Opening an Interstates office in Salina, KS represents another step forward in offering turnkey services for clients everywhere. This regional branch officially opened in September of 2016, but recent growth has solidified it as an important piece of the Interstates puzzle.
“Our overall regional strategy is to be able to cover the entire Midwest,” says Doug Brunsting, Vice President of Regional Offices at Interstates. Salina, located in north-central Kansas at the junction of I-70 and I-135, fits neatly within those plans. “There were customers in that area that we had been supporting out of our group in central Nebraska, so having an office in Salina helped with that. It fit geographically, and its proximity to our Omaha office made settling there a good decision,” says Brunsting.
“It’s a central location,” adds Dalen Meier, Regional Manager of the Salina office. “It fits with our company’s goal to serve the region. We have key clients down here, but we are also knocking on doors, getting the Interstates name out there. We have seen a lot of RFQs and interest generated, which is exciting,” says Meier.
The office started out with a regional manager and two craft professionals. In just two years, the staff has grown to ten craft professionals, a regional manager, and two project coordinators. That growth isn’t slowing down. “We have established a good local presence,” says Brunsting. “We’re serving existing clients and adding new clients rapidly. We are looking to add additional resources in 2019.”
The initial success of the Salina location hinged on constant collaboration with team members in Omaha. Bill Klement, Regional Manager of Interstates’ Omaha office, has played a crucial role in the new office’s growth. “Bill has been pivotal in getting our regional manager up to speed on systems and processes,” says Brunsting. Omaha staff members also currently provide estimating and administrative support for the Salina office.
The help goes both ways; manpower has been shared back and forth between Omaha and Salina depending on peaks and crew availability. “We’ve worked really well as a team in that way,” says Meier, who adds he is grateful for the expertise of Klement and other managers who have helped him learn the ropes as the Salina office takes off.
The construction industry is increasingly desperate for skilled workers, a fact felt at every Interstates location, including Salina. “Finding the right people is always a challenge,” says Brunsting. Securing leadership for the field hasn’t been easy. “Interstates has a particular way it likes to run projects, so you have to find the right people who can rise to the challenge and then get them up to speed,” says Brunsting.
Since opening in 2016, the Salina location has been thriving, and the future looks to be just as busy. The team is currently constructing a greenfield grain storage facility for CVA in Linn, KS. Other recent clients include: AGP in St. Joseph, MO; Duonix in Beatrice, NE; Ardent Mills in Newton, KS; and Cargill in Wichita, KS.
“We’ve got really good momentum going into our third fiscal year,” says Brunsting. “Now it’s time to capitalize on opportunities and continue to grow our team there.”