Building Trust

Michael Kinder & Sons delivers on promises to keep customers coming back.
Sep 6, 2017
Tammy Davis
Building Trust

Bill Kinder knows that the hallmark of a successful business is its ability to build long-term relationships with customers. It takes time to build that kind of trust, but each promise kept and each project completed as promised brings the CEO of Michael Kinder & Sons (MKS) closer to that goal. 

“The word we give on day one, we stand behind to the end,” says Kinder. “There’s no deviation from that.”

The company has a 125-year legacy of delivering on its promises, and to clients like Trine University, that makes a big difference. MKS began working with Trine nearly four years ago when the school needed a facility to support its newly-introduced Doctor of Physical Therapy program. 

More than simply a building project, MKS worked collaboratively not only with Trine, but also with Parkview Health and Huntington University, both of which have a stake in the project. The design and build-out of the space was closely tied to achieving accreditation for the program.

“We became the planner as they developed a partnership between Huntington, Parkview and Trine,” says Kinder. “We helped them program the space they needed and helped them meet accreditation requirements.”

MKS credits the project’s success with an engagement that began at the planning stage. 

“That’s where we start building the relationship and really bring value to the customer,” explains Zach Kessie, vice president of business development at MKS. 

By getting involved at the beginning of a project, MKS can use its experience to help align the program, budget and the design during the initial planning process. The company can also work to identify potential challenges, identify the right team of partners for the project and streamline the communication process to eliminate surprises.

“Our whole goal is to address all of the issues in the planning/design stage, along with putting together the right team for the project,” says Kinder. “Each project is different and requires the right plan and partners.”

Soon after the physical therapy school was successfully completed, MKS received another call from Trine, this time to work on a facility for its Physician Assistant Studies program. Another fruitful experience brought more calls that eventually led to projects on Trine’s main campus. Most recently, MKS completed the Thunder Ice Arena to accommodate Trine’s new hockey programs, and the MTI Center which will house the university’s basketball programs, golf course clubhouse, bowling alley and e-gaming suite. 

“The best part is that we’ve been a partner in developing everything from launching new degree programs to sports facilities,” says Kinder. “The big thing we bring to the table is our integrated planning and design process which, in turn, simplifies the construction process.”

Michael Bock, senior vice president at Trine University, agrees that the upfront work sets MKS apart. “We spent a great deal of time in the planning and budgeting process, which reduced actual construction costs and at the same time developed strategies to reduce operating expenses for the longer term,” says Bock. 

Earning repeat business comes down to building trust, and that means delivering on promises. As a turnkey service provider, MKS takes responsibility for the entire scope of work and serves as a single point of contact to streamline the communication process. The company has even developed its own method to effectively manage project variables, an acronym they call the MKS ‘TECHnique.’ 

“When you bring us in at the beginning, we can achieve your needs,” says Kinder. “But if you don’t have the right team at inception, it makes it difficult to meet the project goals.”

That’s exactly why Trine keeps choosing to work with MKS. “We selected MKS for our two latest projects primarily because of the depth of its resources and the team it brought together to support us,” says Bock. “We’re very pleased with our relationship with MKS.”

Michael Kinder & Sons

Owner(s): Bill Kinder, CEO, Doug Kinder, president

Address: 5206 Decatur Road Fort Wayne, Indiana 46806

Phone: (260) 744-4359



Years in Business: 125

Number of Employees: Approx. 75-120 (depending on season)

Products & Services: Planning, site selection, design-build, general contracting, construction management, development. MKS provides one-stop, turnkey expertise for houses of worship, health care facilities, senior-care residences, industrial facilities, academic and athletic facilities, office buildings and commercial buildings of all kinds and size.

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