The Crossland Way

By Marcy Marro Seated (l to r): Mike Crossland, Bennie Crossland; Standing (l to r): Chris Crossland, Patrick Crossland, Curt Crossland and Ivan Crossland Jr. Ivan Crossland Sr. began working at the age of 12, and by 1977, had started his own construction company in the family garage in Columbus, Kan. A husband and father… Continue reading The Crossland Way
By Marcy Marro

Crossland _brothers
Seated (l to r): Mike Crossland, Bennie Crossland;
Standing (l to r): Chris Crossland, Patrick Crossland,
Curt Crossland and Ivan Crossland Jr.

Ivan Crossland Sr. began working at the age of 12, and by 1977, had started his own construction company in the family garage in Columbus, Kan. A husband and father of 10 children, Ivan’s vision and integrity has led Crossland Construction Co. Inc. from its humble beginnings to an Engineering News Record Top 400 company. Today, with Ivan Sr.’s six sons at the helm, the general contracting company has seven offices and more than 850 employees. “Through hard work, integrity and trust, Ivan instilled a formula for dedicated and responsible leadership that will guide Crossland Construction into the next generations,” says Bennie Crossland, president.

Guiding Principles

Nicknamed Red Iron, Ivan Sr. always had a “nothing is impossible” attitude that showed through his tremendous drive and a work ethic that knew no bounds. Crossland says his father taught his children to compete-everything from throwing rocks to races with each other-and nurtured that trait, helping them to grow. When Red Iron passed away in 2002, the brothers learned to work together as leaders to move the company forward. They understand the importance of leadership development in a company their size.

As part of the company’s strategic planning, they put together a simple instruction guide of best practices of everything they do for new people as they come into the company. “We didn’t want to reinvent the wheel and start over every time,” Crossland explains. “We invented a methodology book and called it ‘The Crossland Way.’ Some of that methodology came about as part of the culture of our company, things that we do and the way we accomplish tasks.”

Crossland explains that working with his brothers is exciting, challenging and enjoyable. “We all have different jobs with different challenges, and it helps us to have a perspective of where we are and what we need to do. Our dad taught us to work hard together and play hard together.” The brothers continue to stick together, having recently taken a family trip with 48 members of their immediate families to Phoenix.

Baker _Hughes _crossland
Ariel view of Baker Hughes, Williston, N.D.

Building Relationships

Long and lasting relationships have been key to the company’s growth over the years. “Ivan Sr. had a vision to grow the company one relationship at a time,” explains Crossland. “Every town he built something in he created a friendship and that’s how we grew. Word of mouth grew from person to person and town to town.”

“Our secret to success has been what it has always been, focusing on our customers and giving them a great project,” Crossland explains. “They in turn have blessed us with opportunities. It’s all about relationships.”

The company’s success goes beyond its relationships with customers to employees, subcontractors and suppliers. “The more relationships you build, the more successful you will be,” Crossland says.

A Competitive Edge

The company stands out in its ability to self-perform work. “In today’s age, more and more contractors are becoming brokers of work and don’t get their hands dirty,” Crossland says. “At Crossland we still focus on dirt work, concrete, concrete flat work, steel erection, and rough and finish carpentry. It gives us a competitive edge against our competition and allows us to look at projects in a way that others don’t. It gives us a practical sense of how to build jobs.”

Crossland notes that the company believes in training its workforce, using the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) certification to certify the steel and concrete crews. The company also invests heavily in the education of its employees, with a goal of everyone continually improving, whether it’s on the job-site training or whether they are a project manager. “We require each person in the company to get at least 20 hours of continuing education per year,” Crossland says. “Our goal this year is to have 30,000 hours of training through Crossland Construction.”

Safety is emphasized in everything Crossland Construction does. Last year the company’s Experience Modification Factor, or mod factor, was 0.54, and its Recordable Incident Rate (RIR) was 2.9, well below industry averages. The company is on the verge of passing a million man-hours without a lost work-time accident, and for the last several years has received the gold or silver STEP award from Associated Builders and Contractors. “One of the things we have implemented is that any worker can stop a job at any time for unsafe work practice,” Crossland says. “Empowering our employees for safety on the job has been a real key.”

Tamko _Crossland
TAMKO, Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Giving Back

The company also feels it is important to be good members of the community. “We feel it is important to give back to our schools, our churches and our communities in any way that we can,” Crossland says. “We encourage our employees to be involved and have a part in the life of their home communities.”

Recently, the company funded the Ivan Crossland Sr. Football Complex at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College in Miami, Okla., and provided a major gift to Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kan., to build the President’s House. It had been named the Crossland Family University House by the Kansas State Board of Regents.

Currently, Crossland explains that the older brothers are working hard to pass on their culture and philosophies to the third generation. “Crossland [Construction] wouldn’t be what it is today, without the effort of its 850 employees,” Crossland says. “They work in some of the toughest conditions, and always amaze me at their drive and determination to get the job done. I’m really proud of all these people. Others say it’s their people that make a difference, but at Crossland we prove it every day. It makes me proud that from the family garage to being an ENR Top 100 Company, Crossland Construction has grown into the company Red Iron always knew it could be.”


Company Profile

Year Founded: 1977

Location: Corporate office in Columbus, Kan.

Regional offices in Rogers, Ark.; Tulsa, Okla.;

Prosper, Texas; Oklahoma City; Denver; and

Kansas City, Mo.

Services Offered: General Contracting,

Construction Management, Design-Build

Number of Employees: More than 850

2012 Total Revenue: Over $500 million


Metal Building Square Footage Installed:

2011 – 1,140,947 square feet

2010 – 1,178,280 square feet

2009 – (unavailable)

2008 – 1,139,940 square feet

2007 – 895,649 square feet

2006 – 1,957,895 square feet


Management Team:

Ivan Crossland Jr., CEO

Bennie Crossland, President

Curt Crossland, Executive Vice President

Mike Crossland, Executive Vice President

Chris Crossland, Executive Vice President

Patrick Crossland, Executive Vice President