Turman Commercial Painters is not your typical commercial painting contractor. Walk into their corporate headquarters in Livermore, about an hour east of San Francisco, and you might see the owner conducting his daily video conference call with managers of the company's eight other offices across the country. Together they do business in 48 states.
It wasn't always this way. Founded in 1972 by Ed Turman, the company initially focused on jobs in Livermore and the surrounding East Bay area. When Turman retired, he sold the business to his son-in-law, Dave Theobald, who brought 17 years experience as a general contractor to the company. His desire to grow the company, and changes in the economy combined to alter the company's direction.
"A major turning point for the business was the purchase of Washington Commercial Painters in 2000," Theobald says. "As we now had offices in different states, it forced us to invest in technology to effectively communicate and perform jobs in multiple states. This led to our first job requiring major travel, a 360 site job for AT&T in 10 states we performed in eight weeks. The multi-state platform set up our ability to acquire other West Coast offices, which culminated in the East Coast headquarters and the national capabilities we have today."
Geographic expansion also helped the company continue to grow during the recent recession.
"The downturn over the last several years hit our traditional clients very hard, and they largely went quiet," Theobald says. "As we went out to look for work, we realized that approximately 75 percent of it was from new clients. Based on this, we put in a coordinated effort to find new clients across new market segments."
So though work was shrinking in their hard-hit West Coast markets, it was expanding for the company at its new offices in Dallas, Denver, Columbus and Charlotte. "Surprisingly, we found those efforts also brought additional work back to our local regions," Theobald says. "It has definitely helped us with clients that do work all over the country."