T & M Associates build greatness by building relationships

By LVEDC Staff on September 3, 2012

How many times have you heard a business say “It’s all about building relationships?”

Enough to tune it out.

But T & M Associates does more than talk about it, they’ve done it. The company was founded 45 years ago with three clients. Remarkably those three are still clients today.

Think about that. Forty-five years later and they still are working together.

“T & M was founded on client relations and quality service,” says Gary Dahms, executive vice president and chief operating officer of T & M. “The engineering business is technical, mathematical and numbers-driven, but business is client relations. Understanding what the client wants and then providing an efficient, economical solution to that in a timely matter.”

It’s all in the way you do it

Talk to any business and almost all of them will disseminate their desire to be great. But the reality is few are.

There are a lot of quality engineering companies out there. What makes T & M Associates rise to the top is their ability to combine professional expertise with modern technological resources to provide effective planning and implementation of those plans.

“That’s what we mean when we talk about ‘total engineering solutions,’ giving our clients solutions that represent the greatest value in the short and long terms,” Dahms said. “What differentiates us is our bottom-line approach that draws on our technical excellence and our practical, business experience to deliver our clients answers that provide the greatest benefit for the least cost.”

The company also prides itself on the expertise of its employees. T & M has almost 300 staff members who hold more than 150 licenses in engineering and related technical fields including geology, land surveying, planning and landscape architecture. Those 300 folks have an array of abilities that collectively make T & M a diverse professional service firm capable of providing a vast spectrum of services to potential public- and private-sector clients.

“Our people make our company stand out,” Dahms says matter-of-fact. “The company has a low turnover rate. More than half the employees were here before the other half were born.”

T&M takes care of their own and they also look out for their clients, which fosters trust.

“We are not a transactional company,” he noted. “We build long-term relationships because, in part, we have built a reputation for getting the job done.”

No matter the size, scope, or challenge of it.

Looking to the future

The New Jersey-based T & M Associates has recently entered the Lehigh Valley market with an office in Bethlehem featuring a staff of 12.

“The Lehigh Valley and the City of Bethlehem offer huge potential,” Dahms said. “It’s a town on the rebound with real potential for growth through redevelopment and that requires engineering support whether on the public or private side.”

The 1980 Lafayette College graduate added the Lehigh Valley has a great quality of life, with many fabulous college and universities (yes, that includes Lehigh) with engineering students who want to remain in the region.

That home grown talent means T & M can provide quality engineering support in almost any situation. From the design and maintenance of major structures, bridges and roadway, to environmental and public works projects to helping in the preservation of open space, T&M has played a major role in maintaining the infrastructure needs of the communities they serve.

The company accomplishes this through their ability to focus their operations into seven sectors. Of the seven, perhaps the most salient is the Energy and Utilities sector.

“The Energy Market sector has the largest potential for growth thanks to the growing trend in the United States toward sustainable and local energy solutions,” Dahms said.

Obviously the company sees great opportunity within this sector, but more than that it’s something that has to be done for the improvement of society. The reality is our nation stands at a crossroads and a transition to a new era of responsible energy consumption must be made.

“What’s exciting is that when it comes to creating a sustainable future, T&M has the know-how to complete any capital improvement project, energy conservation program or facility assessment and get it done right,” Dahms said.

The energy and utility services T & M provides includes renewable energy; preliminary assessments; economic analysis; building systems and analysis and studies; site planning and design; state and federal permits and coordination; structural and electrical engineering, construction inspection and administration; and geographic information systems.

“There are many public entities that take advantage of our services, such as schools and government facilities,” Dahms said.

T & M Environmental Sciences sector includes a litany of professionals in environmental planning, resource management and hydrogeology. Personnel in that sector are responsible for the identification of environmentally sensitive features and environmental regulatory constraints on site development and mitigation of potential impacts.

“Since our clients come from both sides of the process, though never at the same time, we understand both perspectives and work closely with attorneys to develop solutions,” Dahms noted. “Regardless of whether we’re working for an applicant or governing body, we still try to help applicants achieve their goals while protecting the environment and the overall public interest.

“Sometimes that requires working with attorneys to change zoning ordinances or permitting processes or even advocate legislative changes that strike the right balance between land-use, economic development and protecting the environment.”

Their Public Works sector is a division that shines when it comes to helping municipalities with their engineering and planning needs.

“For 45 years we’ve completed many, many public engineering projects,” he said.

This includes recreational parks and storm drainage facilities, bridges and roadways, neighborhood redevelopment, water supply, treatment and distribution as well as wastewater collection and treatment.

The company’s Real Estate Development-sector prides itself on its ability to complete complex projects within budget and on a fast track.

“The way we help ensure this is our upfront analysis,” Dahms said.

By reviewing every aspect of the project’s parameters initially, the most prudent approach can be designed early on, allowing consistent progress toward a successful and timely completion.

The Solid Waste division provides planning, permitting, design and construction phase services. They are also proud of their ability to work with a client; in some cases to extend the useful life of their landfill, transfer station or recycling facility to its capacity and beyond.

The Transportation sector is most interesting, because it showcases T & M’s progressive approach and ability to identify problems and then design solutions to them before they occur.

“This is an unmatched asset in that sector,” he added.

And the Water and Wastewater division has copious experience planning and specifying systems for water supply and distribution, sewage collection systems, pumping station, treatment plants, system upgrades and infrastructure replacement for the treatment, supply and collection of water and wastewater.

And when you get down to it, that’s how you build long-term professional relationships. By being an outstanding, results-oriented company that boasts a skilled workforce and does things right and on time.

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