Thirty Years of Growth
D. R. Reynolds Company, Inc.
Starting with two workers, a truck and plenty of determination, Danny Reynolds created the company bearing his name on September 14, 1987. For Reynolds and his team, the date is significant, since this September marks thirty successful years in business and the culmination of years of hard work, late nights, sweat and trust in Jesus it took to make D. R. Reynolds Company, Inc. what it is today.
Reynolds provided customers with general contractor, machinery installation, prefabricated metal buildings, custom fabrication and concrete specialist services. He grew his business largely through word-of-mouth for his outstanding quality construction methods. Reynolds built a shop facility in the early nineties to house additional fabrication equipment and machinery and brought in office personnel to help assist with project management, estimating and developing customer relationships.
The company reached its maximum number of employees in the early 2000s and worked consistently throughout the southeast region on industrial and sawmill sites. Despite the recession – when some clients were struggling – D.R. Reynolds Company (DRR) remained profitable by branching out into other markets and focusing on the broad range of skills held by its employees.
“We focused not only on machinery installation and fabrication but also concrete and metal building erection and repair,” says Project Manager Goosie Kennedy.
The company saw the market improve in 2008 when it unofficially started a building division when Midland Fire and Rescue in Midland, North Carolina, was completed. Since that time, D.R. Reynolds has worked with repeat customers while adding new ones to its roster. Many of them find value in the company’s quality work and not dropping to ‘low bid’ processes.
For its range of clients, D.R. Reynolds Company works on large-scale projects often valued at millions of dollars. The company operates with honesty, integrity and professionalism and prides itself on its flexibility, responsiveness and ability to work to customer deadlines. It is active in many areas and has crews that specialize in different aspects, says Kennedy. These include concrete excavation, forming and placing; metal building erecting and sheeting; machinery installation, setting and alignment; custom fabrication and assembly, “and turnkey general contracting services that we can pull multiple subcontractors together to complete a project,” he says. “Many of our crew leaders are versed in all aspects and we rely on their work knowledge when asked to perform any tasks.”
From its base in Star, North Carolina – a small town between Greensboro and Rockingham – D.R. Reynolds completes projects across the Southeast. It is licensed as a general contractor in Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and, recently, Georgia. The company works for customers from as far north as Maryland, south to Mississippi, west to Tennessee and east to the Atlantic.
“Being centrally located gives the opportunity to branch out when customers are in need of crews or have a long term project in mind,” states Kennedy. “We sell ourselves as available for work across the southeast.”
The company is currently working on its biggest design-build project – in both size and contract value – of the past thirty years: the Cool Springs Volunteer Fire Department in Statesville, North Carolina. The County of Iredell, in collaboration with Fire Chief Andy Webster, decided the most economical solution was to house not only fire, but also emergency medical services, rescue and sheriff under one roof.
The fire house was initiated in August of last year and is scheduled for completion this summer, with a total area in excess of 22,000 square feet. The structure will feature full-height block and brick, six-inch metal studs enclosed with R19 insulation, and roof drains to prevent property erosion.
Due to the shape of the land owned by the fire department, the shape of the building itself was uniquely designed, according to Kennedy. The framework is bar joists – hidden inside the office portion of the structure, but exposed inside the truck bays – to carry the load and span the width of this building.
The project boasts LED lighting, 3-phase power, an oversized training room – which will also be used to host public events – bedrooms for ten people, a workout area, offices for ranking fire department officers, a commercial-sized kitchen and plenty of locker room.
Back in 2014, Gregory Lumber approached D. R. Reynolds to install a new sawmill. “From concrete to equipment, D. R. Reynolds was ready to provide a turn-key process,” comments Kennedy. The job required over 16,000 square feet of interior concrete, along with associated embedded components placed throughout the slab for steel columns and substructure. “Over that concrete were three independent buildings, all furnished and erected by D. R. Reynolds’s experienced crews, under the microscope of Gregory Lumber.”
Despite time constraints, the buildings were erected as crews from the company worked beneath, bolting, welding, aligning and moving steel and large machinery equipment. In just nine months, all work was completed with no safety violations or lost time injuries. For the client, Gregory Lumber, correct placement of all the associated pieces allowed the company to be operational and profitable considerably sooner than expected.
For years, safety has remained a top priority at D. R. Reynolds. The company believes that accidents are preventable and every precaution is taken on job sites to ensure the safety of staff and other personnel. Back in the mid-2000s, before the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 2009, the company made safety first and foremost by hiring a full-time safety person who is responsible not only for workers but tools and moving equipment, heavy trucks, trailers, cranes and personal company vehicles. Additionally, it has made investments in proper tools and equipment to perform at peak levels, for the benefit of employees and customers alike.
It has won awards for its work including the 2011 and 2012 Varco Pruden awards for its fire departments – the Odell Fire and Rescue in 2011 and Woodleaf VFD in 2012 – awarded by a panel of experts from the Varco Pruden building company. Most recently, in 2017, D. R. Reynolds has won the MBCEA (Metal Building Contractors & Erectors Association) award for Bethlehem Volunteer Fire Department for “Best in Class- Fire and Rescue”. All building owners were presented plaques for achievement in architecture, structure and all-around function.
Although employees are trained to work in potentially dangerous environments, risks are minimized through detailed safety plans to identify potential hazards and ways to mitigate them. The company stays on top of the latest safety practices; workers in mines and quarries are also trained by Mine Safety and Health Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor (MSHA). Work crews also take extra precautions when operating around wildlife and delicate ecosystems. “To this day, DRR is implementing new safety guidelines to better serve our men and maintain our outstanding safety record that proves positive when looked at by new and repeat clients,” states Kennedy. “As discussed before, every man has a story, and we want that story to continue. Safety within a high demand workplace is key to that next chapter.”
To coincide with its anniversary celebrations during the first quarter of 2017, the company also overhauled its marketing outlook, including sponsoring at local and regional expositions and advertising in publications beneficial to its customer base. A revamped website gives customers a better idea of the company and its capabilities, while in-house publications – including business cards, brochures, letterhead and timesheets – have been given a uniform look.
“We have outfitted our men with anniversary shirts and hats and have given further pride to the name D. R. Reynolds Company, remembering where we came from and pronouncing that we are going to continue to grow and expand our capabilities,” says Kennedy. “Every man and women at this company has a story, and whether it be a short time at D. R. Reynolds or through many years, we want to be sure the time invested at D. R. Reynolds is a time thought of as growth and appreciation.”
In many ways, D.R. Reynolds Company begins the next chapter in its history this year with its thirtieth anniversary. “Danny Reynolds still demands honesty and quality craftsmanship under his name and he successfully pushes his employees to continue to build a reputation, not rest on one,” says Kennedy.