Everyday Excellence at Lee

At Lee Contracting, you often hear the phrase ‘excellence is in our DNA’. But what exactly does that mean? And why does it matter?

When Ed Lee started this company in 1989, he made a commitment that his firm would develop a reputation for excellence in every aspect of the work. From hiring the best people to equipping them with the best equipment available, Ed put the idea of delivering excellence at the top of the way he did business. Ed stepped away from day-to-day involvement in 2015, transferring ownership of the company to the employees in the form of an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP).

Today, the Lee team is firmly committed to carrying out that vision by doing everything we can to ensure that every project, every customer interaction, and every process reflects our commitment.

How do we do it? The answer is intentionality. We don’t just assume these things will happen; we work hard every day to make them happen. Let’s look at how that plays out.

Hiring excellence

The Lee process begins with hiring. We review a lot of applicants throughout the year. And we keep a close eye on each one, watching for those who show an aptitude for the work. But more importantly, we like to see future employees who show a desire and willingness to be at the top of their game every day.

Training excellence

For those who make the cut, we invest heavily in the training needed to perform work that meets the high standard we’ve set for ourselves with our customers. Among other things, that means being aware team members represent the company every time they interact with a customer, a project manager or a colleague.

We partner new hires with team members who know what it takes to do the job, and with those existing employees who are ready and willing to serve as mentors.

Because we’re employee-owned, expectations are much higher since we all have a stake in the success of the business. We hold each other accountable and make sure our customers’ and the company’s best interests are always at the heart of everything we do.

Read More: Employee Ownership at Lee.

Equipping excellence

The first thing that impresses clients and new hires alike is our equipment. Unlike many contractors, Lee equips team members with the very best pro-grade equipment available. You won’t find big box store brands at Lee: these are the brands that have proven themselves in the toughest industrial applications.

The second thing people notice is how we take care of our equipment. Because we own everything we use, we can ensure it’s well-kept. When we need a tool or machine, it’s ready to go.

All tools and equipment are inspected, maintained and cleaned on a regular basis. We pride ourselves on having the cleanest fleet available anywhere.

Maintaining approximately 900 vehicles and pieces of equipment to Lee’s high standards keeps our Maintenance Department busy. Our eight mechanics and three body repair specialists work on everything from welders to 600-ton gantries, with tasks ranging from oil changes to collision repair. We even design and produce all branding and identification graphics in-house.

Lee works with the largest tool and equipment manufacturers to field test new tools and equipment before they come to market. This helps us to stay ahead of the curve and on the cutting edge.

Company owned equipment also allows us to control costs. We realize significant cost savings, which are passed directly to our customers.

Protecting excellence

Construction work is dangerous. On any jobsite, there’s always the possibility of injury. We go above and beyond to make sure our team members are trained, retrained and reminded daily of safe practices. We are a team who cares about each other and we work hard to ensure everyone stays safe on the job. Here are a few specifics:

  • All Lee Safety Team members are certified OSHA Outreach Trainers, providing us the in-house capability to conduct OSHA 10 and 30 training for both General Industry and Construction. This allows us to conduct 90 percent of our safety training internally, subbing only our annual Arc Flash, NFPA 70E and rigging training.
  • We are diligently working toward having all our senior foremen OSHA 30 trained, as well as training our entire field crew to be certified in First Aid, CPR and the use of AEDs.
  • All new employees now receive OSHA 10 training, in addition to other job-specific training.
  • Like most contractors, we have a Safety Committee. But it’s our Job Shadowing Program that makes us shine. We start by allowing individuals to shadow our safety personnel on jobsite visits. Our goal is to provide the education, training and experience necessary to work as supplemental safety support for second shift, weekend work and more. Those who do shadowing and site safety audits have a minimum of OSHA 30. This provides an additional skillset and allows the opportunity to earn extra income.

As an example of how we take steps to ensure the safety of our employees, customers and job sites, our team identified angle grinders as a leading cause of hand injuries. As a result, we created a video on proper use, which was produced and filmed in house. We also created a SOP (Standing Operating Procedure) which outlines proper tool use. Lastly, we designated angle grinders as a “last use tool”. Crews must exhaust all other resources and receive permission from a supervisor before using them. We were ahead of the curve on this one—since rolling out the training, a large automotive manufacturing company has requested to use elements of our program.

Engineering excellence

The knowledge and experience the Lee team possesses makes it easy for our team to look at a project and come up with an improved, more efficient method that reduces costs and results in a better finished product.

Our value engineering expertise is known industry-wide and is unmatched by any of our competitors. We’re the only company that has all trades in house and we have more experience than any company around.

When we value engineer a project, we keep the timeline at the forefront. We redesign the project to use materials we have in stock at our facility, and those that have proven reliability. Pulling materials from our massive inventory eliminates the need to rely on vendors or shipping options that can become unreliable.

Read More: Simplify Your Project With Lee’s Power of One.

Delivering excellence

So why do we do what we do? What difference does it really make if the work gets done? It’s simple: we’re committed to delivering excellence on every job. Lee has a strong reputation for being the best of the best, for delivering project results that our customers appreciate — and make our competitors jealous. And we’re not going to do anything that could jeopardize our reputation.

We can take on the most challenging projects with confidence knowing we have such a skilled powerhouse of tradespeople. Our customers know that when a fast paced, highly technical project comes up that requires one or multiple trades, Lee Contracting will have the resources available to get the job done.

Does Lee sound like the company you want working on your next job? Or a team you’d be proud to be a part of? Put us to the test. You’ll be glad you did.