Vericon Construction Company’s Focus on Quality Earns It Repeat Business
Vericon has a broad portfolio of projects, including work in the corporate, healthcare, hospitality and financial sectors.
When Vericon Construction Company builds a project, it takes a simplistic approach to the work. This not only drives the company to maintain stringent quality standards, but to focus on “doing what you say you are going to do,” Justin Hermey says.
The strategy has paid off for the Mountainside, N.J.-based construction management and general contracting firm in the form of client loyalty. Today, “About 90 percent of our business is all repeat customers,” Justin Hermey reports. “Customer service is king for us.”
Hermey is co-owner and senior vice president of Vericon, which has a broad portfolio of projects, including work in the corporate, healthcare, hospitality and financial sectors. CEO Charles A. DeAngelis, President Stephen M. Mellett and Executive Vice President Tricia A. Vohden started the firm in 2005. After the firm’s expansion to its first regional office in Charlotte, N.C., Hermey has continued to implement its core values and processes among his growing team throughout different markets to meet client demands, including Orlando, and Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; and Atlanta.
Most recently, with the assistance of Robert Mikell, co-owner and senior vice president based out of the corporate headquarters, Vericon opened an office in Arlington, Va., allowing it to serve the Washington, D.C., metro area. “Our growth has been very organic,” Hermey asserts. “We didn’t just throw a dart on a map and decide on a location.”
Construction During COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the construction industry nationwide, but Vericon continues to maintain its operations. The company manages this by utilizing technology and giving “a lot of flexibility to our employees,” Hermey says.
Its managers have had the option of working in the office or at home, but they are busier than ever before. “We spend a lot of time on the phone and working in video conference,” he says. “It took a while to get accustomed to, but our employees have managed it very well.”
Vericon’s recent work also has been related to the pandemic. The firm just completed the installation of plexiglass sneeze guards for many Wells Fargo locations. These guards protect the tellers and customers from airborne pathogens. “We did 64 branches in 11 states in four days,” he describes.
Prior to the pandemic, the firm had completed several notable projects. “We just finished Santander’s first Work Café in North America and we’ve been working on some large rest area projects on the turnpike in New Jersey,” he says.
The rest area projects are part of a major initiative to renovate/rebuild travel plazas throughout the state of New Jersey. Vericon completed Phase I of the project, which included demolishing and rebuilding both the Thomas Edison Service Area on the New Jersey Turnpike in Woodbridge, N.J., and the Monmouth Service Area at exit 98 of the Garden State Parkway in Wall, N.J. Vericon is currently completing Phase II of the initiative, which includes ground up construction of the Vince Lombardi and Forked River Service Areas, and major renovations to the Richard Stockton Service Area. These rest areas are visited by upwards of 1 million travelers annually.
Learning and Improving
Hermey credits Vericon’s success to its team of more than 170 associates. “Our greatest asset is our people,” he says. “We have extremely talented people that are really committed to serving our customers and following our core values.”
When hiring, the company looks for applicants who have the willingness and work ethic to get the job done right. “I always say, ‘Hire for attitude and train for skill,’” Hermey says. “Attitude is a huge character trait that we look for.”
The company recently made a significant investment in enhancing its employees’ skills with the launch of Vericon University. “It’s a platform where all the executives and mid-level managers have an opportunity to train our staff on industry trends,” he describes.
“The construction industry is always evolving,” Hermey continues, noting that Vericon University has gotten a positive reception. “It really helps our team [hone] in on the fine details, keep them fresh, and make sure we’re learning and improving.”
Another area of focus for Vericon is boosting efficiency, which it has addressed by adding new technology. This January, it implemented construction platform Procore, which allowed it to more easily transfer information from the field back to its office. “It’s reduced redundancy in a few areas,” Hermey says. “We’re also using some web-based apps that are instrumental and integrated with that program as well.”
He sees a strong future ahead for Vericon, which will continue following the same practices that have made it successful for 15 years. “We currently don’t have any plans for expansion but are always in tune to our clients’ needs,” he adds.
However, that does not mean Vericon will rule growth out. “If the right opportunity is there, we’ll definitely consider it,” Hermey says.