e spoke with Fred Runco, Owner and Founder of ICM Consulting, to get his perspective on the industry during these challenging times – and learn how he and his team are meeting those challenges head-on.
Featuring a staff with expertise in Engineering, Construction, and Architecture, ICM Consulting provides a broad spectrum of construction services that serve owner representatives as well as design/build general contractors.
When we asked what ICM’s strengths were, Fred chuckled: “If you’d asked me that question in 2019, I would have said hotel construction. COVID-19 has really killed hotel renovations because cash flow has taken such a hit. As a result, ICM has had to pivot its focus a bit.”
Pivoting is nothing new to ICM Consulting. Beginning in 2006, ICM Consulting got its start specializing in the construction of hotels and high-end homes. The 2008 recession forced the young company to pivot in order to survive. ICM was able to change its focus and weathered that recession. Ironically, their pivot in 2020 takes ICM’s focus back to high-end homes and residential apartments, where they maintain expertise.
At Sarandi Manufacturing, we are very pleased to work with the professionals at ICM Consulting, LLC and appreciate their feedback of our work:
"Sarandi Manufacturing does 70% of our work and we are extremely happy with them. Their customer service takes care of problems immediately. They are very professional, very detailed and quality oriented. They make our life easier. With Sarandi, we have one less thing to worry about because they do their jobs well and are conscious about quality." - Fred Runco, Owner of ICM Consulting LLC
“ICM Consulting, LLC seeks to maintain a standard of excellence that is unparalleled in the industry. Our goal is to build lasting relationships with our clients based on trust and cooperation. We value our clients’ needs and protecting their interests is our top priority. ICM Consulting, LLC is committed to providing the highest level of professionalism, value engineering, and quality workmanship. We take great pride in our accomplishments and strive to continue managing the future of construction.”
How They Serve:
ICM Consulting provides clients with a transparent, low cost, project experience that highlights their expertise in all aspects of construction, value engineering and versatility. Their versatility allows them to cater their role within the project to the client’s needs.
“When one door closes, another opens”, Fred states. “You have to change with the times and be willing to look for other opportunities. The residential apartment industry is still doing well; and high-end homes with libraries and home offices are in high demand for business executives who are now working primarily from home.”
Our conversation then turned to the business itself. ICM Consulting is a small, family-ran business.
“We always try to be honest, open, and upfront with our clients. We’re not looking to get rich on one job. Our focus is on building relationships that will endure long into the future”, Fred adds.
This sentiment is at the heart of the philosophy that Fred shares with his daughter Nikki, ICM’s Administrative Director, and his son Jesse, who serves as Senior Project Director. The relationships that are built now will help ensure the future as Jesse and Nikki advance their presence within the company, handling more and more of the executive duties that help to make ICM all that it is.
Fred noted that he has tried to instill within his children an understanding that there are some things that can’t be controlled.
“The construction industry is deadline-intensive; but with supply-chain issues and 100’s of people, venders, subs and weather issues that need to be scheduled and monitored daily, some things are simply beyond anyone’s control and can mean deadlines are sometimes missed. That’s where being honest, open, and upfront with clients is so important,” Fred states.
Managing The Future Of Construction:
When you visit the ICM Consulting website, you will see the bold caption “Managing The Future Of Construction.” We asked Fred to elaborate on what this means to their clients.
In Fred’s words: “We try to stay on the cutting edge of technology. Where it makes sense, we take advantage of the advances in technology because that’s where the future is taking us.”
Fred went on to say:
“We were one of the 1st , if not the first, to use light gauge steel panelized systems in the hotel industry. We then transitioned from using concrete floor systems to light weight steel LGS floor systems in place of lumber or steel I joist. Finally, we were one of the first to begin using MEGABOARD flooring which carries an impressive STC and fire rating for its thickness and weight.
According to Ectek International’s website, MEGABOARD is a lightweight and high-density board which is characterized by convenience in construction. It is very suitable for sawing and nailing without being warped or cracked. In addition, the surface of the boards can be painted or covered with, gyp-crete, carpet, tile or wallpaper. This product is insect-repellant and not self-heating. The board has great thermal insulation, sound insulation and endurance towards a wide range in temperature…it is fireproof, explosion-proof, and does not emit noxious fumes.
While these materials, along with the LGS vs Wood are a little higher in cost than traditional materials, Fred told us the price gap has consistently narrowed and is now only about 3%- 5% higher. I believe you actually will save money in the long run. The long-term savings far outweigh the initial investment. The most notable savings would be lower insurance rates due to reduced fire risk, lower maintenance cost, and greater endurance (longer life span).
In conclusion, what differentiates ICM Consulting LLC from its competitors is the unique combination of both small business family values and the advantages that creativity and technology have to offer the industry. Add to that the work ethic and integrity that, Fred Runco, Jesse Runco and Nicole Runco Milberg possess, and you have the perfect recipe for a truly special company.