Just A Minute

J.P. Cullen & Sons, Inc.
Company address: 330 E. Delavan Drive, Janesville, WI 53546; and 13040 W. Lisbon Road, Suite 900, Brookfield, WI 53005
Company Web site: www.jpcullen.com
Industry: Construction
Number of employees: 500
Company’s annual revenues: $150 million
Education: Bachelor of business administration from the University of South Dakota; graduate of the Owners and Presidents Management Course at Harvard Business School
Family: Wife, Kathleen; and children Patrick, Danny, Sean and Jillian
What was the smartest thing your company did in the past year?
"Our company has reinforced our focus on maintaining long-term, rewarding relationships with our clients. In our fluctuating marketplace, our clients are our most valuable resource for discovering industry trends and developing strategies to meet their future needs based on those trends."
What’s new at your company?
"Our production engineering staff has made a major impact regarding our efficiencies on the job site. We take a construction activity, such as erecting precast panels, and break that activity down into measurable components, which allows our team (including the folks actually putting the work in place) to evaluate each activity and determine areas of waste that can be eliminated. The end result is higher quality at a lower cost to our clients."
Do you plan to hire any additional staff or make any significant capital investments in your company in the next year?
"Staffing in the construction industry is always a major challenge. Our ability to grow and serve our clients is in direct correlation to our ability to provide the right team for the project, from upper management to our field forces. We are always looking for quality people."
What will be your company’s main challenges in the next year?
"I just hit on one of the major ones, which is staffing. A continuing major challenge is differentiating ourselves from the quality competition we face in our marketplace."
What is the hottest trend in construction?
"The debate on the advantages and disadvantages of the different construction delivery systems continues to rage on among our competitors and clients. No matter what the construction delivery system, the bottom line will always be the benefits we provide to our clients. By staying focused on the benefits, we have continued to grow throughout the ups and downs in our industry."

Do you have a business mantra?
"Never do anything to sacrifice your integrity. As a family-owned firm, our name is on every piece of equipment, every hardhat and every truck. Without our integrity, that name means nothing."
From a business standpoint, who do you look up to?
"My father, J.P., continues to be a major influence on my decision making. As the fourth generation of family ownership in our firm, I draw great inspiration from those who have led before me and created a company that was and is a major force in our industry."
What was the best advice you ever received?
"Always maintain a good balance in your professional and personal life. I start each day by identifying ways to maintain that balance. If I do so, everyday, regardless of the result, is a successful one."
What do you do like to do in your free time?
"What free time? I love to spend time with my family – traveling, boating and cycling."
June 11, 2004 Small Business Times, Milwaukee, WI

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