Surviving this economy has been a challenge for all companies, especially those in commercial real estate like Casco Contractors Inc. But it’s not the biggest challenge on President Cheryl Osborn’s mind.
Her sights are set higher — on not just surviving but maintaining stable growth through the downturn. She achieves this by creating open lines of communication to stay in tune with her employees’ workloads and putting technology in place to manage projects and keep everyone in the field informed, as well.
These processes have helped the firm, which specializes in Commercial Tenant Improvements, keep efficiency, quality and consistency first. And now, Osborn is looking forward to projected 2011 revenue that nearly doubles last year’s.
Because of this, Smart Business, ThinkASG, IBM and Union Bank named Osborn to the class of 2011 Smart Leader honorees. She shared how she maintains quality during growth and applies innovative technology to better manage her team.
Q: Give an example of a business challenge you and/or your organization faced, as well as how you overcame it.
Stable, managed growth is probably the biggest challenge that we have faced. Maintaining stringent quality standards can be challenging when a company is growing quickly, but our reputation has been built on the quality of our service, so quality control is something we take very seriously and always have in mind every step of the way. To maintain quality:
- I provide my employees with every possible tool to help them manage their responsibilities.
- I maintain open lines of communication to stay aware of workloads. And when someone is struggling, I work with them to determine if they are actually overloaded or if perhaps they need help managing time and resources better.
- When I deem necessary, and once I’ve assessed that the company volume can support it, I hire additional people to fill positions at various levels of management or support.
We have created processes for the field and the office that specifically focus on efficiency, quality and consistency. We also use technology to improve communication and ensure that everyone involved has the latest information — something that is critical in an industry where changes are frequent and not having the correct information can cause major setbacks to both the budget and the schedule. Our superintendents all have e-mail via BlackBerrys, access to high-tech cameras, and we can send them drawings electronically — which is something that is very cutting edge.
How to reach: Casco Contractors Inc., (949) 679-6880 or www.cascocontractors.net
Read the entire interview with Cheryl Osborn at http://people.sbnonline.com/osborn.