It was the right time and the right place when the founders of Wellspring Construction Group established their company in October 2017. President and partner Tim Knepprath was looking for a leadership and ownership role in his career, while Steve Royer, Wellspring’s Director of Construction, desired to move from the private sector back to general contracting. Joining Wellspring Construction as investors are Nick and Rick Wellenstein of Wellenstein & Sons, Inc. in Pewaukee, who were looking to diversify their business interests and seek new growth opportunities.
The founders bring a unique blend of over 50 years’ experience to each project. Tim shares his vast experience in business development and management of projects from concept to completion, while Steve has a diverse background in operations, specialized design and construction services. Their combined skill set ensures a high level of service, creativity, care and craftsmanship for the client.
What sets Wellspring apart from the competition is its agility to provide the best solution that meets the needs of the customer. This means being nimble to answer three important questions from every customer – “What does it look like? How much does it cost? How long will it take?”
Wellspring’s secret to maintaining this competitive advantage is seeking first to understand the business that the customer is in and listening to the challenges they face. As a lean team who comes from non-traditional industry roles, they understand first-hand how focusing on the client’s goals and having an efficient process to find the best solution makes a happy customer and service provider.
“One comment we repeatedly hear from our customers is that we find unique solutions. We don’t look at a potential project as just a sale opportunity. We form a long-term relationship with our customers, which means going beyond the building project and determining how we can help them grow and improve their business,” says Tim.
Steve further shares, “From a design and construction perspective, there are four key components that we both look at from day one in each project – budget, schedule, customer needs and design amenities – all with equal importance. With many design build firms, one will take priority over the other, for example, driving design amenities down to make the budget work or, vice versa, overdesigning to the point the budget isn’t workable. In looking for the ultimate solution, we assess different options against the client’s needs and fully estimate them internally before presenting to the client.”
Constructing the road ahead
The pipeline of projects for 2019 puts the biggest smile on the faces of Wellspring’s team. “Both the quantity and size of projects bear testament to the fact that our clients recognize the stability and strength of our business, benefit from our high level of service and put their trust in us from an early stage in the project process,” says Tim.
Why Wellspring went to Waukesha SBDC
Wellspring Construction Group was introduced to Small Business Development Center (SBDC) consultant Karen Taylor at the Waukesha County Center for Growth right from the get-go. “We were so focused on our day-to-day operations and getting the business started up swiftly that we did not take the time to stop and think strategically about our business model,” says Steve. “In asking the right questions, Karen helped us recognize the need to step back and assess how our business would consistently create and deliver value to our customers.”
According to Tim, the SBDC and Center for Growth have become a valued partner to Wellspring Construction Group. He says, “With Karen’s help, we were able to formalize a business plan, identify our strategic partners, define our customer segments, create a value proposition for the business, and determine how to market the overall company. We know a lot about how to design and build, and now we know the best delivery method to do that for our clients.”
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