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Company honored as top contractor

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A Columbus company that manages major business renovation projects nationwide has been honored as the state’s best.

Taylor Brothers Construction Inc. was general contractor of the year by the Indiana Subcontractors Association. Voting was done by subcontractors who work with Taylor Brothers, competing against some of Indiana’s biggest and best-known construction firms.

Taylor Brothers is part of the Harmon Group, led by CEO Tom Harmon, and company President David Doup. Jeff Chandler serves as vice president, and James Euler is secretary/treasurer.

Companies submit three projects as examples of their work, and the subcontractors who work on those projects provide a peer review of the company’s performance.

The company chose three fast-paced projects for national retailer Target as the ones that would be scored by subcontractors, Doup said. The Target stores — in Indiana, Illinois and Michigan — involved remodeling the interiors and adding the grocery area that has become a growth area for the retail giant.

Taylor Brothers had to accomplish the remodels in as little as 13 weeks, Chandler and Euler said. Two to three shifts were running a day, and the store remained open during the remodels, adding even more of a challenge for the subcontractors, Harmon said.

“It’s like overhauling an airplane in midflight,” Harmon said.

Taylor Brothers employees coordinate mechanical, electrical, flooring, refrigeration, painting, steel and concrete work. All of it must fall into line in order for the renovation to be completed within the time frame, he said.

“We have to work very closely with the Target store teams to make that happen,” Harmon said. “Failure is not an option,” he said. “We can’t miss an (grand) opening.”

In some cases, the stores are moving their product lines around the store during the renovation and already have set sales dates that must be met that depend on the renovation being completed, Euler said. That makes it even more imperative that the company can work successfully with subcontractors to make sure the job is done quickly and professionally, he said.

There are always surprises that have to be handled without disrupting the project, Harmon said, calling it just a part of the job.

The Harmon group consists of Taylor Brothers Construction Co., Harmon Construction Inc. and Harmon Steel Inc., a family owned and operated group that offers specialized services individually, but also works together on projects.

Taylor Brothers has completed renovation projects for both public and private structures, including some big names in retail, education and medical services.

In addition to Target, its client list includes CVS, Speedway, Macy’s, Cummins, General Motors, Columbus Learning Center, Purdue University and Columbus Regional Hospital.

The company had submitted projects for the award four previous times, but this is the first time it has won.

The management team is particularly proud that the award is based on how Taylor Brothers is viewed by the subcontractors who work for them.

“It’s a strong reflection on how good a job our employees placed in the field, our office support staff and personnel do,” Harmon said. “We are very subcontractor-friendly,” he added, saying word gets around and talented subcontractors always want to work with companies that treat them well.

The company also was honored with the Top Notch Contractor of the Year in Indiana, which honors contractors with union shops. Taylor Brothers is a union contractor to the carpenter and laborer unions.

Michelle Boyd, Top Notch executive director, said the annual award is given to the contractor that exhibits high achievement in efficiency, safety, employee training, and how the company invests in its local community.

Taylor Brothers wowed the selection committee — made up of construction experts from around the state — with its recent projects from around the nation. But the awards committee was particularly impressed with how Taylor Brothers employees reviewed their employer.

A component of the award selection process allows Top Notch to ask the company’s union employees what they think.

“Taylor Brothers employee references came back extremely strong,” Boyd said, adding it was very obvious the employees respect and enjoy working for the construction company.

“They have a strong national network,” she said of the company. “They have built such a reputation nationally.”

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