Creating Innovation Value:

  • By Chelsea Mills
  • 16 Jan, 2015

The key to success, growth and survival

Dee Cramer Heating & Cooling
There is a lot of talk about innovation being the key to growing American businesses, but exactly how companies get innovative remains less clearly defined. I had the opportunity to sit down with Matt and Rich Cramer from Dee Cramer in Holly, Michigan, to talk about how diversity has kept them on the forefront of innovation and allowed them to become a business fixture in our community since 1937. Dee Cramer had been featured on the cover of onthetown Magazine in September 1992, and that cover was included again inside the 40th Anniversary edition, earlier in February of this year.

Dee Cramer, Inc. is a third generation, family owned company, which was started by Dee Cramer, and then led by his son Dick, before Matt and Rich took the helm in 2005. Over the past decades, these leaders have been honored with several prestigious awards, including such distinguished recognition as Dick Cramer (2nd generation) being inducted into the 2012 Michigan Construction Hall of Fame, Dee Cramer (grandfather) being SMACNA Contractor of the Year 1983, Dick Cramer as SMACNA Contractor of the Year 1998, and Matt Cramer (3rd generation) as SMACNA Contractor of the Year 2011.

Studies claim that fewer than 10% of family businesses survive to a 3rd generation, which makes Dee Cramer very unique. President Matt Cramer says, “Our grandfather raised our father to be a well-rounded individual and did not force him into the family business. When he was ready, he came onboard. Our father also raised us to be very well-rounded, so we both worked other jobs in other industries, and later, we came back to the family business, [then] by choice.”

There are 88 employees of its 190 employees who have been with the company for over 10 years, 43 employees for over 15 years and 23 employees who have been with the company for over 20 years, showing the loyalty and dedication they have for the company. Many of the employees are 2nd and 3rd generation workers as well. Matt explains, “Our company was built on the core values from my grandfather. Our dad continued to build the company on those same values. We proudly continue to build on those same values over 70 years later. We are proud to have a company which allows our employees to live and work in the same community.”

Since its inception, Dee Cramer has prided itself on excellence in design, workmanship, competitive pricing and customer service. “Everything we do is intentional,” Vice-President Rich Cramer explains. “We stick to things we excel at.” And then he adds, “We focus on customer service and provide value when we identify a need in the community.” Matt continues, saying, “We are able to take care of our customers better than anyone else.” Furthermore, Dee Cramer represents the definition of diversity in our community. From residential heating and cooling services to taking the lead on the one million square foot C.S. Mott Children’s & Women’s Hospital project, Dee Cramer has proven over and over again to be truly a leader and innovator in their industry.

Many people locally believe Dee Cramer is just a residential company, with few realizing that they are the 13th largest sheet metal contractor in America. While a good portion of their work is on new buildings, they take pride in the work they do servicing mechanical
systems in existing buildings. “Mechanical systems represent a significant capital investment for any building owner. We provide a valuable service maintaining those systems to extend the life of that equipment. The latest technology allows us to measure the capacity and efficiency of existing equipment to help owners know when it makes financial sense to replace it,” explains Rich.

Dee Cramer is recognized nationally as an industry leader, with state of the art headquarters, right here in Grand Blanc Township, Michigan. This is not their only location, for they also have a 18,000 square foot fabrication facility in Saginaw, a 20,000 square foot fabrication facility in Wixom, and another 3,300 square foot branch office in Lansing. “We specialize in making difficult projects look easy for customers, primarily in the Midwest, Matt says. And to clarify further, “We are on the cutting edge – we are not inventors, but we are early adopters of new technology,” Rich explains. He is speaking of the BIM technology and IPD Projects which Dee Cramer has adopted early on and allowed to become industry leaders.

BIM (Building Information Modeling) is 3D technology that Dee Cramer has been drawing models in for over 20 years. “By drawing the building in 3D, we are able to allow all the trades to lay in all their contents and systems to ensure [that] everything fits and installs properly before on site construction starts,” Matt says, adding, “We are a recognized industry leader in building information modeling.” BIM keeps projects under budget and allows them to be completed in a shorter time span when compared to buildings built with traditional methods. One example of how BIM creates efficiencies is represented in how, in the construction of the C.S. Mott Children’s and Women’s Hospital, BIM was used to map out the hanging points for all the duct work in the entire one million square-foot building. This allowed the crew to install the hangers using GPS coordinates as the floors were being poured so that when the ductwork arrived, the install time was significantly reduced.

In addition, IPD (Integrated Project Delivery) is a new Construction delivery method that Dee Cramer uses to streamline projects by bringing all the key components of the project together for collaboration earlier than they would be in traditional building methods. This brings the owner directly in contact with the trades and allows brainstorming for the best possible way to achieve certain project objectives and project goals. IPD utilizes various specific talents of team members to improve cost effectiveness, minimize waste and ultimately focus on achieving specific owner objectives. The end result of IPD projects is a higher quality project, delivered more quickly, often times under budget, with much higher customer satisfaction in the final product. The Paul F. Reinhart Emergency Trauma Center at Hurley Children’s Hospital was the first IPD project in Michigan, and since then, Dee Cramer has successfully completed five more IPD jobs to date.

The innovative technologies Dee Cramer adopts come from their participation in the Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association (SMACNA) and also from a peer group of other like companies across the country. Dee Cramer is recognized nationally as an industry leader for their peer group and SMACNA. Dee Cramer is also a big believer in giving back and investing in their local communities. They change the sign in front of their Grand Blanc Twp. facility every October for breast cancer awareness, participate in the breast cancer walk, support the Boys and Girls Club of Flint, as well as Big Brothers Big Sisters, United Way, Habitat for Humanity, Christmas in Action and Hurley Children’s Hospital.  

For additional information about Dee Cramer or to contact them for their services, visit www.DeeCramer.com .

Around The Town with Chelsea

By chelseajaie 09 Aug, 2017

Starting a new business? Looking to give your current logo a 'refresh'? It can be easy to just think  'I need a logo!'  - what you are saying is that you want a graphic representation of your business to use on your marketing materials. What you  need however is a memorable overall ' brand' that will attract customers to your business. Luckily, at Behind Your Design, we can help you with all your needs, even the ones you don't know yet.

How do I create a brand? 

It's important to know your brand values and aspirations. Basically, your WHY? What made you start your business in the first place? What problem are you solving and what are your passions? Long term, where do you want to be in 2, 5, 10 years? The answers to those questions are the core of your brand. We want to give you the tools you need to reach your greatest potential.

Next, we'll work on the personality of your brand. What will your brand look like? Sound, feel, act like? Knowing your business' personality allows it to shine through everything we do. It also helps narrow down your target customer and decide how your business will interact with them. Appealing to a certain audience makes marketing efforts meaningful and effective.

Consistency is key. We work together to create an entire brand concept and easy guidelines to follow. Colors, fonts, patterns... Anything to make your look consistent will be part of your brand. Then, we use those elements across all platforms (website, social media, business cards, etc) to ensure your voice, mission and design flow fluidly and works together.

Once you've created this brand, it's time to go beyond that and uphold the reputation. Your customers have to truly believe in your brand, just like you do, and will, in turn, become loyal advocates of your business. Not only will they stay local to you but they'll also recommend you to others.

Your business is so much more than just a logo. We believe building a solid brand can become a company's greatest asset, so we cover every step:

  • Web Design
  • Graphic Design
  • Email Marketing
  • Facebook Marketing
  • Mobile App Design
  • Trade Show Booth Design
  • Custom Photo Gifts
  • Speaking Engagements
To view our design portfolio, click here.

By chelseajaie 25 Jul, 2017
Behind Your Design is excited to announce the launch of JDLab's new responsive website and logo design. JDLab is a family owned business dedicated to delivering high quality work in every department. Founder J.D. Hicks’ goals in 1950 remain their goals today:  "Provide every professional photographer with the highest standard of quality and service, and to work as partners to help studios grow as successful businesses."   To learn more about what JDLab can do for you please click   here . Contact us at   Behind Your Design   to help you design your next website.
By chelseajaie 18 Jul, 2017
Behind Your Design is excited to announce that we have created a new logo for Wayne Contracting Services, LLC. Wayne Contracting Services, LLC is a licensed and insured construction company providing a variety of construction and remodeling services to SE Michigan. Give them a call for all your contracting and remodeling needs! If you are in need of a new logo contact us at  Behind Your Design   today to get started!

By Chelsea Mills 18 Jul, 2017
Join the growing team at Behind Your Design at 100 S. Adelaide St. in Fenton, Michigan!

- 40 Hours A Week (Mon-Fri - 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM with working lunch)
- Paid Holidays
- Opportunity for 401k Retirement Matching
- Must be able to multi-task, delegate and prioritize jobs that come in
- Must be able to track time spent on projects
- Responsible for ordering from vendors
- Responsible for managing multiple tasks and keeping jobs moving forward by following up with clients and our designers
- Friendly pleasant personality
- Responsible to answer phones, greet customers, take messages and packages
- Team environment
- Time Management and Organizational Skills
- Matching expenses/orders with client billing
- Approximately 25% of the job will be coordinating photo booth jobs including contracts, graphics, staff, programming booths, posting photos, burning DVD’s and communicating with clients.

Technical skills needed, but not required to apply, we would train qualified applicants:
- HTML Email Blasts (Constant Contact, MailChimp)
- Website Building
- Basic Photoshop Skills
- Professional Email Skills
- Word, Excel
- Asana Task Management System
- Social Media Posting
- QuickBooks

Click Here to Apply

By Chelsea Mills 11 Jul, 2017
Behind Your Design recently had the pleasure of designing a new website for Bennett Communication Solutions. Bennett Communication Solutions is a local family company that opened its doors in 1945. They provide telephone answering services, remote receptionist services, voice mail, and other services to meet the needs of their business customers. While they maybe local they have clients nationwide. Their clientele includes health care services, property management and real estate, contractors and of course business professions. To learn more about their services please click here . Contact us at  Behind Your Design  to help you design your next website.
By Chelsea Mills 03 Jul, 2017
Behind Your Design is excited to announce that we have created a new logo and business card design for DaniJo Hawkins Pottery a local Genesee County artist. Danielle Hawkins owner of DaniJo Hawkins Potter loves to create in clay. She believes in recreating, repurposing, up cycling. She believes you can beautify someone else's trash into your treasure and that is seen in her pottery! To view her amazing work please click here . If you are in need of a new logo contact us at Behind Your Design  today to get started!
By Chelsea Mills 27 Jun, 2017
Behind Your Design is excited to announce the logo design and responsive website launch for Linda Lucas Design. Linda Lucas owner of Linda Lucas Design is dedicated to creating an environment that reflects her client’s personality and lifestyle, by capturing their design dreams and making them a reality. With over 13 years’ experience, Linda offers a wealth of knowledge in both new construction, and remodeling an existing space. Linda understands that listening to a client’s needs is key, and is committed to working with you to create a beautiful living environment, while embracing your style through inspiration and imagination. She completed her interior design studies through Interior Design Institute, a Certified Interior Design (C.I.D.) approved program. To learn more about Linda and her services please click here . Contact us at  Behind Your Design  to help you design your next website.
By Chelsea Mills 02 Jun, 2017
Behind Your Design is excited to announce the launch of Bella Vita's new responsive website. Bella Vita Senior Living will be opening their doors this summer in Grand Blanc, Michigan.  At Bella Vita they believe in an  our all-inclusive service and care with an all-inclusive rate makes the decision of placement for your loved one a lot simpler. It allows you to budget your family member finances consistently without the stress of a changing add-on rate provided by other companies. They provide many services such as life enrichment programs, laundry, housekeeping, beauty shop, dining services and more. To learn more about the Bella Vita and their services please click  here   . Contact us at  Behind Your Design  to help you design your next website.
By Chelsea Mills 02 Jun, 2017
Behind Your Design is excited to announce the launch of the Corner Bar and Grill's new responsive website. The Corner Bar and Grill is a rock ‘n’ roll gastro pub located in Fenton.  If you are looking for a great place to dine with a terrific atmosphere the Corner Bar is the place to be! Their weekend brunch menu is sure to please everyone in your family with plate such as chicken and waffles, speciality brew cakes and loaded omelettes and lets not forget their mimosas and beermosas! They also feature live music every Saturday. So make sure to check them out the next time you are in Fenton! To learn more about their menu please click here Contact us at   Behind Your Design    to help you design your next website.
By Chelsea Mills 10 Apr, 2017
Behind Your Design is excited to announce the launch of Mansour Realty's new responsive website. Mansour Realty, Inc  is local company provides strategic, high-quality services and solutions for commercial real estate owners, investors, managers and users. Although their named changed from Mansour Developments to Mansour Realty, Inc. they have 50 years of experience in researching, purchasing, developing and selling properties. And for the last 15 years they have been putting their expertise to help other companies with their commercial real estate needs. To learn more about the Mansour Realty and its services please click here . Contact us at  Behind Your Design  to help you design your next website.
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