In today’s business world, catering to a specialized audience has allowed one East valley company to blossom into its CEO’s ultimate dream.
For Denco Dental Construction Inc. of Tempe, the business of teeth has elevated the company and enabled it to expand to 300-plus clientele in Arizona.
The idea of a construction company focused solely on building facilities for dentists and their offices came after Steve Anderson’s years as a residential contractor. His work since 1977 exposed him to the lucrative and creative world of commercial remodels. After years of “being everything to everyone” Anderson realized he was good at making dreams happen for people when it came to their work environments. His need to feel valued gave him motivation to contact the clientele from his past experience who needed the most help: Dentists.
“There was a major disconnect that doctors weren’t being listened to carefully,” Anderson said. “The things they wanted weren’t being applied into the project, so I thought ‘there’s my opportunity’.”
He began assembling his team and instilled the mentality of “do your best, give your best, always do right and stand behind what you do.”
Today, Denco Dental Construction helps professionals design their surroundings, and then Denco works as a general contractor to complete the projects.
Anderson said he has been able to work on more than 320 projects in the Valley with dentists. His work spans making minor improvements to renovations in the million-dollar-plus range.
“They’re all unique and they’re all special, but they all relate to who the dentist is,” Anderson said. “We’re not ashamed to have very simple offices in our portfolio, because it’s about who the dentist is and not about who we are.”
As president of Denco, Anderson’s job is similar to what a wedding planner does for a bride, except his clients wear scrubs instead of bridal gowns. His company facilitates the remodel or construction process and assembles a team to accomplish the desired changes the doctor has in mind. But he’s not always known for saying “yes.” Through his experience, he has advised various doctors to continue working for a year before reaching out to him again. “Take care of your debt,” he says. “I want the client to succeed, and I don’t want them taking on more that will hinder them.”
His reason for turning away some business is because “it’s about being a consultant to them on their future success.”
As a company that doesn’t advertise, Anderson relies on recommendations from his clients. Michael Crockett, D.D.S., of Crockett Family and Cosmetic Dentistry in Mesa pursued Anderson after a recommendation from his associate. An “extreme makeover” from flooring to cabinets to dental chairs was done in seven days. “The space seemed to open up more,” Crockett said. “Patients felt a little bit more comfortable with a bigger room.” He explains that a remodel does not generate income, rather his pursuit was for a renovation of new space that he purchased to help increase the morale of his staff.
Tim Cooper of Stetson Village Family Dentistry of Gilbert has practiced for almost 30 years and moved to Gilbert from Iowa. He heard of Denco from a dental supply company. After various interviews with contractors, he chose Anderson’s team because of the attention to detail and friendliness of Anderson’s staff.
“I didn’t really think of where scanners, copy and fax machines should go,” Cooper said. “He had some key insight on just how the fundamentals of the practice should be laid out and how the flow of patients should work.”
Cooper said his vision for his practice became a reality when Anderson assisted him with the designs.
“I’m a Midwest kind of a guy so I didn’t want something flamboyant,” he said. “We have a very grounded demographic area, so I didn’t want something over the top that was going to be a Taj Mahal type of dental office.”
Anderson said he is proud of Denco’s A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, and an endorsement from the Arizona Dental Association for construction and remodeling.
He said he considers himself blessed and he gives back to his community by donating a part of his proceeds, as well as interacting with future professionals.
He’s authored a book on how to design own your own dental office and speaks at dental schools in the Valley. He explains he went through a growing phase of wanting to become the biggest contractor in the Valley, but found he really wanted to “continue to improve” and maintain a high level of quality. “I’ve found a field that is needed,” Anderson said. “We provide options and answers to problems, and I love challenges and hearing the words ‘it can’t be done.’”