Good growth for Hensel Phelps

Before becoming a multi-billion-dollar company, Hensel Phelps started in 1937 in Greeley, CO as a small, local builder. Twenty years later in the 1950s, Joseph Phelps, son of founder Hensel Phelps, decided that the best way to attract the most talented construction people was to offer them ownership in the company. Because of that, the workforce Hensel Phelps attracted held an entrepreneurial spirit, enabling individuals to make decisions for the long-term interest of the company.

Business flourished due to work ethic and quality, and Hensel Phelps expanded in 1967. Their first branch office opened up in Burlingame, CA. After that, offices opened across the country in places like Arkansas, Virginia and Florida.

The reason for such solid growth was due to Hensel Phelps’ client-driven philosophy. Most builders claim to build faster, more cost effective and better than their competitors. Hensel Phelps, however, actually developed ways to build more effectively in the late 1970s and early 1980s when high interest rates created a need for speed. Once developed, faster construction methods were integrated into Hensel Phelps’ management systems. Expedited completions allowed owners to occupy their buildings sooner, saving finance costs and generating income early. 

Now, when Hensel Phelps is involved early in the construction process, during the design phase, they have a proven track record of making cost-saving recommendations without affecting the building’s aesthetics.

The client-centered spirit is part of a systematic management approach taught to all of Hensel Phelps managers, superintendents and craftspeople. When Hensel Phelps assembles employees for any project, they work as a team. The strength of Hensel Phelps’ employees is their cross-training. All Hensel Phelps construction professionals experience a number of responsibilities on each job and apply their skills to diverse project types. Rather than get stuck into building only one type of project throughout their careers, individuals learn to master challenges of all types and to conceptualize the construction process.

Despite its nationwide growth, the company has retained its Midwestern influences for ethical business practices and a genuine commitment to its people. In fact, more than anything else, the Hensel Phelps story is one about and for people, which started 70 years ago.


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