A recent short list of local efforts includes the $220 million third and fourth Cerner Innovations Campus buildings; the $193 million new Johnson County Courthouse in Olathe; and design-build work for the $1.5 billion new Kansas City International Airport terminal’s 6,150-space parking garage.
Despite a sterling string of projects, the nationwide commercial general contractor is not resting on its laurels.
JE Dunn will look to pursue more vertical integration and set up a Kansas City facility to support prebuild and prefabrication work, CEO Gordon Lansford said.
The construction industry on the whole “has a long way to go” to adopt new technologies, Lansford said. JE Dunn hopes to be a leader of innovations that will increase productivity and reduce construction costs.
One such innovation, introduced several years ago and since refined, is its conceptual estimating platform, Lens. Developed with Autodesk and Microsoft, Lens analyzes and updates project budget and cost figures at all stages of preconstruction, rather than just at set deliverable dates.
“We’re able to deliver a high level of confidence early on in a project’s design to the owner,” said Paul Neidlein, president of the Midwest region. “Our clients without fail are responding to that and telling us: ‘Nobody ever does this for me. I’ve never seen anything like this.’ It’s really driving to a better outcome.”
The company also has made strides through its longtime Dunn Minority Contractor Development program. Under the initiative, which JE Dunn began years ago in Kansas City and since expanded nationally, the company interviews, selects and trains small minority and women’s business enterprises. To date, the company has trained 469 companies and awarded more than $194 million through 985 contracts to program graduates.
As the company undergoes strategic planning for the next three to five years, Lansford said JE Dunn will target modest revenue growth. It aims to increase its market share outside Kansas City while continuing to invest in local communities and keep challenging employees to grow.
“If we have the best people and culture, all the specific strategies and tactics we put in front of us, we know our team will knock it out of the park,” he said.