Operational Resilience: Pivoting During the Construction Disruption
Everyone in the commercial construction industry understands the pandemic’s disruptive impact on market certainty, labor, and of course, the much written about supply chain. We all have stories about projects getting canceled, put on hold, or started in fits and bits due to these ongoing challenges. While we didn’t have a crystal ball in 2020, the leadership team at Englewood Construction had seen a thing or two over the last 20 years that prepared us to answer the basic question, “What are we going to do about it?” And the response was clear: We needed to demonstrate our reliance by focusing on the things we could control and make some good things happen out of a not-so-great situation. In some cases, that meant making a pivot. In others, it directed our efforts to ensure our company was prepared for what was to come next. Here are just a handful of ways Englewood has responded:
1. Explore New Opportunities, Not Hunker Down. Over the last 20+ years, we have seen many changes in the industry — both ups and downs. The construction business is always adapting to ever-evolving market conditions. We’ve learned the importance of making appropriate strategic pivots by building on our core competencies, national experience, and local expertise. Englewood initially started as a national general contractor focused on retail and restaurants of all types, but that soon opened up other opportunities. For example, our early restaurant success morphed into foodservice projects that led to hospitality projects, and those opened the door to senior living renovation. Our traditional retail experience helped us transition into new opportunities like Cannabis Retail and other emerging retail markets. Our light industrial work allowed us to seamlessly enter the heavy industrial and logistics construction market. Even Automotive Repair Centers are a growth area for us based on our previous experience in the automotive and service sector. The bottom line is that we’ve successfully pivoted to new markets while staying true to our roots and areas of expertise. It’s part of our DNA and why we have always remained a sustainable business even in changing times.
Englewood’s early restaurant success morphed into foodservice projects that led to hospitality projects, which had opened the door to senior living renovation
2. Use Your Partnerships and Resources to Dig Deeper The material and component supply chain will take some time to sort itself out. So the backlog or scarcity of material, plus the long and intermittent delays that make it challenging to price, plan, and build accordingly, will continue. To avoid surprises, Englewood has dug deeper with material suppliers in the pre-construction phase before starting a project to mitigate risks. By staying ahead of the curve on delivery or pricing changes, we are well prepared to keep our clients informed and manage their expectations for more positive outcomes. 3. Obsess with Continuous Self-Improvement We’ve always taken pride in our reputation with our national clients for delivering best-in-class services and successful outcomes. But you can never rest on your laurels. That’s why we used the slow-down or delays in project starts as an opportunity to reevaluate everything: from improving our efficiency and enhancing our tech stack to streamlining processes to reinventing how we work with our suppliers to order to continue our best-in-class delivery. This top-to-bottom effort has prepared our organization to be stronger, more resilient, and better positioned for the future.
4. Build Loyal & Sustainable Relationships The most important thing we have done is something we have always done: Focused on relationships. It has always been about working as a team to get the right result, from our national subcontractor partners to our national clients. By being transparent, accountable, and looking out for each other’s interests, we have been able to navigate through the current economic headwinds together. These relationships will bear fruit for years to come. Listen, organizational resilience is built over time. While actions and behaviors can be developed in anticipation of crises and disruption, some of the best development occurs during times of adversity and unplanned change. Englewood is ready. Let’s get back to building.