Careers at Kiewit Corporation
Kiewit’s mission is to build its projects safely, on time, on budget, and with no surprises.
Peter and Andrew Kiewit were brothers and sons of a brick maker in Iowa. As adults they moved to Omaha, Nebraska, and in 1884 they founded Kiewit Brothers, a masonry contracting partnership. In 1889 they received their biggest contract, for the seven-story Lincoln Hotel. In 1900 they expanded into general contracting. In 1904 they ended their partnership and Peter continued to lead the firm.
In 1912, when Peter‘s sons Ralph and George joined the business, it was renamed Peter Kiewit & Sons. Just two years later Peter died and Ralph took over. In 1920 their brother Peter Jr. joined. In 1924 it celebrated its first million-dollar contract for the Livestock Exchange Building. The rest of the decade saw other prominent projects such as Union Station and the Nebraska State Capitol Tower.
In 1930 Ralph left and Peter Jr. dissolved the company, reorganizing it as Peter Kiewit Sons', Co. In order to save cash and motivate workers, he began selling shares of company stock to important managers. He also began estimating, bidding, and supervising entire projects, and decided to diversify into heavy construction – the building of bridges, tunnels, dams, highways, etc.
The first project he landed in this arena, a road-building contract in Texas, was not a major success, as he was unable to complete the work on schedule. However, it gave him the experience needed when president Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deals public works program began accepting bids for its projects. His firm constructed works such as a canal and reservoir for the Loup River Public Power.
During World War II Kiewit ventured into defense contracts, building cantonments, bomber installations, and a uranium plant. The projects proved it could handle large-scale projects. In the 1980s it reoganized its services into three business groups: Kiewit Construction Group, Kiewit Mining Group, and Kiewit Holdings Group. It is now one of the world’s largest construction firms.
Benefits at Kiewit Corporation
Business model of Kiewit Corporation
Kiewit has a mass market business model, with no significant differentiation between customer segments. The company completes construction and engineering projects for firms of all industries and sizes.
Kiewit offers three primary value propositions: accessibility, risk reduction, and brand/status.
The company creates accessibility by providing a wide variety of options. It has significant experience completing projects in a broad range of areas, particularly building, mining, oil/gas/chemical, power, transportation, and water/wastewater.
The company reduces risk by maintaining high quality standards. It created a formal quality program through which it does the following:
- Creates work plans that describe the means and methods of performing its work. Pre-activity meetings communicate how its work plans fulfill contract, design, and client requirements.
- Identifies and immediately reports quality issues as they occur. If there is an issue, root cause analysis is performed to eliminate the causes of quality issues and prevent future occurrence.
- Ensures that supervisors and craftsmen continuously check work as it is performed by direct reports, ensuring that it is built “right the first time.”
The company has established a strong brand due to its success. It is one of the largest construction and engineering firms in the U.S. It is a Fortune 300 company and generated revenues of over $9 billion in 2015. It claims to have virtually unlimited bonding capacity and to be one of the few construction firms able to compete for billion-dollar mega-projects. Lastly, it has won a number of honors, including the following:
- Recognition as one of America’s Best Large Employers by Forbes
- Recognition as one of the World’s Most Admired Companies by Fortune
- Recognition as one of the Top Companies for Leaders by AON Hewitt
- Recognition as one of the Most Attractive Employers for Engineering Students by Universum
- A Better Business Bureau Integrity Award
- Consistent ranking among the top five of the Engineering News-RecordTop 400 Contractors
Kiewit’s main channel is its direct sales team. The company promotes its offering through its website, social media pages, and participation in trade shows and conferences.
Kiewit’s customer relationship is primarily of a dedicated personal assistance nature. The company works closely with clients as it completes their construction and engineering projects. Almost all projects are staffed by one or more owners of the firm.
Kiewit’s business model entails providing construction and engineering services for its clients.
Kiewit’s key partners are the suppliers that provide it with the materials and equipment it needs to carry out its construction and engineering projects.
Kiewit’s main resources are its human resources, who include the engineers and construction workers that deliver its services to customers. The company also depends heavily on capital expenditures such as its equipment.
Kiewit has a value-driven structure, aiming to provide a premium proposition through significant personal service and regular service enhancements. Its biggest cost driver is likely cost of services, a variable expense. Other major drivers are in the areas of customer support and administration, both fixed costs
Kiewit has one revenue stream: revenues it generates from the sales of its services to its customers. The sales typically occur through the signing of short- and long-term contracts.
info: Bruce E. Grewcock earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mining Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines. He previously held several leadership roles at Kiewit, including Executive VP, Chief Operating Officer, and Chief Engineer of the Black Butte Mine.
info: Scott L. Cassels is a graduate of the University of Hawaii. He previously served as President of Gilbert Industrial Corporation, and as President of Gilbert Central Corporation. He currently also serves as a Senior Vice President of Kiewit Construction Company.
info: Thomas Shelby earned a B.S. in Construction Engineering at Purdue University and an M.S. and MBA at Arizona State University. He previously served as a Program Manager at Hewlett-Packard and as a Senior Superintendent at Bechtel Power Corporation.
info: Lance Wilhelm is a graduate of the University of Hawaii. He previously served as Senior Vice President and Hawaii Area Manager of Kiewit Building Group, and has also held positions as an estimator, superintendent, project manager, and business manager at Kiewit Corp.
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