During this time of economic unrest, when companies and contractors are going out of business left and right, Kovach Building Enclosures in Chandler, Ariz., made a strategic move last year that is paying off in more ways than one.
The metal panel and glazing company got its start in spring 1969 when Stephen E. Kovach III founded Kovach Properties in Scottsdale, Ariz., after spending 15 years with E.G. Smith Organization, Pittsburgh, a leading industrial metal siding and roofing manufacturer/contractor during the 1950s and 1960s. Once established in Scottsdale, Kovach III started marketing metal roof and wall systems in the western United States. Shortly thereafter, Stephen E. Kovach IV joined the company as an installation foreman. Since then, Kovach Building Enclosures has grown to employ more than 250 experienced industry personnel, many with 10 to 20 years of service.
A custom fabricator of sheet metal products, Kovach Building Enclosures has a full-service draft/detailing department in house, dedicated project management, and laser-scanning technology to facilitate system placement and field coordination. The company also offers Building Information Modeling and 3-D modeling. A national contractor, the Kovach has an emphasis on the southwest United States. Currently, the company is working on projects in seven states.
Kovach Building Enclosures started 2013 with Scott Bourdo as president, Stephen E. Kovach V as vice president, and Kovach IV as principal. “Kovach Building Enclosures has seen changes in the way we do business through this economy and the demand that challenging projects create,” says Kovach IV. “We have always prided ourselves in representing the newest products, providing the best service to our clients and doing these two things while being competitive in the marketplace.”
In February 2012, one of the nation’s largest glazing contractors, Alsip, Ill.-based Trainor Glass Co. ceased all of its company operations. Kovach Building Enclosures decided to take this unique opportunity to add glass and glazing to its exterior cladding operation, absorbing Trainor’s entire Southwest operations. This move makes the company a full building enclosure company, and one of the leading exterior enclosure companies in the nation.
The company hired Trainor’s remaining staff, integrating them into the organization without any additional revenue streams. “During a recessionary time, we added 40 staff to our team and within two days of notifying our customer base, we had our first project on [Northern Arizona University’s] campus,” explains Bourdo. “Soon after, several glazing-only contracts, as well as full building enclosure jobs, were booked. Our risk paid off and we are a better company because of it.”
“By absorbing Trainor’s glass and glazing operation we can offer full enclosure packages to owners, construction managers and designers,” says Kovach IV. “It’s been well received in the marketplace and our business model will have an emphasis on this approach moving forward. To stay on the cutting edge of our industry, we need to meet the design and construction challenges that our customers put before us. Projects are becoming more complex with less time to build; we plan on being the answer to the industry’s demand for problem solving in building enclosures.”
“We have the right people in the right places to continue to respond positively to the demands of the constant challenges this model creates,” Kovach IV adds.
An Evolving Company
Kovach Building Enclosures isn’t the same company it was five or 10 years ago, Bourdo explains. “We’ve grown to be much more sophisticated in our organization, delivery method and the products we provide. What will not change is that we are innovative, reliable, dependable and 100 percent client-focused. We will continue to evolve and change with our product offerings, servicing clients better and being market-driven.”
“We have taken the company to a whole new level based on our experience,” says Kovach IV. “We will continue to adapt and change and move much faster to bring innovative solutions to the architectural community. That’s the value we believe we bring-we are problem solvers.”
This year’s goal is to push design assist for the entire exterior envelope, Kovach V notes, while servicing clients to the best of their ability. “Their perception is our reality,” he adds. “We have taken qualities from Trainor by integrating larger company procedures while maintaining Kovach’s family-oriented culture.”
“Externally we are strategically positioning ourselves in the markets we do business in; internally we are empowering our staff, providing learning opportunities and making Kovach a great place to work,” adds Kovach V.
Investing in the Future
A fiscally responsible company, Bourdo notes that when the economy was at its peak about six years ago, Kovach Building Enclosures didn’t leverage themselves, instead, investing in upgraded equipment and eliminating debt. He goes on to note that when prices were at their lowest, the company built its second 70,000-square-foot facility in preparation for future growth.
Last year, the company’s revenue grew 30 percent, and increased its internal capacity to handle the growth with the added Trainor field, shop, estimating and operational staff. “Owners are looking for single-source responsibility, and [construction managers] are looking for single-source logistics, problem solving, design assist and coordinated shop drawings,” says Bourdo. “We’ve answered that call by offering a full enclosure solution. There are cost and quality benefits to a single-source subcontractor that can streamline the process. Projects see efficiencies in management, logistics and cost by going that route, but you need smart people on board and adequate support staff to be effective. Having a wide range of experience and innovation in an organization will breed success.”
“We can handle just about any type of project from power plants to hospitals to private work, right now we are strategically positioned for more growth in higher education, health care and private development,” explains Kovach V. “We have successfully performed work in 20 states over the years. Geographically, our current focus is on the Southwest and Sunbelt states-Texas is an emerging market for us once again.”
“As we develop roots in these markets we have replicated our deep commitment to being community focused-helping kids and mentoring young adults,” explains Kovach IV. “We also hire locally and stay involved in the community.”
|From left to right: Scott Bourdo, Stephen
E. Kovach V and Stephen E. Kovach IV
Year Founded: 1969
Location: Chandler, Ariz.
Services Offered: Preconstruction and Design Assist, Building Information Modeling (BIM), Laser Scanning, Performance Testing and Construction
Markets Served: Education, Healthcare, Municipal/Federal, Office, Industrial and Hospitality/Entertainment
Number of Employees: 260
2012 Total Revenue: $30M+
D. Scott Bourdo, President
Stephen E. Kovach V, Vice President
Stephen E. Kovach IV, Principal