BMW Constructors Inc.

In an economic climate where many companies seek as many projects as they can – even those in sectors otherwise unfamiliar to them – BMW Constructors Inc. is taking a different approach. “The vision I have is to continue to increase our volume and profit and grow the company one customer at a time,” CEO Brian Acton says. “We’re different from others in that we don’t chase projects – we look for clients we can do repeat projects for whose values align with ours.”

The Indianapolis-based general industrial contractor serves several industries including the aerospace, pharmaceutical, refining, power generation, biotechnology, chemical and semiconductor sectors. Its capabilities include building and maintaining process units, mechanical equipment installation and maintenance, process piping, structural steel erection and boilermaker services. 

BMW serves as a prime general contractor on its projects, working directly with owners to offer services including construction management, design/assist, design/build, constructability studies and value-engineering.

Roughly 80 percent of the company’s total business is with repeat clients. “With our model, growth can sometimes be slow, but it is steady and assured growth, and I have no intention of changing that,” Acton says. “We are a union contractor, so we look for areas of the country that are union-biased and for clients we can provide value to, whether they’re in the same geographic areas we are in now or new areas.

“We look for customers for life – clients where we can be the preferred contractor.”

The company’s oldest client, Eli Lilly and Company, first hired BMW in 1956, one year after the contractor was founded. BMW performs mechanical maintenance and capital construction work at the pharmaceutical company’s facilities in Indianapolis.

BMW Constructors serves clients in the Midwestern states. Its parent company, BMWC Group, serves other areas of the United States through two other subsidiaries.

Strong Demand

BMW’s current projects include replacing and upgrading processing units at BP’s facility in Whiting, Ind., in order for the refinery to process Canadian crude from the oil sands.

Other recent projects include building a new refinery for Heritage-Crystal Clean in Indianapolis. The facility will be used to process used oil, Acton says.

Because of these and other projects, the company is projecting an increase in revenue this year. To handle the additional demand, the company has hired more than 55 new salaried employees including project managers and administrators since 2011, the year Acton assumed his current post. Acton has worked at BMW for 27 years, he says.

Acton credits the company’s ability to continue to find work in the current economic landscape to both its diverse capabilities across several industries as well as the value it offers to clients. BMW is a strong proponent of lean construction methods, he notes.

“We’ve been able to continue our success through remaining flexible, adapting quickly and being a high-performance contractor,” Acton adds. 

“Through lean construction we can provide high value at a lower cost, and we are in the right industrial niches, especially with the power generation industry looking at meeting EPA clean air mandates.”

All of BMW’s projects are performed under strict safety standards overseen by a corporate safety director. “We create a culture of caring across the company and drive home the fact that we want everyone to go home safety,” Acton says.

A High-Value Staff

BMW’s success is also due in no small part to the dedication of its staff, who closely follow a number of processes and procedures that Acton says allows them to provide cost savings to clients and project owners.

“We are a process-driven organization,” he adds. “We are dedicated to continuous improvement in every aspect of our business to provide value to the owner.”

This includes providing additional quality services and closely integrating its accounting process with that of owners, which allows for timely cost forecasting and accurate invoicing. “We speak with our clients constantly and ask them what we can do for them,” Acton says. “If we can’t provide clients with the best value, then they don’t need us.”

All BMWC Group affiliates follow a set of standardized procedures across all projects, which ensures consistency and repeatability, he adds. 

Acton believes strongly in developing the skills and knowledge of his staff. “We spend a lot of time and resources hiring the best people and working on career development and leadership skills, and that helps us with providing the best service to our clients,” he says. 

Development programs include sending future leaders to a weeklong leadership course at the Center for Creative Leadership in Colorado Springs, matching them with leadership coaches and yearly employee development plans.

BMW staff engages with clients and the community in other ways, as well. “As a corporation, we donate a percentage of our profits to charities every year and encourage employees already involved in the community to come to us to match their donations,” Acton says.

Contact Us

Construction Today Magazine

Cringleford Business Centre
Intwood Road
Cringleford, Norwich, UK
NR4 6AU

Click here for a full list of contacts.

Back To Top