JE Dunn Construction Vice President Chris Paris heard high praise about Spectra Contract Flooring for years, but he never had the chance to work with us until his team secured a high-stakes renovation for the Dallas ExxonMobil headquarters — a project scope that included work for Rex Tillerson, the man who would eventually rise to U.S. Secretary of State.
More on that later.
Spectra won the contract as the lowest bidder. But as much as we’d love to claim the job faced no hiccups, that wasn’t the case. In fact, that’s rarely ever the case in any construction project.
Instead, this is the story of a project gone wrong — and made right.
The transparency of Spectra’s approach deepened Chris’s trust and respect in our team more than a perfect job ever could have achieved.
“I think a lot of folks in this industry just tell you what you want to hear … and they know full well that they’re not going to get it done. With Spectra, it became a really good relationship because I knew I could have those frank conversations. Spectra has done a great job and been a great partner,” said Chris.
A rough start meets a swift recovery
Chris has been the vice president of JE Dunn for nearly a decade. His first year on the job was the same year that Spectra landed the ExxonMobil job.
Back then, much hung on the line for both of us.
The ExxonMobil job was a huge opportunity for the Spectra team to prove themselves to JE Dunn. For Chris, whose responsibilities span both supporting field staff and securing new business, that job would set the standard for his performance.
The job had a massive footprint, high finish, tight schedule and involved a high-pressure flooring replacement in the office of then-CEO Rex Tillerson.
So when Chris stepped on site and spotted early quality and scheduling issues that didn’t meet his standards, he immediately reached out to his dedicated Spectra contact: Phillip Chambers.
“We brought Phillip and his team in, sat in our main office conference room and just laid the problems out on the table.”
Chris braced himself for the typical subcontractor response: excuses, evasion and hollow promises to do better. But that’s not what happened at all.
Related reading: 6 problems you shouldn’t have with your commercial flooring subcontractor.
Good business depends on transparency and teamwork
Phillip and the team let Chris outline his observations, including fears about the project’s pace. And as Chris talked, he realized something: Phillip was actually hearing him.
“Perfection from the beginning would be good, but you never know how good a partner you have until you go through something like that,” said Chris.
During this meeting, Phillip offered some insights that JE Dunn’s project supervisor could follow to improve scheduling conditions. Both parties left with a clear plan of what needed to be fixed and how to get it right.
“That definitely helped build my trust in Spectra and Phillip faster than if everything had just gone great the whole time. One of the reasons I respect Phillip so highly is because he listened and made it right.”
Spectra didn’t just finish the job with a flawless delivery for ExxonMobil. That early interaction between Chris and Phillip set the foundation for a years-long partnership that enriched business for both parties.
“Even when we’re contracted with a different flooring provider, I still call Phillip.”
Thanks to successfully completing that first project, we’ve become a repeat partner for JE Dunn over the last ten years. We still contract with them regularly on everything from healthcare to hospitality, new construction to renovations and more.
And as much as Spectra would love to be the sole flooring provider for JE Dunn, that’s just not realistic for our industry — and that’s okay. That’s business as usual.
What’s not business as usual is how Chris and Phillip’s collaboration transcends exclusive work contracts.
“Even when we’re contracted with a different flooring provider, I still call Phillip and just bounce ideas off him. I might say, ‘Hey, these guys are telling me that this material’s not available or costs this much. Is that realistic?’ And he’ll tell me whether or not it’s true. Having folks like that, who will listen and work together to come up with great solutions, that’s really the biggest thing that we’re looking for.”
And year after year, Spectra delivers.
“It really comes down to having people that you trust and people that will be honest with you so that you can be successful. When you’re a really good company, then everyone has the same values and treats people the same way. That’s what Phillip does, and that’s what makes Spectra a great company,” said Chris.
Get the Spectra experience on your next flooring job
When you work with Spectra Contract Flooring, you can always count on a collaborative, solutions-based approach delivered with professionalism and transparency.
And thanks to our recent Diverzify partnership, all customers have access to the resources of the largest commercial flooring contractor in the United States. This means 52 locations from coast to coast, a powerful end-to-end logistics network and 400,000+ diverse installations in our portfolio.
But no matter how much we grow, our values remain unchanged. The experience Chris has with Spectra is how we handle every job.
And it’s how we’ll handle your next project, too.