NCCM Company

NCCM Company

Project Details

River Falls, WI
33,450 square feet
End Use: Office, Manufacturing

Mill Roll Company Sees The Light

Company turns to Butler Builder® for bright, unified production and office space.

Built To Grow: The company is planning an expansion in 5 to 10 years.
Two-Story Office Space: Engineers from Butler helped unify the office and production space designs.
Low-Budget Natural Light: Six strategically placed windows maximize natural light on the production floor.

Building A Business

A Calculated Risk

Sometimes one decision can change a life. One moment in time can pave the way toward an entirely different future. For Brent and Julie Niccum that moment came in 2009 when they decided to leave successful careers in research and development, and marketing at 3M to become small business owners.

The 3M project Brent was working on at the time was finding a buyer for its mill roll product line. A mill roll is a specialized piece of equipment that helps flatten sheet metal (similar to a giant rolling pin). The industry-leading product aids in the production of high-quality pieces of metal for use in the automotive industry. It has a soft material and unique structure to prevent sheet metal damage that frequently occurs when debris gets caught on traditional mill rolls with harder surfaces. It also offers a longer life, extra strength, cut and temperature resistance, and provides fluid control. These features reduce the imperfections that can delay and impair the competition when flattening metal for automotive factory work.

Knowing that the product line offered a lot of potential and that his experience with developing new technologies and process improvements could serve him well as a business owner, Niccum hatched a plan that proved mutually beneficial for himself and the company. He and his wife, Julie, would acquire the 3M technology, patents and intellectual property, and create their own company to produce and sell the mill rolls, putting his years of experience to continued use.

Thus, NCCM Company was born in River Falls, Wisconsin, in 2009, with Brent as its CEO.

Launching a new business venture during the heart of a recession was a risky move, but a calculated one, given Niccum’s experience working on the product line and the built-in customer base. During the first few years of operation, NCCM experienced success and a growing product demand, which eventually spurred demand by late 2013 for a new, larger production facility.

Opportunity For Improved Functionality

NCCM took a holistic look at its previous facility and identified opportunities for improvement, including functional and environmental changes. With a new building, the company wanted to centralize production at the facility, create an environment that emphasized quality control and unify production with administrative offices while infusing natural light into the facility.

Additionally, NCCM sought a facility that could accommodate expansion within five to 10 years. As the process for a new building started, the Niccums toured industrial parks in River Falls and noticed a trend: many of the buildings were Butler® buildings. At the same time, NCCM received strong recommendations from city administrators and local business leaders to consider Derrick Building Solutions (Derrick), a local Butler Builder® specializing in commercial and design-build construction in Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Chad and Bill Derrick, project manager and president, respectively, of Derrick Building Solutions, met with the mill roll leaders to showcase a portfolio of Butler buildings it had completed in the area. The facilities and Derrick’s reputation as the highest-quality builder available spoke volumes. During conversations with Chad and Bill, the Niccums learned the two companies had some things in common.

“We’re a faith-based company, and Derrick is an industry leader in building churches. It was really fun to realize we had common core values and business principles that aligned, which really sealed the deal for the partnership.”

Julie Niccum, NCCM

A clear vision for the design As planning began for the new NCCM facility, Julie and Brent Niccum had a clear vision for the look of the building. Natural light was a priority, and they wanted the building design to tie into the beautiful wooded area surrounding the industrial park. DJ Medin Architects collaborated with NCCM and Derrick to ensure the design incorporated the proper vision and building function.

“We knew a Butler building would work, but we needed to fit the cultural feel we were aiming to achieve.”

Julie Niccum, NCCM

The final design called for a vaulted foyer with glass walls in the conference rooms and office space so exterior light flowed freely into the building. NCCM also expressed an interest in having a corporate brand identity represented in the facility. So Butler custom-painted exposed steel beams to match the colors of NCCM.

Design Impacted By Pitfalls Of The Recession

Unfortunately, upon completion of the design, the bank conducted a market analysis and compared the NCCM building design with buildings that were built and foreclosed on in 2008 and 2009. The findings of the bank’s evaluation caused it to reduce financing and $300,000 from the design budget. Gone were the large windows planned for the production plant area of the building.

“NCCM was very level-headed when it came to what they needed in their building, versus what they wanted. We worked to amend the design and provide a solution that would give the building a similar, naturally lit feel within the revised budget.”

Chad Derrick, Derrick Building Solutions

Luckily, the Widespan structural system combined with a dozen 6-foot-by-3-foot windows positioned high on the building were able to deliver the open and light feel the Niccums desired.

“Even when the build process presented challenges, Derrick was so capable and experienced that we were able to move through issues quickly and smoothly.”

Brent Niccum, NCCM

Bringing In The Butler Engineers

To unify the architectural aspects of the twostory office space with the production area, Derrick relied on the Butler engineering team to ensure the integrity of the structural design.

“What NCCM liked about Butler is that you can make your building into whatever you want. You can combine conventional construction with architectural ambition, and that’s what we did on this project with the help of Butler’s engineering team.”

Chad Derrick, Derrick Building Solutions

Mother Nature Offers No Favors

Weather was one of the biggest challenges during the building process. During the winter of 2014, Wisconsin experienced one of the worst combinations of freezing temperatures and snow accumulation on record. Because of safety protocols, Derrick canceled multiple workdays
as the snow came down and biting temperatures offered no relief. As a result, the team from Derrick Building Solutions often worked weekends to take advantage of mild weather breaks to complete the project by early June.

The extra weekend work paid off. Upon completion of the building in June 2014, NCCM moved into its beautiful new facility. NCCM immediately noticed the amount of daylight flooding into the building, and the company has hardly needed to turn the lights on during the summer months.

“We’re extremely happy with the final look of the building and how it presents our company. Derrick did a great job of hitting our punch list and making sure all our needs were met even when we faced unanticipated challenges.”

Brent Niccum, NCCM

During the build process, NCCM heavily marketed the move via customer and partner outreach, in addition to significant communication via NCCM social networks. Customers stayed up to date on construction as images filled the Web from the groundbreaking ceremony right through to the building’s completion. Customer interest has soared.

“We have opened a floodgate. Our partners and customers want to come and visit us now that we’re in the new facility. We’re happy to be in our own building, and expansion is already in the plans for the near future.”

Julie Niccum, NCCM

Butler Builder®

Derrick Building Solutions, LLC


DJ Medin Architects, Inc.

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