The title of this blog certainly doesn’t apply to my height. At 6′-2,” I’m not exactly the shortest guy in the room. Unless I’m standing next to my brother or my son, who are both 2″ taller than I. The title actually refers to the style of our company – the small-scale approach in how we do our business and treat our people and clients. There’s something about the service and attitude you receive from a small business that elevates their level of appreciation, wouldn’t you agree?
I suppose by most standards, a company that captures $100 million per year in revenue would not be considered small. Maybe that’s medium-sized, but let’s not get caught up in the numbers. This discussion is based around our management style, how we solve problems, and our ability to change and improve more fluidly than the big boys, ultimately increasing our ability in building long-term relationships.
One of the things I like most about smaller companies is the management accessibility. The owners, leaders, and other decision makers are available and present. In many cases, you’re dealing with the founder or partner when conducting business with a small firm.
As President and Managing Member of WPC, I’m typically the one who introduces the company and tells our story to potential clients and customers. Having been here for 35 years, I have a varied perspective of our capabilities I am able to communicate more genuinely about who we are and what we do.
With our robustly staffed competitors, the initial introduction to their company usually comes from someone hired to make their pitch; they have little “real” exposure to the true culture of the company and may have minimal industry experience. And, sadly, you will rarely see that person again – if ever. You may never meet the actual owner or partners of the company, who may live in another state or in some cases, another country.
On the contrary, all of the WPC partners work inside the walls of our Maitland office, and within just a few short steps of each other. We participate daily to ensure our clients are satisfied with our product and service. That small company management style is what makes us different and better, regardless of the size of our projects.
WPC Partner, and Vice President of Estimating, Chuck Reynolds, is in charge of pricing our projects. He is committed to making sure that our prices include everything that is needed to build our projects and not just what is needed to get the contract. His 19-year tenure, as well as his ownership, adds to his commitment to our clients, giving them a familiar face that they know and trust.
Kevin Corrado, WPC’s Chief Operating Officer and partner, is responsible for running the overall operations and making sure the WPC team provides an outstanding experience and lives up to our reputation. Having also been here for 19 years, Kevin knows how each person in our team ticks and what it takes to be successful. His ownership means he will be able to make decisions without having to go through the layers of bureaucracy that typically exist in conglomerate companies.
Finally and certainly not least, WPC’s founder and CEO, Tracy Forrest, provides the wisdom and leadership that has put WPC on the map for almost 4 decades. His presence is felt throughout the company and he reminds us regularly what it was like to struggle as an even smaller company and lives by the creed that the customer is always right.
As for the problem solving of a small-scale business, it’s all hands on deck. Regardless of the position at WPC, if an issue needs attention, everyone jumps in to help reach a solution, quickly and efficiently. If a client wants any of WPC’s owners to be a part of that solution, we are able to step up and meet that need. Some of the larger general contractors most likely would have to fly someone in from their corporate office. That person probably knows little about the project and has had little to do with the client relationship.
Being able to change and be fluid in difficult economic times is also an advantage in a small company mentality. As our client’s needs change, our ability to change with them is seamless. Without multiple departments and divisions spread over multiple states, we’re not limited to building projects of a certain size or product type. If a developer who has blessed us with a $10 million dollar project asks us to do a $100,000 project, we’re happy to oblige. Our experience is not based on what another satellite company has done in other part of the country. We learn quickly from our success, as well as our mistakes, and communicate that knowledge efficiently.
This doesn’t mean we won’t travel. Quite the opposite, currently there are WPC team members in many different states. We are on these projects because our clients enjoy the experience they have received from WPC in a local arena and want that capability elsewhere.
Most importantly are the relationships that we build with our clients. WPC’s leadership, including the partners, directors and senior managers play an intimate part in every project we complete. Our clients know they can reach out to us at anytime and will have contact with someone who cares about their interests and will do whatever it takes to exceed their expectations. We’re not perfect; no company is. Our goal, however, is to earn the next project. We feel that by treating every client with a little something extra is what makes us different and will help us reach that goal.
By following this approach, we’ve been able to keep our small–scale feel, while being one of Central Florida’s biggest contractors. We are proving that little things have big impact.