CDI: 'Excellence in Construction Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow' (Advertisement)

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Monday, May. 10, 2010 12:00 am  

Left to right: David Mann, Business Development Manager; Chris Johnson, CFO; Lloyd Garrison, President & CEO; Ed Baker, Vice President General & Superintendent; Mark Beach, Vice President & COO; Not pictured: Matt Bodishbaugh, Vice President; David Day, V

CDI Contractors, LLC
3000 Cantrell Road
Little Rock, Ark.,  72202
(501) 666-4300
(501) 666-4741 (fax)

Northwest Ark. Satellite Office:
4100 Corporate Center Drive, Suite 101
Johnson, Ark.,  72762
(479) 695-1020
(479) 695-1025 (fax)

Number of Employees: 306
Top Executive: Lloyd Garrison, President and Chief Executive Officer
Product or Service: Full Service General Construction Company
Year Founded: 1987

In 1987 Dillard’s and Bill Clark formed CDI Contractors, a general construction company, for the single purpose of servicing the needs of the rapidly expanding Arkansas-based retailer.

CDI’s reputation for delivering Dillard’s projects on time and on budget soon became widely recognized. As a result, numerous opportunities for projects beyond Dillard’s needs arose for CDI – and the company’s growth in regional construction jobs mirrored its growth in reputation.

In 2004, encouraged by steadily increasing opportunities in the Northwest Arkansas corridor, CDI expanded its operations by opening a branch office in Johnson, allowing it to be close and accessible to emerging prospects and existing clients in the region.

In August 2008, Dillard’s bought the Clark family’s interest in CDI following the death of Bill Clark. Today, CDI is 100 percent owned by Dillard’s and is one of the largest and most successful construction companies in Arkansas.

Without question, CDI has served some high-profile clients and has amassed an impressive portfolio over time. Some of the most notable facilities in the state have been built by CDI.

The Dillard Commitment

Commenting on the 2008 ownership change, Lloyd Garrison, CDI president and chief executive officer, said, “Since our inception in 1987, Dillard’s has always supported us in the background. They have been the silent backbone behind the scenes for all those years and supported the way we chose to run the company. It’s understandable there was a period of transition at the time, but we’ve moved forward, continuing our shared vision with Dillard’s, and we are excited about the future.”

Dillard’s President Alex Dillard added, “We are committed to CDI and to the construction business, and we are looking forward to serving the needs of current and future clients with a strong, dedicated CDI team.”

Sound Leadership

Just as Dillard’s was content to focus on its retail store operations and let Bill Clark manage CDI, Dillard’s is now entrusting the CDI helm to Garrison. From the beginning, Lloyd has served as a solid, steady leader within the CDI organization.

“We have great confidence in Lloyd and his team to continue the legacy of CDI and to pursue compelling projects and grow the business,” Alex Dillard said.

In addition to Garrison’s leadership, veteran construction executive Mark Beach was added to the fold in August 2009. The former vice president of Healthcare Construction left Duke Realty Corp. in Dallas and has recently been appointed CDI’s chief operating officer. Beach brings an unmatched depth of construction industry experience to CDI complemented by fresh ideas and a true passion for customer service.

“We are a customer service driven company,” Beach said. “We have really looked within ourselves to identify the things we can improve when delivering a top-quality experience for our clients. We truly value the relationship with the entire project team – owner, architect and contractor – and if the whole team doesn’t win, nobody does. That’s what we believe, and that’s the basis for all our decisions on any project.”

Quality Teamwork

The team concept to which Beach refers is not new to CDI. It was first conceived in the early years while creating an efficient machine to handle the unique, high-priority demands of Dillard’s complex store projects.

“CDI has been an extremely important factor in the success of Dillard’s,” Dillard said. “Their ability to deliver multiple, concurrent projects on time and on budget was of immeasurable value to us during periods of rapid store growth.

“Today CDI continues to deliver this high level of service not only to Dillard’s but also to other strong, national clients.”

Not surprisingly, the foundation of the Dillard’s/CDI working relationship has always been its ability to show up at a job site and immediately hit the ground running, said David Day, vice president.“We achieve this by extensive advanced planning when working with the owner and design team to anticipate project challenges. The CDI Team is skilled, creative, and resourceful which helps us orchestrate the project plan.”

Beach explains by adding, “What we do is take that culture of quality teamwork on the road to every client we work with. Our people are known for that, and our reputation is to finish on-time or early. Whether it’s a Dillard’s store or a hospital expansion, the client knows what to expect from CDI – a satisfying overall experience. It goes far beyond constructing an attractive, sound facility.”

Well Positioned for Tomorrow

It’s no secret that the economy has hit the general construction industry hard. “In a way, the economy has forced us to change internal operations for the better, and we believe we have the strongest support team in the state,” Garrison said. “That said, all the smooth office operations and slick technology in the world won’t build a building. We employ a strong, skilled work force to make that happen. They are the secret to the success of CDI.”

“Our evaluation of the current construction market is that it is hyper-competitive, often to the detriment of the industry and, more importantly, to the client,” Garrison said. “Our response is to price very competitively but yet be able to deliver what we promise. That’s what we’ve always done here at CDI. Our high-quality service standards will not be compromised by the hyper-competitive market.”

Beach is confident that when the economy does recover, CDI will be well positioned to capitalize. “Lloyd Garrison is leading the company forward knowing he has the full support from the CDI Team and from Dillard’s. Our new motto is – ‘CDI: Excellence in Construction Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.’ We believe this honors our legacy while pointing optimistically to the future. Over time, a company focused on excellence wins – and, more importantly, so does our client.”




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