Message from the Desk of John White-Spunner:

Lean Times Require Strong Flexibility

The sluggish economy of the last few years has affected nearly every industry, especially those of us in commercial construction. Though the challenges are enormous, the news isn't all bad.

You see, I would call this recession The Great Opportunity. It's the event that is forcing companies like our own to re-evaluate processes, people, and objectives. It has forced us to make some hefty decisions. And here's my take-away: it's not the strong who will survive; but the versatile. The companies that strategically re-direct their resources to become more competitive are best positioned to weather this economy. Let me share a few examples.

In 2011, our leadership implemented more stringent requirement for bidding projects. Yes, we needed the work. Yes, we were grateful for projects of all sizes and budgets. Yet we quickly realized that some projects simply were not the right fit. So our answer was to be more particular, more selective about the projects we bid. For us, this strategic (if counter-intuitive) decision has meant projects with better profit margins and an improved back log of work. In Q1 2013 alone, we successfully negotiated two regional projects, with an eye toward pursuing several comparable opportunities in Q2 and Q3.

We also took a long, hard look at our organizational hierarchy. Was communication as streamlined as it could be? Were there redundancies to eliminate? Were resources properly allocated? The answers informed our decision to restructure staff, re-hiring three former employees, while transitioning key employees into leadership positions. We also implemented the following leadership team position changes:

  • John White-Spunner has re-assumed the helm as President and continues working as the Chief Executive Officer
  • Jeff Carrico has been promoted to Chief Operating Officer
  • Allan Gustin has been promoted to Vice President of Pre-construction and Estimating
  • Wayne Mostellar has been promoted to Vice President of Construction

Our flexibility as a company is already yielding fruit. And, by remaining malleable, we're optimistic that we will continue to exceed our projections this year.

Change isn't easy, but it can be both necessary and positive.


John White-Spunner

President/CEO, White-Spunner Construction