M/WBE Firm: HISD Business Assistance Office Offers Accessibility

Editor’s note: This profile is part of an occasional series on minority or women-owned companies that do business with HISD. The district’s minimum M/WBE goal levels are 20 percent for all levels of purchasing and construction, and 25 percent for professional services. In the 2007 bond program, that commitment reached nearly 34 percent. In the 2012 program, the contracts awarded to date reflect a nearly 51 percent M/WBE commitment.

Name of business: Taylor Construction Management

Headquarters: Houston

Number of employees: Seven, and planning to hire at least two more this year

Years in business: Three

Troi Taylor

Answering the questions: Troi Taylor, president

Q. What is the primary purpose of your business?

A. We provide facility project management consultation from an owner’s perspective. We are at the forefront of critical facility improvement projects with unique leadership needs to deliver a tight budget, fast-track completion and stringent regulatory requirements.

Q. What is the business background of the owners?

A. The company is owned by my wife, Kelley, and me. I have an academic background in engineering and business and have practiced facility project management for more than 15 years. Kelley has an academic background in information technology and business and is a certified human resources professional.

Q. Why did you start this particular business?

A. We saw a void in project delivery outcomes. We realized that many construction teams were passively managing projects by depending on a clipboard approach to document project statuses. Stakeholders had become accustomed to budget overruns and schedule deadlines not being met. Project managers simply reported the project status versus accepting responsibility to influence the outcome of the final product. Taylor Construction Management is positioned to elevate current leadership expectations by demonstrating that any project can be delivered within all cost, schedule and scope parameters given the right project management style.

Q. What makes your business unique?

A. Our industry is graded by one’s ability to deliver projects on time, under budget and within a defined quality or scope parameter. Taylor Construction Management has delivered our last 10 projects at least $1 million under budget and at least one month ahead of schedule. We believe to be early is to be on time, to be on time is to be late, and to be late is unheard of.

Q. What do you enjoy most about your chosen profession?

A. We enjoy creating something tangible and monumental from a simple idea. Our projects start with a vision statement. That statement is expressed in a conceptual model and ultimately in construction documents. We hire several consultants and contractors and are charged with getting the collective team on one accord: to share the same design, construction and quality outcome goals while ensuring we meet the schedule and budget constraints.

Q. What has been the biggest or most interesting challenge to overcome as a business owner?

A. We compete daily against established firms with expansive portfolios. Since our company can’t boast several years of existence, we market that we collectively bring more than 30 years of experience compressed into almost three years of doing business as Taylor Construction Management. Our personnel are all executive level project management professionals that held leadership roles at well-established firms. We are challenged daily with trying to communicate the value of hiring Taylor Construction Management (i.e. we can respond quickly and are extremely flexible to meet unique project delivery needs, etc.).

Q. How did the district’s Business Assistance program help you before and after you were awarded a contract?

A. The HISD Business Assistance Program was accessible and gave us very early notice about the 2012 bond initiative and offered multiple opportunities to build meaningful relationships prior to the November 2012 election. After we were awarded the contract, they have remained accessible to offer guidance that has already proven to be financially and professionally rewarding for my firm.

Q. Tell us about the contract you were recently awarded?

A. In the first quarter of 2013, we teamed with Heery International to provide program management for the 2012 bond referendum. This relationship has created a mutually beneficial collaboration where our collective and diverse backgrounds allow us to respond to programmatic needs throughout the Construction and Facility Services Department at HISD.

Q. How do you feel about this new business opportunity, and how do you believe your company will make a difference for HISD?

A. Being awarded a contract with HISD has been a major prayer answered for my family and my company. We are truly humbled by the opportunity, and we definitely don’t take it for granted. To that end, we are working continuously to demonstrate our value-add to the 2012 bond program and are committed to showing the HISD team that this is a great investment, resulting in flexible and collaborative 21st century schools.

Q. What advice would you give M/WBE firms seeking to do business with HISD?

A. M/WBE firms should know their value proposition, understand their capacity limits, try to build mutually beneficial relationships with key stakeholders early, and understand that the process is a marathon approach where the diligent are rewarded in the end.