Baldwin & Shell Looks Outside Arkansas for Growth

by Mark Friedman  on Monday, Apr. 28, 2014 12:00 am  

Scott Copas (left), the new president and CEO of Baldwin & Shell, has unveiled a strategic plan for the company. Bob Shell (inset), the chairman of Baldwin & Shell of Little Rock, said that for the first time in the company’s history it is “tippy-toeing” into markets outside of Arkansas.  (Copas photo by Mark Friedman | Shell photo by Michael Pirnique)

During the Great Recession, school-related projects propped up revenue for Baldwin & Shell while the private industry “just basically died for five years,” Copas said.

But now those private jobs are starting to bloom.

Copas said that he expects the company’s baseline annual revenue to be in the $175 million to $200 million range.

Branching Out

Baldwin & Shell’s philosophy of only doing Arkansas projects dates back to the company’s founders, Copas said. “They felt like we needed to stay within a reasonable distance so we could react to a problem,” he said.

But with the Internet, cellphones and other ways to communicate or travel quickly, “that’s not a problem for us,” he said.

Baldwin & Shell is hoping to land a construction project in Memphis for a manufacturing company. But the deal wasn’t final as of last week and Copas declined to discuss it.

“We’re moving forward and creating all kinds of opportunities for not only our employees but the clients that are going out of state,” he said.

Shell told Arkansas Business last week that the company is “tippy-toeing” into markets close to cities where Baldwin & Shell has its other offices: Jonesboro and Rogers. Tennessee, Oklahoma and Missouri are the target states for growth, he said. Copas also said he plans to expand the services Baldwin & Shell offers.

“We used to be very strong in industrial work” in the late 1970s, he said. But that work slipped away over the years.

Baldwin & Shell also wants to handle the concrete and steel work on the projects, which has traditionally been done by subcontractors.

“A lot of the things we did 30 years ago,” Copas said. “We’re going back and training our people to provide those services. … You have better control of the projects if we’re the ones performing the work.”



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