Design Systems Builders Finds Success Through Partnership

For Nashville-Based Butler Builder, Collaboration Is Key

Assertions of being a “good partner” or the “right partner for you” have been popular in sales and marketing jargon for decades. Unfortunately, these claims have been diluted by too many companies proving – through action or inaction – that they are little more than hollow claims. And so, the claim of partnership has fallen into the depths of business clichés.

It’s unfortunate. Because there are companies out there that truly deliver on the promise. They enhance the business experience, deliver true value, and ask for nothing more in return than a fair price and a warm handshake.

And they do exist. In fact, there’s a Butler Builder® in Nashville that has been “walking the talk” for nearly half a century.

In 1958, Ted Frierson founded a general contracting company in Nashville, TN, called T.W. Frierson Contractor, Inc. His company met the construction needs of local businesses and quickly started to grow. Less than 20 years into the venture, the company (now 100% Employee Owned) saw huge potential in the area of pre-engineered metal buildings (PEMB), which had proven to be incredibly effective for industrial and commercial buildings.

So, rather than just add it as an optional service within their company, they went all in. In 1976, they created an entire company, called Design Systems Builders, LLC (DSB), which would specialize in the construction of PEMB. But the specialization didn’t stop there. They also committed to focusing solely on what they saw as the premium products offered by Butler Manufacturing™.

DSB Team at the 2022 Butler Builder Meeting
DSB Team at the 2022 Butler Builder Meeting

A Laser Focus On Butler Projects

DSB is unique in many ways, starting with the fact that they work exclusively with Butler® PEMB projects. Shortly after becoming a Butler Builder in 1976, they made the decision to self-perform all steel erection starting in 1979. This is something very few builders are able to commit to, but in their eyes, it gives them the control over quality that they want to ensure the best outcome for their clients.

Whether it was common sense instilled in him on the farm, or business sense he picked up along the way, Jim has maintained an unwavering approach to his construction business. He knew that using the same materials and building the same type of structure as often as possible would help him establish a unique level of expertise and be more profitable in that niche.

“I just want to build big boxes. I don’t want to build complicated buildings if I can help it. The bigger the box the happier I am,” Jim quipped.

Guy Harris, DSB Vice President

Using the Butler Classic line lets him do that quickly and efficiently. It allows his crew and roster of subcontractors to work with familiar methods and processes on every job because the steel shows up the same way every time.

With the engineering that goes into Butler products and factory punching that is part of the manufacturing process, Jim is able to keep his growing list of projects turning.

“We have five Classic buildings, all over 100,000 square feet, going up right now,” Jim said.

It is almost certain that James Ware Construction has erected more square feet of Butler Classic buildings than any other builder. Over the years, they have worked with a wide range of companies building everything from warehouses and machine shops to manufacturing facilities and distribution centers. Jim remembers plenty of “odd buildings” with special requirements such as tall crane bays.

“Any special requirements, I just contact Butler and you can get it for a Classic building,” he said.

Loyalty To The Butler Brand

James Ware Construction never built any other brand of metal building – nothing but Butler all these years.

When asked if he was ever tempted to explore what other PEMB manufacturers offer, Jim simply replied, “If I can’t sell it using a Butler building, I’m not interested in doing it. Butler builds a really good building.”

His consistency has been rewarded with a strong relationship with Butler, and a very loyal customer base. “We never lose a job for a repeat customer,” Jim said.

Once they experience the service Jim’s company provides and the quality of the Butler products, they never go anywhere else. In addition to the legendary structural quality, customers also like the appearance of Butler products. One feature Jim points out is the grey primer on the structurals and galvanized secondaries that are standard with Butler products.

A Range Of Advantages

The Classic Building System comes in two tiers, each specially curated to deliver unique advantages. Tier I focuses on speed while Tier II brings more flexibility.

There are many standard advantages that include:

  • Fast delivery
  • Budget friendly
  • Shorter build times
  • Integration with other Butler systems
  • Various wall options for the aesthetic look you want

“You can build just about any building out of the Classic line. We can make them work,” Jim said.

And that’s exactly what he has done for nearly 45 years.

Interested in Becoming a Butler Builder?

There is a reason 30 percent of our contractors have been a Butler Builder for 30+ years. If you’re interested in a partnership with us, click the link below to get in touch with us.

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