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As a result, experienced crew are more cognizant of the new on-site workers who could be potentially more likely to experience an accident.

“We’ll make a special effort to watch the new hire and look out for him,” Dunkin says.

Customer Relationships

Relationships are another pillar on which the Dunkin family has built the business. Some of the
company’s customer relationships predate the time Tom Dunkin joined the firm in 1970.

“Fostering long-term relationships is one of our core cultural values,” says Dunkin. “The value for the customer in this is that they know we’ll be there in good times or in bad. We made the
decision long ago to focus on long-term relationships.”

“In other words,” adds Deidre Dunkin, “we aren’t going to be out there chasing the project of the month.”

As a result, about 80 percent of the company’s work is for private companies where contracting decisions aren’t driven solely by low price. They do especially well with refineries.

“We do best with smart customers, the very sophisticated buyers of services,” says Tom Dunkin. “The customers who can accurately cost out service decisions and look at all the components that drive them are the ones we’re most successful with. Those are the people we build relationships with.”

Tom Dunkin says the relationships he keeps with suppliers are almost mirror images of those he keeps with customers.

“We partner with suppliers, and Sherwin-Williams is an excellent example of getting value out of the relationship,” says Dunkin. “We can have a job almost anywhere and have a store nearby that can keep product on hand and service us."

“The other thing we find comfort in is, as good as we are, things can still go sideways on a job,” he adds. “It’s nice to have a $7-$8 billion company as your partner in those cases. Most of our jobs go well, but when they haven’t, Sherwin-Williams has stepped up.”

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