LMC Industrial Contractors Inc.
LMC Industrial always delivers the level of excellence its customers expect.
By Alan Dorich
After nearly 35 years, LMC Industrial Contractors Inc. has established itself as a company that clients can trust. “We always felt that giving a customer what they’re paying for and a good-quality job is a good business philosophy, in the long haul,” President and CEO Lawrence Mehlenbacher says.
“All we ask [of employees] is that you be conscientious, give a quality effort and do your job the best that you can,” he says. “It seems to have paid off.”
Based in Avon, N.Y., LMC provides heavy industrial, mechanical and engineering services and piping installation to clients in multiple markets, including natural gas, process piping, and rigging and crane services. “We do deal with quite a few of the major utilities in the oil and gas business,” Mehlenbacher says.
He co-founded the firm with two partners in 1982 as Livingston Mechanical Contractors Partnership. “We converted to a corporation the next year,” Mehlenbacher recalls, noting that it moved from mechanical into rigging and conveying systems.
Today, as LMC, its operations include a 550,000-square-foot facility in Dansville, N.Y. “It gave us the opportunity to go into different types of industries and produce larger types of products,” Executive Vice President of Finance Tom Coll says. says.
“We have the ability to fabricate 75 percent of the piping before we go out into the field,” Coll says. “We also have the advantage of being able to do all the structural steel work in-house. It takes us out of the elements and puts you in a controlled atmosphere.”
Mehlenbacher also credits LMC’s success to its staff of 350, which includes several employees with decades of experience. “I have been fortunate enough to be able to surround myself with some very talented people,” he says.
Many, he notes, were recruited locally. “Some of them started out as apprentices, trades, journeymen and mechanics,” he says, noting that LMC often teams its new recruits with experienced staff members.
“They have some good mentors in that regard [who] bring them along,” Mehlenbacher says. “It seems to have worked pretty well for us.”
These factors have helped make LMC a leader in its market, COO Rich Rizzieri says. “We’re probably the best-kept secret in the oil and gas industry as far as facility capabilities and capacity,” he says.
LMC is keeping busy in the current economy, Rizzieri says. “I’m very proud of the fact that we’re at a point where we can handle many large projects simultaneously,” he says.
Its recent projects included a $22 million compressor station for Dominion Resources in Myersville, Md. But it was not a walk in the park, Mehlenbacher admits. The company coped with a tight schedule and local protestors who objected to the station being built on a greenfield site.
Despite the challenges, “We turned the project over in 91 days,” he recalls. “That was a concentrated effort by everyone involved to make that project work.”
Even as LMC worked around the clock, “We had no environmental incidents and no injuries on the job site,” Coll recalls. “Dominion was pretty impressed with the job that we did.”
LMC enjoys strong business in the natural gas industry, Vice President of Operations Jeff Holley says. “We’re situated right in the middle of it in the Northeast,” he says. “The amount of expansion and development of the Marcellus and Utica Shale formations [have] allowed us to have opportunities to grow as a company.”
Holley does not expect that trend to slow down. “It looks like there’s going to be continued growth and development in the natural gas side,” he says. “We know the infrastructure is not anywhere near complete.”
But as LMC takes on these projects, it will need to stay flexible, Rizzieri asserts. “We have to be able to adapt accordingly to whatever the customers’ goals are,” he says. “That will be a continuing and ongoing issue in the industry.”
Many of LMC’s clients, Rizzieri notes, need to earn various levels of approval with regulatory officials while also meeting project schedules. “They are trying to coordinate that with the contractors, such as ourselves, so they can maintain delivery of projects,” he says.
LMC keeps safe and sound on its projects thanks to its full-time safety associates, Mehlenbacher says. “Our last accident was 1,299 days ago,” he says, adding that the company’s EMR safety rating is .72. “It’s an extremely good rating.
“Safety is very important because our people are very important,” he continues. “We want them to go home with all their limbs and function as they did when they came to work.”
Staying safe is a key component of the partnerships that LMC forms with its clients. “They can’t afford to have accidents on their job because the damage to people’s reputations is too great,” Mehlenbacher states. “Making sure that there are no accidents is critical to us.”
LMC also owes its success to its vendors, which include Spallina Materials, a Mount Morris, N.Y.-based supplier of ready-mix concrete and hot asphalt products. “We have used them to supply ready-mix materials here at our own operational facility,” Holley says.
He also highlights Hanson Aggregates Inc., providers of construction materials, aggregates, ready mix and hot mix asphalt products, which he worked for before coming to LMC. “They’ve been a good supplier to our company needs [as well],” he states.
Another partner is Klein Steel Service Inc., based in Rochester, N.Y. “They have been our premier steel supplier over the past eight years,” Holley raves. “They’ve allowed us to be a partner in the miscellaneous metals market.”
He also praises Ramsey Constructors Inc. in Lakeville, N.Y., and its president, Chris Ramsey. “He has the exact same mindset as our owner and they look for the same end result,” Holley says.
“It really is a seamless partnership when we use them, and at times they use us,” he continues. “They really become an extension of our company.”
Mehlenbacher predicts that 2016 will be a record year for LMC. “As of today, we have booked more volume than we did in all of ’15, by about 25 percent,” he says. “I think we’ll exceed our best year in gross sales by 25 to 30 percent.”
He also predicts “unlimited” growth ahead for LMC. “Our attitude with the group of people we’ve developed is, ‘If it can be done and someone else has done it, we can do it and maybe do a little bit of a better job,’” he says.
“We thrive on the challenges,” he says. “We have taken on some extremely difficult projects and everyone has pulled together. We have yet to not succeed on any project.”
Holley agrees, noting that LMC will flourish under the leadership of Mehlenbacher. “If there is something we need that we feel will advance the company, he has the uncanny ability to understand whether that is something that is practical or not,” he says.
Its most recent additions include a Python X Link, “an automated structural steel fabricating piece of equipment,” Holley describes. “It will completely give us opportunities we would not have had in the miscellaneous metals side of our business.”
Under Mehlenbacher’s leadership, LMC has added 52,000 square feet onto its fabrication facility. “There’s not a lot of people who have his foresight,” Holley says. “He’s given us the management tools and resources to be successful.”
Rizzieri predicts that the Northeast will continue to be an important region for LMC. “We feel there’s a tremendous amount of work to be done over the next seven years,” he says.
“Our opportunities are tremendous based on the quality of work that we perform and the satisfaction of the customers,” he says. “We look at the next seven years being very positive for the company.”