“Life’s too short not to work with good people that you care about and trust. I think McSweeney and their team really embody that.”
Featuring Taylor Hale and Ben Austin of Muckleroy & Falls
WHAT ARE YOUR ROLES ARE YOUR COMPANY?
Taylor Hale, Vice President of Pre Construction Estimating
TAYLOR: I work predominantly with McSweeney on the front end of pursuing jobs, budgeting jobs and pricing jobs. Hopefully, we are successful in winning them, and then they (McSweeney) become successful as being a partner with us on those jobs.
Ben Austin, Vice President of Operations
BEN: I run the operation side of the business. When Taylor’s group is successful, my team and I begin to procure the subcontractor players on the job to put a team together to go actually build a job.
“I like to say sincerely they’re kind of like our Golden Goose among our trade partners – I feel like they have helped us win many jobs where we are competing against other general contractors.”
– Taylor Hale, VP Pre-Construction Estimating, Muckleroy & Falls
WHAT MAKES MCSWEENEY PARTICULARLY SPECIAL?
Taylor: On the front end, we’re under a lot of tight deadlines and timelines. We have very demanding clients that really want a fully detailed service, pricing and feedback on document changes. McSweeney always does a tremendous job of consistently being there and thoroughly reviewing the drawings. We know when we get pricing or any deliverable from McSweeney, it’s accurate and fully vetted out. They just always do a great job of servicing us on the front end, whether it’s a budget pursuit, or a final set of drawings that’s a hard bid type of price. They are very reliable. We can always count on them. And that makes a big difference in our ability to be reliable to our clients.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT THAT MCSWEENEY HAS DONE A GREAT JOB?
Let’s say we are putting together a price for a job. We are a general contractor and we’re going to turn in a specific number to our client that’s comprised of maybe 20 to 25 other numbers – one being painting, The others being all the other types of work. We’re taking a lot of risk as a company when we put forward our pricing and commitment out there to the potential client. We’re saying that we’re going to do what we say we’re going to do for X amount of dollars. If one of our trade partners that gave us a proposal doesn’t live up to their end of the bargain, or made a bunch of mistakes on their estimates, and their scope or timeline for anything in regards to delivering that job doesn’t pan out, there’s a lot of risks there that can really hurt us. It can hurt the relationship with the client, and our ability to deliver. Where they’re (McSweeney) exceptional as a partner for us – I like to say sincerely they’re kind of like our Golden Goose among our trade partners – I feel like they have helped us win many jobs where we are competing against other general contractors.
So that’s what makes that relationship so important. They’re really an advantage for us when we have to go turn in a price. And then also helping preliminary budgets. When designs are very limited, we know that they have the skills, the thought process and the foresight to help us look good with our clients.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU WORKED WITH MCSWEENEY AND ROUGHLY ON HOW MANY PROJECTS?
I joined Muckleroy & Falls in March of 2014. McSweeney has had a pre-existing long long long relationship. My company has had a much longer history with McSweeney.
We pursue, or budget touch, between 120 – 150 jobs a year. I would say they (McSweeney) provide some service of effort on every single one of those. And then we have a corresponding amount that becomes actual projects. I don’t know how many but I would have to say they probably make up at least 90% of our painting jobs.
HOW DOES MCSWEENEY ASSIST THE OPERATIONS SIDE OF THINGS AT MUCKLEROY FALLS?
Ben: The partnership we have with McSweeney allows us to know that they are going to be there for us. They aren’t going to overextend themselves. I think one of the biggest issues we face operationally is teams that get themselves overloaded. They’re overextended. They’re looking for new business, but they just can’t provide when it comes down to it.
We deal with some teams where they are trying to handle a volume that they simply can’t handle. McSweeney does a great job balancing their workload with their projects.
We’re not building an assembly line. What we do is complicated and requires a lot of open lines of communication. McSweeney does a great job doing what we ask them to do, whether that’s giving us time, or helping us get through a bind, or making up some days due to weather delays. They will throw whatever resources we need to get through the project.
Having so much work with McSweeney, we have a strong relationship.
Transparency is key. Charlie (Project Manager, McSweeney) has been a great account rep for us. He knows our team. He knows our projects. To be honest, if I have a question about any of our jobs, Charlie is always up to speed. I can go to him and get details about all the other scopes of work on the job. He always knows what’s going on.
We pride ourselves on the quality of our work. It allows us to continue to have repeat customers. A lot of our work has come from our past work. The paint on the job is really the finishing touch for us on a job. There’s other components. But, what you see is how well your landscaper did and how well your painter did. McSweeney always does a great job for us.
HOW DOES MCSWEENEY PERFORM WHEN IT COMES TO DETAILS ON THE JOB SITE, SUCH AS PAPERWORK?
Taylor and I both come from one of the largest GC’s in Texas and one of the largest in the country. We have seen how onerous that (paperwork) process can be. We try to simplify that for our subcontractors, but there is still quite a bit of paperwork we need to do.
McSweeney works well in that department. There’s no hand holding. It’s efficient. They do what they need to do for us anytime we need it.
TAYLOR: As a GC, we will have 20-25 subcontractors on any given job. And McSweeney is a team that always stands out. They are self-motivated and are proactive to manage their projects. They have foresight. They’re forward-looking. They’re constantly trying to make our life easier on our projects so our superintendents and our project managers on those jobs don’t have to spend a lot of their time managing that scope of work. And that really separates them.
Our core values are really, really important to us (at Muckleroy & Falls). That’s honesty, loyalty, work ethic and leadership.
Life’s too short not to work with good people that you care about and trust. I think McSweeney and their team really embody our core values, and primarily the honesty and loyalty components. So it’s a real relationship where you can count on each other. And it makes it a great experience for us to hopefully continue for many more years to come.
BEN: McSweeney’s team are always out in front of potential issues we are going to have to mitigate. They know what’s going on, and help us move forward on a project. They always know what they are doing, and are there for us when we need them to be.
WHERE GEOGRAPHICALLY ARE YOU TYPICALLY OPERATING WITH MCSWEENEY?
Primarily the DFW area. We have been a Tarrant County based company for over 35- 40 years. It’s our home base. It’s sacred to us. But, we are looking to grow outside of Ft. Worth. We are now working in the nearby surrounding areas. And, we look forward to continuing to grow.