Steve Tyink, vice president of business innovation at Miron Construction Co., Inc., began his career in leadership roles at country clubs, including North Shore Golf Club in Menasha, before joining Bergstrom, where he served first as vice president of human resources and quality and later as vice president of Saturn operations and leadership development until 2006. He spoke with Insight Associate Editor Nikki Kallio about creating buildings that set companies apart from their competitors.
At Miron, we’ve worked really hard at differentiating ourselves from all the competition in the construction industry. A number of years ago our owners, Dave Voss and Tim Kippenhan, just became frustrated that the industry was replicating what they’ve always done. And if you always do what you always did, you’re always going to get what you always got.
Our customers are looking for something completely unique and different than they were looking for in their construction partner years ago.
There’s a reason why they’re building: They’d like to gain market share, or they’d like to propel their business in a new direction. It might be to make their building or their operations more efficient. It might be to enhance their reputation within their industry or their community, or to attract and retain talent. The buildings are not only important for people to do work, but they’re becoming strategic weapons of differentiation for organizations. It’s all about relationships.
We’ll spend a lot of time up front in preconstruction services understanding their organization, not only from the process standpoint but from an operational standpoint, so when they move into the new building we’re already ahead. A construction project will take somewhere between 12 months and 18 months from start to finish, so how can we predict the future? We do that through the use of innovation teams from that company, stakeholders that have specific knowledge regarding what they do.
If we’re working on a hospital, we’ll get together with the registration folks and we’ll ask them the challenges they have and the frustrations that patients go through every single day. Our job is to understand what they see as ideal, but then also map out that future state, so when we move into that new facility, we not only have incredible patient experience and incredible staff experience, but we’ve helped to differentiate them from the competition.
There’s a dynamic shift going on in construction now. It used to be all about the bricks and mortar, and that’s obviously still critical to the long-term success of our business, but it’s become much more robust.
We’ve seen tremendous growth in the new construction side, especially within the last couple of years. Existing facilities are looking to be retrofitted, not only from an energy standpoint, but from a functionality standpoint. What used to work even two years ago is no longer working, so people are looking for efficiencies.
Sustainability is a huge trend not only from an energy efficiency standpoint for buildings but also just taking care of the environment. Sustainability is part of every project that we work on now, in some way.
We’re coming off the best year in the history of Miron – we’re very proud of that. We’re seeing dynamic growth in the health care industry. Schools are our strongest market, not only from the K-12 market, but also from the college market. We’re doing Fox Valley Technical College additions.
We’re seeing strong growth in the energy market, from power plants to biomass and biogas. We’re seeing strong growth in the industrial sector. We’re seeing tremendous growth, as well, in the commercial office environments. We’re working with a number of credit unions, banks and financial providers on creating new environments for their customers.
It’s really exciting right now in our business. Put your seatbelts on.