In a time when many in the renovation industry were collapsing, Red Deer, Alta.-based Budal Construction not only held it together, but pulled off the rare feat of business growth during the economic recession.
Formerly a general contracting company, Budal Construction expanded with new divisions, including its plumbing division, as well as the addition of its own millwork shop, in recent years. Farther down the road, the company also has plans to extend these additions with a new electrical arm of the company.
Budal Construction is expanding at an impressive rate, and has more than tripled its size over the past two years. That growth is notably tied to the many projects in which the company has been involved. Among these projects, Budal Construction frequently engages in a variety of renovation work for area restaurants and food industry companies, including regular contracts and assignments with Boston Pizza, Little Caesars Pizza, Second Cup, Starbucks (a contract which includes expansion for the entire Central Alberta region), and Subway Restaurants, to name a few.
Conducting a lot of business with Boston Pizza in particularly, Budal Construction has an interesting project on its hands with a local Boston Pizza restaurant.
Overwhelmed with delivery orders, Boston Pizza has granted this particular franchise to build and operate a standalone kitchen, a first for the restaurant franchise. A complete Boston Pizza restaurant, simply without the seating, this standalone kitchen will strictly handle delivery orders. “It’s something [Boston Pizza] is trying and, once this one takes off, there is another one coming in Fort McMurray as well,” commented Tom McPeek, General Manager of Budal Construction.
Yet, Budal Construction serves more than the food and restaurant industries. Additionally, Budal Construction is also currently involved in a renovation project with the Red Deer Airport, a project that entails new check-in areas for the airlines, new passenger waiting areas, and working alongside Transport Canada in building screening areas. The airport’s corporate offices, formerly within the airport and then moved off site, will relocate to the airport as part of the renovation project. Moving the corporate offices to these new spaces will offer ease of business and operations for the Red Deer Airport.
One stop shop
Next up for Budal Construction is to continue growing and offering its recent business expansion. In becoming a one stop shop, not only does it allow Budal Construction to offer all the necessary renovation services to its clients, it also minimizes wait times, personnel, and project timelines. Rather than involving a variety of trades, Budal Construction decided to bring all of these various offerings in-house, and today provides these services as a one stop shop to its clientele.
“The biggest time delays in construction are trades. If you break it down into components, you build the walls, and then you have to phone the plumber, who can’t be there for two days, and then the electrician is the same way,” McPeek said. “By bringing everything in house and under our control, we have a better scheduling. When I need someone, I have people there right away.”
Budal Construction then follows up with these projects in offering regular maintenance, an aspect which is certainly appreciated by the company’s customer base. “With all of our customers, we build a lot of businesses,” McPeek said. “These customers have one phone number, to our office, and they know that when something is wrong, just phone us.”
In fact, Budal Construction is so reliable and satisfying with its clients that many today simply look to this relationship when any renovating work is needed. McPeek summarized, “Once you build up that relationship, they don’t price jobs anymore, they don’t send things out to tender, they just phone us and have something needed done and for us to do it.”
McPeek believes that customer confidence is a reason why Budal Construction was able to withstand the recent economic downturn so well, particularly when many local companies in the same industry closed up shop during this time. As mentioned, Budal Construction even managed to see business growth during the recession. Still, McPeek feels that scathing the effects of the recession can also be pointed to a little bit of luck as well.
“If anyone says they can’t be affected by a recession, they don’t know what’s going on,” McPeek said. “With our 33 years of service, we have a large customer base and part of our key business plan is customer satisfaction. If the customer isn’t happy, then we’re not done, and most of our jobs are repeat business.”
McPeek continued, “Everybody has had that bad experience where a plumber came to your house and wore his muddy boots and didn’t bother to clean up,” McPeek said, emphasizing the attention to detail that is evident in any renovation project of Budal Construction. “Everywhere we go, I tell our staff to treat it like it was my house. Our standards are extremely high, and we never say ‘that’s good enough’ if it’s not 100 per cent. Quality is a huge control factor of mine and I inspect every job that we do.
“Just because it’s covered with drywall or in a place that nobody can see it, doesn’t mean it is a reason to not do it 100 per cent.”
The next move for Budal Construction is to continue the growth it has seen in recent years. One area in which the company highlights is its efforts in sustainability. Already, Budal Construction works with environmental conservation in mind. In fact, a local company in Central Alberta accepts drywall recycling from Budal Construction, and then sells this as fertilizer to local farmers. McPeek commented, “The chips in the drywall are a great fertilizer. You can drive by the countryside and see this great mound of white product and it is actually recycled drywall.”
Another piece of the company’s future growth is to add sales representatives to “starting flying our colours a little bit more.” McPeek concluded, “We’re the largest renovator in Central Alberta and that seems to be a market that is lacking. In all, we are a large, professionally-based company that is offering renovations.”