Q&A with Kevin Thompson

Kevin Thompson talks about DPR’s Special Services Group

In 1997, DPR, which was ranked the 46th largest contractor in the country at the time, formally established its Special Services Group (SSG) to ensure that customers’ needs were being met regardless of project size. The group’s focus: smaller projects. Today, SSG continues as a core part of DPR’s business with more than 130 projects under $5 million currently under construction.

Has DPR seen a rise in SSG work over the last 12 months?

Yes, a number of customers are taking advantage of current market conditions and the capacity available in the industry. They are using this time to upgrade and maintain their facilities. Recent projects have included replacing HVAC systems, installing new energy efficient owner equipment, and many other renovation projects.

We’ve also been doing a lot of preconstruction work with local institutions, conducting feasibility studies to support grant applications for Recovery Act Funds to improve their facilities.

What are some of the benefits of working with DPR?

Small projects are nothing new to DPR. It’s been a big part of our business since the beginning and has helped us build some lasting relationships with customers. Recently, we’ve seen an increase in competitors, who have never done this type of work before, and what I don’t think they fully realize is that small projects require a different set of skills. We’ve identified teams across the company who have those skills and experience to work in tight occupied spaces with fast schedules, little documentation and limited budgets. We also offer the expertise and sophistication of a large national organization that a customer can call upon for any size job.

What project are you most proud of so far?

I’m proud of every project, whether it’s moving a door or building a BSL-3 lab. They are all an important part of our business. The real success stories are when a repeat customer comes to us and says, “I have this really tough technical job, and I just don’t think there’s anyone else who can do it.” Those are the successes that lead to more jobs and opportunities to build deeper relationships. It’s a great feeling.