energy effi ciency is the future, and we’re excited to be a part of it.” Miron Construction