Builders Exchange of Michigan: What services does Ryerson Brother’s Excavating provide for the construction industry?
Martin Ryerson: Ryerson Brother’s Excavating provides residential and commercial excavating services. This includes
- Retaining walls
- Site preparation
- Concrete preparation
- Concrete flatwork
- Erosion control
We also specialize in installing city water service, city sewer lines, and septic systems. We just added a concrete crew that performs concrete flatwork, such as driveways, sidewalks, patios, and floors.
BX: How did your company get its name?
MR: Jon M. Ryerson started Ryerson Sewer Installers in 1980. Over the years, he built a very successful business covering the Muskegon County area. He specialized in installing and replacing city water lines, city sewer lines, and septic systems. In 2018, my brother Jon and I purchased the business from him. We changed the name to Ryerson Brother’s Excavating LLC, and have since expanded the service offered.
BX: What are your company’s short-term and long-term goals?
MR: Short-term, we’d like to buy a commercial property and build a shop/office building in the Muskegon County Business Park North area. Long-term, we’d like to become more vertically integrated to create a better profit margin.
BX: What jobs and projects have you recently completed?
MR: We recently built a 205-foot long Redi-Rock retaining wall for a customer in North Muskegon. The customer’s old wood retaining wall was failing and he needed a solution that would last a lifetime.
We also just completed a project on Lost Valley Road in Montague, where we used approximately 1,300 yards of fill sand to fill behind a newly installed sheet piling sea wall. After that was complete, we installed 365 tons of Fieldstone Rip Rap in front of the wall to break up the force of the waves. Lastly, we removed all the old wooden sea walls that were further out, which were originally installed decades ago.
BX: What’s the best business advice you’ve heard?
MR: It may be cliche, but striving to have our crews treat every project like it’s our own homes is crucial. The experience that taught me the most about construction, before I took over the company, was during a major remodel of my own home. Many of the contractors we worked with lacked professionalism and the courtesy that business owners should provide. This experience taught me to learn not only from my own mistakes but others’ mistakes as well.
BX: What core values does your company have that attribute to your success?
MR: Communication, attention to detail, professionalism, and great knowledge through hands-on experience and research. Our father spent almost forty years building a reputation for high-quality workmanship. We try every day to continue his legacy.
BX: What’s your company’s biggest strength?
MR: Customer service. We take pride in customer satisfaction by having thorough communication before, during, and after the project process.
BX: What’s one thing your company gets praised about most?
MR: We are often praised for our communication, quality workmanship, efficiency, and being kind and professional when on the job.
BX: How has your company been impacted by the challenges of the last year? How have you overcome them?
MR: The biggest impact we’ve faced is how busy we’ve become. Whether it’s directly related to COVID-19 or other economic reasons, the residential building industry has been exploding. We have received more calls and project requests than ever before. We’ve overcome this by growing in staff and equipment and by providing quality service from our team. It has been a lot of work, but that is a good problem to have.
BX: How has being a member of the Builders Exchange of Michigan been of value to you?
MR: Being a member of the Builders Exchange of Michigan has allowed us to explore our involvement in larger projects. We’ve used our membership to help seek relationships with larger contractors where we can provide our services.
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