The Custom Continues
When Paul Klein’s uncle saw KDI Element’s first building in Palm Desert (today KDI owns and occupies four buildings around Palm Desert and Bermuda Dunes) his words to Klein, KDI’s CEO and Co-Founder were, “Don’t ever forget what got you here and where you came from.” Eighteen years later that’s exactly how Paul and wife Annie, KDI’s President, still run KDI Elements, one of the Coachella Valley’s largest companies. “There are always two sides to the story, but the customer is always right. That’s what got us to here,” observes Paul. “We’ve always been about doing the basics whether we are working on one house or a hotel and whether the market is booming or slowed down. That means doing quality work and always operating with integrity. It’s simply doing what you say you will do and then exceeding expectations. That’s what everyone is expected to do at KDI every day,” adds Annie.
Despite a challenging economy, KDI with 200 employees remains the premier company for granite, stone, and tile from design through fabrication to installation. KDI Elements includes a significant carpet and wood flooring business making the company a one-stop resource for residential, commercial, and hospitality markets.
Getting back to basics and doing one custom home after another custom home is where KDI started in 1990 and where Paul and Annie are currently focusing KDI’s efforts in the Valley. “We make sure we take care of both our long time accounts and the new ones we’ve picked up, even if right now they are only doing one home at a time. When the markets turn, our relationships are solid,” says Paul.
High end and high-quality work on custom homes is where KDI got its start and secured its niche beginning in 1990. That remains a strong solid source of business for the company today. Listen to Mike Read, Chief Operating Officer of Southern Hills Development, a long time custom homebuilder. “We’ve worked with KDI for seven years at the Hideaway, Traditions, PGA West, and the Enclave. They’ve done everything for us from stone flooring, floor coverings, kitchen counters, baths and showers to outdoor living spaces with stone flooring. The best thing is the people you work with at KDI. It’s a pleasure to make a call and always have a nice conversation no matter what the issue is. If there is a potential problem, KDI’s attitude is always, ‘let’s fix it and make it work for you.’ They never point fingers and try to get out of taking care of their customers.”
Today, KDI is working on custom homes at luxury private communities including; The Madison Club, Traditions, Hideaway, and the Quarry. Commercial work includes the sports clubs at Toscana, and The Madison Club.
To expand on KDI’s custom way of doing what you say and always making customer satisfaction your top priority, KDI has opened a Pacific Branch in Honolulu replicating exactly what KDI does here. Word spread fast across Hawaii earlier this year when KDI completed on time the renovation of the 445-room Ritz Carlton, Kapalua on Maui. KDI did all the stone, tile, wood flooring, and carpet work for the resort’s guest rooms, spa, public spaces, and condominiums. Builders and developers around Hawaii approached KDI with requests for bids on custom, hospitality, and production home projects. Since opening in April, KDI is working on three large custom homes on Kauai and Oahu including a $35 million “spec” home on famed Kailua Beach on Oahu. “The business just came to us and we saw an opportunity to take advantage of what is going on in Hawaii,” explains Paul who also runs KDI’s Pacific Branch.
An integral part of KDI is KDI Kares, the non profit arm of KDI Elements, which Paul and Annie started in 2006 to reach out to the local community where the need is great. Its mission “make a difference in the life quality of others by supporting and funding community service organizations.” The Coachella Valley Rescue Mission receives strong support from KDI Kares. This summer, KDI started its first annual, “Shoebox Heroes” Drive. The foundation collected children shoes from 15 drop boxes of participating businesses valley-wide. “We thought about what we could do to help at a very real level of need and new shoes for kids are just so basic,” Annie says, her passion obvious.
Steve Hoffmann, President and CEO of Canyon National Bank has been extremely supportive of KDI Kares’ efforts. “We have several drop boxes at our Palm Desert branches because we applaud KDI Kares for its focus on the basic needs of the homeless children and are proud to add our support.”
There is a policy at KDI for all employees. During meetings if a KDI employee has not turned off their phone and it rings they have to ante up a dollar. KDI matches it and it all goes to KDI Kares. Now that’s not forgetting where you came from.