Turner Industries: Big and Getting Bigger
With $2 billion in revenue last year, Turner Industries Group LLC skyrocketed to the top on this year's ENR Texas & Louisiana regional contractor rankings. While the Baton Rouge industrial contractor reaps the benefits of rising oil-and-gas sector prospects, relationships forged over decades are the foundation of its success. Turner's long-term contracts with petrochemical clients illustrate its performance consistency, earning it accolades from owner groups such as the Construction Users Roundtable. Based on recent results and its history of success, Turner Industries has been named Contractor of the Year by ENR Texas & Louisiana.
Turner emerged from the recession with solid momentum. The firm reported Texas and Louisiana revenue of $1.56 billion in 2010, followed by $1.78 billion in 2011 and $2.05 billion last year. Given the buoyant outlook for the oil-and-gas sector, Turner appears poised to capitalize on future opportunities.
But Roland Toups, chairman and CEO of Turner Industries, recognizes that the firm's future is dependent on its past performance. In the petrochemical industry, where companies are large but limited in number, losing a client can be devastating.
"The root of what we do is the integrity we've built into our organization," he says. "ROI doesn't just stand for return on investment, it stands for return on integrity. You respect your people and respect your clients. That's something you can build on."
That guiding principle is particularly evident in Turner Industries' contract maintenance operations. Although the 52-year-old company has its roots in industrial construction—originally as Nichols Construction—it added contract maintenance capabilities in the 1970s to provide a more stable base of work. Today, Turner is among the top contract maintenance firms in the country, as ranked by ENR. Contract maintenance represents roughly half of Turner Industries revenue, with approximately 9,000 workers at 200 sites.
"You can't just be a labor broker," Toups says. "You have to treat that client's business like it's your own. Someone can easily replace you if they think you're slighting them."
For some clients, that relationship has led to a range of assignments over the years. Ken Baird, project purchasing manager at Westlake Chemical, Houston, has worked with Turner for 15 years, hiring the contractor for maintenance and construction projects. "Turner brings a strong and knowledgeable supervisory and managerial group, and they can get a work force equal to the task," he says. "Those are two very important things to me."
Baird notes that although the company is firmly entrenched at several of its facilities, Turner Industries competitively bids its work. "They prefer to do that," he says. "They do good work and want to prove it."