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If you do good for people, you’ll do well. It’s that philosophy that has guided GR Mitchell in serving its customers and expanding over the last 50 years to meet the demands of contractors, architects, and homeowners. It’s also that mindset that allows the company to continually raise the bar by making deliberate choices regarding how and when the company evolves.
Much of the recent evolution and growth of GR Mitchell are credited to Tom Keller, who has been named President and Owner, succeeding Steve Mitchell who is transitioning toward retirement in May of 2019. Tom, who has been with the company since 2011, shares ownership with Betty Marley, who serves as V.P. of Finance. Together, the two are charting a path to build upon the successes over the last decade and open up new opportunities for GR Mitchell to better serve its customers.
Over the past few years GR Mitchell has grown not only in size, but also in its services. One of the fastest growing services is the recently launched Prime Builder Services, a one-source supply and installation solution for contractors. By offering a turnkey service that combines the supplier and the installer, GR Mitchell became one of the first building supply companies in the region to introduce a service that improves efficiency, accuracy, pricing, and accountability for contractors.
“In listening to our customers, we saw an opportunity in the marketplace to provide turnkey services, taking the products we have always supplied and pairing that with the installation as well,” explains Tom Keller. “Essentially we’ve created a package service that simplifies the lives of our contractors by putting the entire scope of work and the liability on us.”
Long-time customer EG Stoltzfus describes the supply and install model as a premium service that streamlines the process, reduces the demand on its team, and ultimately controls costs through package pricing.
“The supply and install service has made our relationship with GR Mitchell grow tremendously and for the foreseeable future it seems to be a good fit for us. Prior to this, we would purchase materials and labor under separate contracts and in most cases, we experienced cost overruns for materials and labor. With a supply and install package, we get a known cost that we can depend on,” states Andy Brubaker, V.P. EG Stoltzfus Construction.
EG Stoltzfus recently used GR Mitchell’s model to frame the cottages at Warwick Woodlands in Lititz, PA. Brubaker cites GR Mitchell’s competence in hiring skilled framers, technical support, and value of pre-planning as factors in successfully building the fast-paced project, which included 80 cottages for the 55+ community.
“Working in advance to work out the details on paper allowed us to hit the ground running. Framing can delay everything, so having an additional team member to review and focus on framing helps to make sure the project happens as planned,” says Brubaker.
Part of the pre-planning includes carefully coordinating the ordering and staging of materials, as well as reviewing shop drawings and truss production. And, given the aggressive timeline, GR Mitchell pre-cut the lumber to increase efficiencies on the job site.
In addition to the expanded service for contractors, GR Mitchell is also seeing growth in its kitchen cabinetry division and retail hardware store. As part of its evolution toward better customer service, the building supply company will break ground in September on an 8,000 sq. ft. addition to expand the retail business and office space. Construction is slated to wrap up in spring 2019.
As GR Mitchell wraps up its record fiscal year, Tom Keller predicts the coming year to be exciting and rewarding for the staff and customers. “While the services and products may change as we grow, you can be sure that our customers will always remain at the center of every decision made.”