Freedom and Responsibility
Since its inception in 1996, Long International, Inc. has served clients and projects located in over 45 countries spanning six continents. As the winner of the 2017 US Small Cap CEO of the Year award, we spoke to the company’s founder and Chief Executive Officer, Richard J. Long, P.E. to find out about his approach to senior leadership.
Based in the Denver, Colorado area, Long International provides engineering and construction claims analysis and expert testimony, project management consulting as well as insurance claims analysis to the engineering and construction industry worldwide.
Andrew Avalon, P.E., PSP, President of Long International, who has more than 30 years of engineering, construction management and claims consulting experience, praises Long for his leadership. “I have the highest respect and admiration for Richard Long,” he says. “He has been an excellent CEO and a good friend and business partner of mine.
Pictured above: CEO, Richard J. Long,
“He has tremendous integrity and caring for the quality of our work,” Avalon says. “I think Long International has the excellent reputation that it does – because of the exceptional amount of care Richard puts into the work he performs – and the high standards he has established for the quality of our work products.”
Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Long International, Richard J. Long, starts the interview by introducing the company’s work, including their work on insurance claims, as well as their mission.
“When it comes to construction claims, Long International focuses on schedule delay analyses, time extension determinations and assessment of responsibility for delay to the schedule of a project compared to the planned or contractual deadlines. As for project management, the company analyses project management performance and standard of care by engineers, contractors and owners in their roles and responsibilities on a project.
“Long International also performs calculations to determine the damages or quantum aspects of a claim, including costs associated with disputed change orders, delays, loss of productivity, cumulative impacts and other types of cost overruns.
“Concerning insurance claims, the company concentrates on business interruption, advance loss of profits, delayed startup and property loss claims. This is either for the insurance company or for the owner of a project that has been damaged by fire, an explosion, delayed delivery of essential equipment, or another covered event. It also evaluates the recoverability of cost/schedule impacts of code upgrades and betterments made by the owner, following an insurance event.
“The mission of the company is twofold. Firstly, it is to evaluate responsibility for engineering and construction or insurance claims. Secondly, it is to provide project management consulting services that, through the application of sound project management and project controls practices, aims to prevent and resolve problems that negatively affect the success of engineering and construction projects.”
Richard then explains how it feels to have won the US Small Cap CEO of the Year award.
“I feel honoured to be the winner of this award, as there were many other talented nominees who have also made outstanding achievements for their companies. My success is also a tribute to the core team of professionals, with whom I have had the privilege of working with, to grow our company.
“Winning the award means a great deal to myself and Long International. Winning not only represents recognition for the dedication and hard work that went into growing the company to where it is today, but also it recognises the high-quality work of our employees and consultants, who have given Long International an excellent reputation in the industries we serve.
“I am humbled by the recognition that the largest companies in the world come to Long International – to provide construction claims and project management consulting services – on multibillion-dollar engineering and construction projects.”
Richard reveals how long he has been a CEO and how the company has performed since.
“I have been CEO of Long International for over 20 years. When I started the company, I was its sole employee. Today, Long International employs a staff of 55 who are stationed in U.S. locations such as Colorado, Texas, Georgia, Florida, Arizona, Massachusetts, Kansas, Nevada, Tennessee, Utah, Oregon and Washington. Internationally, Long International has consultants located in Canada, Trinidad and Tobago, United Arab Emirates and the UK, and we keep adding to the organisation each year.
“Along with growing the size of our staff, Long International has grown the size of its customer base. Today, our clients include companies such as Chevron TOTAL, Shell, Saudi Aramco, Petrotrin, Ameron Corporation, Apache Corporation, Vale, Saulsbury Industries, Manitoba Hydro, Lower Churchill Management Corporation, SNC Lavalin, Technip, Tecnicas Reunitas, Chubb, AIG, Stikeman Elliott, Blakes, King & Spalding, Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt and White & Case.
“Long International has worked for clients and on projects in over 45 countries, six continents and throughout the United States. The company’s revenues and profits have grown over tenfold since the first few years of our existence, a fact that attests to clients being pleased with the quality of the work we produce.”
Richard then provides a fascinating insight into his role as a CEO and what this involves, including for example any successes, methods and achievements in this vein.
“As CEO, one of my main duties is focusing on company strategy. More specifically, this involves ascertaining whether opportunities and projects will help grow the company in the right direction. This entails sound decision making – especially since Long International operates in a variety of foreign markets – where there are various factors to take into consideration, such as additional legal and tax requirements for U.S.-based entities.
“If an opportunity or project does align with our overall company strategy, then it is also my responsibility to ensure that resources are properly allocated. As a CEO, I am constantly working to balance the needs of a variety of stakeholders as well, such as shareholders, employees, consultants and clients.
“As for the company’s successes, much of Long International’s work is from repeat clients. This is because Long International focuses on performing highquality work and producing first-rate work products, plus we frequently obtain repeat business. In addition, our consultants have many years of engineering, project, construction management, contract administration and project controls experience among them.
“Consequently, they have the qualifications, capability, know-how and credibility to properly analyse problems and disputes, establish cause/ effect relationships and develop defensible and persuasive opinions relative to the responsibility for problems, as well as the resulting schedule delays and cost overruns.
“This expertise also provides our clients with the knowledge to properly manage and control the scope, quality, cost, schedule/ programme and contract administration aspects of their projects and prevent or mitigate any problems that may arise.”
Following on from this, Richard reveals his views on the essential qualities that all CEO’s should possess. He also tells us about his most significant achievements from the past calendar year, as a CEO.
“A CEO provides the vision for a company, as well as sets realistic goals for growth and financial success. Another important attribute for a CEO today is to have a global business strategy due to the interconnectedness among economies. From the beginning – I saw the company’s focus to be the oil and gas, petroleum refining, power, petrochemical and chemical industries and other industrial facilities – because those industries are where our consultants have spent most of their careers.
“Also, I recognised that major capital expenditures in these industries were occurring outside the United States. Thus, Long International needed to have an international outreach to attract clients worldwide. Because of that vision and strategy, we have become a worldwide leader in providing construction claims experts on industrial projects.
“During 2016, Long International exceeded all prior revenue and profit achievements and obtained several new international clients that solidified our backlog for the foreseeable future. Also, I was selected as a tribunal-appointed schedule delay expert in a large International Chamber of Commerce arbitration proceeding held in London and Paris, which resulted in being subsequently selected by one of the parties as an expert on a new project located in South America.”
Richard is keen to tell us what the best thing about being a CEO is – plus any innovative business strategies that he has implemented.
“Being a CEO not only involves significant responsibility, but also it allows tremendous freedom to choose which priorities to focus on and how to structure your day at work. I also feel a great sense of satisfaction when I turn ideas for both growth and profitability into tangible results.
“When I formed Long International, I implemented a business strategy that allowed the company’s consultants to earn a significant income based on billable work paid by our clients. This model rewards our personnel, as well as shareholders and has resulted in high loyalty and low turnover. l have worked together with many of the personnel here, for over 30 years, including their tenure at Long International. The company’s core business strategy is to continue preparing superior work products, to earn repeat business from our clients.”
Richard then tells us his hopes and plans for 2017 and beyond, as a CEO, as well as what the company has planned for the coming months.
“For the remainder of 2017 and beyond, I hope to see steady and sustainable growth overseas. In 2006, approximately 50% of the company’s work was performed for international clients. Ten years later, that number has grown to 84%. Long International hopes to grow operations in the UK, Australia, South America and the Caribbean by attracting local experts who share the company’s core values and see the benefit of working for an established international company.
“In terms of the company’s future, the plan is to continue to grow, indeed we plan to expand our services in international markets. While most large industrial and energy projects being built today are owned by U.S. companies, they are being constructed in places outside the U.S. where there is oil and gas. We’ve been very successful thus far,
so I think that the international marketplace is going to keep growing. Therefore, we plan to broaden the company’s outreach into the international marketplace.”
Richard then adds some additional thoughts, including the company’s excellent track record in publishing, as they aim to partner with world-class thoughtleaders and impart their growing expert knowledge to clients.
“Long International is committed to providing its clients with current project management and claims avoidance practices, as well as providing superior service. To do so, we partner with world-class thought-leaders and impart our knowledge of best practices to clients. For example, we have been actively engaged with AACE International to develop recommended practices regarding forensic schedule delay analyses.
“Additionally, in 2014, two colleagues and I co-authored a book entitled ‘Cumulative Impact and Other Disruption Claims in Construction’. The book provides an in-depth discussion of issues and methods that can be employed to successfully deal with various types of construction claims.
“Long International has also published over 58 articles on claims analysis and project management topics – a number that continues to grow. Several times a year, we publish a new article discussing current practices and procedures associated with construction claims, schedule delay analysis, project management and cost as well as schedule control. All these articles are free to download from our company website at www.long-intl.com.”
Name: Richard J. Long, P.E. Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Email: [email protected]
Web Address: www.long-intl.com
Address: 5265 Skytrail Drive Littleton, Colorado 80123-1566 USA
Telephone: 1 (303) 972 2443