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Navigating the Technology Currents of Construction: Insights from WPC's Jeffrey Forrest Jr.

As WPC celebrates a momentous 50 years of shaping central Florida's construction landscape, our legacy of growth and innovation continues. This golden anniversary marks our unwavering commitment to excellence and positions us as a leading general contractor in the region. Steering this legacy forward is Jeffrey Forrest Jr., our Managing Partner, who embodies the third generation of Forrest family leadership. In an insightful sit-down with the WPC communication team, Jeffrey delved into the evolving realms of construction, technology, and business development, sharing his vision for the future as we honor half a century of Building Beyond the Blueprint®.

From left to right: WPC - Kevin Corrado (Chief Operating Officer), Jeffrey Forrest (Managing Partner), Harry Rogers (Chief Information Officer), Jeff Forrest (President), Sam Miller (Project Executive/Partner)

 

Navigating Business Development in Choppy Waters

In our pursuit of excellence, we face a daily challenge: balancing an active pipeline of opportunities with the realities of shifting start dates. Jeffrey notes that while we strive to ensure jobs commence as scheduled, the industry's nature often dictates otherwise. This balancing act is complicated by the unpredictable market conditions, where in past years, supply chain disruptions and inflation have presented unprecedented hurdles. Our commitment lies in capturing accurate data, learning from the market, and using this knowledge to navigate these complexities.

 

Steadying the Ship Amidst Market Flux

As we sailed through the turbulent waters of 2022 and early 2023, we encountered continuous market fluctuations that have necessitated a strategic reevaluation. Unlike previous expectations of market stabilization, we find ourselves navigating an environment characterized by volatile interest rates and a banking sector increasingly cautious regarding multifamily construction funding. This shift in the financial landscape has prompted us to adjust our sails and chart a course toward more promising horizons.

Our response to these challenges is not just about weathering the storm but also about finding new opportunities in the wake of change. Consequently, we are diversifying our focus to sectors showing robust growth potential. We are increasing our involvement in Renovations, Student Housing, and Hospitality opportunities. These areas complement our existing portfolio and present us with unique prospects for growth and innovation.

 

Keeping Our Ear to the Ground

Staying updated is crucial in our line of work. Jeffrey emphasizes the importance of gathering information from our job sites, preconstruction bids, and client and subcontractor dialogues. A culture of feedback, both internally and externally, helps to identify strengths and competitive advantages while also exposing areas requiring improvements. Having the hard conversations as needed and absorbing lessons learned across the company has improved project outcomes.

 

Reinvigorating Our Brand and Outreach

We understand the value of staying connected. That's why we're revitalizing our email newsletter and producing content that echoes our website and social media narratives. This concerted effort in marketing aims to reinforce our industry presence and share our story both internally and externally.

The Tech That Drives Us Forward

WPC has taken significant strides towards cloud-based solutions in recent years. Multiple new software tools have been implemented including Procore for project management, Sage Intacct for accounting, and Buildr for CRM and project handover  Their integration is pivotal for our workflow, ensuring we spend more time on what matters most—quality construction.


Cementing Relationships Building Beyond the Blueprint®

Our commitment to our clients continues after the completion of a project. We believe in maintaining strong, ongoing partnerships, offering support through our workmanship warranty and beyond. It's this dedication to service that distinguishes WPC in a competitive market.

 

 Building Our Team for Tomorrow

As the construction industry faces a labor shortage and anticipates a significant wave of retirements in the coming years, we focus on nurturing a company culture that values work/life balance. We at WPC believe this philosophy is essential to attracting and retaining top talent.


Envisioning the Future of Construction

We are preparing for a future where the scarcity of skilled labor may drive the value of trades higher. We're optimistic that as the industry evolves, opportunities will emerge for young professionals to build prosperous careers in construction.

 

Jeffrey Forrest Jr.'s perspective is a testament to WPC's ethos: blending steadfast traditions with bold innovations. As we continue to steer through the industry's evolving tides, our mission remains clear—building not just structures but lasting relationships and a resilient future for all.

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