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3 ways to stay busy in slow times

It should be obvious by now—we love showing off our great clients. And we love learning from them! This month, we’re sharing some more great tips on prospering in a down economy, brought to you by Halie Zasada of Mid-City Construction Management.

Mid-City is a civil contractor in its 36th year of business. They have three divisions: excavating, underground services, and paving. Halie is a paving project manager and estimator, and she talked with us recently about the busy season Mid-City is having right now, how they’ve earned that growth, and how Boreal has been helping sustain it.

Here are three ways Mid-City is prospering in a downturn:

1. Focusing on Long-Term Relationships

Halie Zasada: One of the biggest things for Mid-City is that we have a lot of long-term relationships with a lot of clients. We just started a paving division last year, and a lot of the work that we’ve gotten has been through those long-standing relationships. Now that we have an additional scope to offer, they’re happy to give us a chance.

2. Developing and Implementing a Quality Management Program

Halie Zasada: We’ve started to get a lot more requirement from the industry for quality management programs. And I think most companies do have that quality management—you don’t run a successful business for 35 years if you don’t provide a high-quality product. But now, people are looking to have that documented. Before they choose us, they want to see that that we are committed to quality.

So we just started looking around and seeing what kind of businesses were out there to help with the development of a quality program. Boreal came up, so we had a meeting with Deidra just to kind of get a feel for what exactly Boreal does and how they do it, where they offer the assistance. Then we decided to go with her for the quality program.

3. Taking Advantage of the Slow Season

Halie Zasada: In winter, we do a lot of reviewing of our past season, in comparison to previous seasons. We sit down and do cost analysis and productivity analysis. If you can compare your estimated productivity to your actual, you can see a places to streamline. You find that you can bid more competitively, work more competitively, perhaps take on a new methodology. We get ready to implement those types of things early in the season to see if it’s going to work.

We also do a lot of bidding in the slow season. Slow season for the construction field activity is not necessarily slow season on the back end.

Another priority for us during slow season is personnel training. We get everyone up to date and get some new training. Mid-City has taken the opportunity to train and improve not only our employees, but our systems, our procedures, our policies. We consider the slow time an opportunity.

Thanks for your time and insight, Halie!

We’re curious—what’s your company up to right now to stay successful in a downturn? And how can we help?


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