Greg and John Bowles have learned to adjust to market fluctuations, reinventing their company several times over its 33 years in business. During the 1978 recession, the brothers merged their construction companies. During the 1991 recession, insurance restoration became the bulk of their work, but they also offered residential remodeling. In 2009, they dropped the remodeling work to concentrate fully on restoration.
They also streamlined operations after 2007, dropping from 50 to 26 employees, yet increasing their volume by almost $1 million.
The company uses technology to make sure all employees understand the work flow. This includes a master work-flow checklist, Sage MasterBuilder accounting and project management software, and Xactimate estimating software. The team also carries Blackberries so they have easy access to online calendars. “We use software and systems that allow employees to focus more on customers and less on administrative duties,” Greg Bowles says.
—Bowles Construction is expanding its contents division, recently purchasing a cleaning machine and training three staff members and three temporary agency workers so they are prepared to offer additional help during busy times. —The company recently joined the 1-800-BOARDUP franchise to increase its leads.
—“Work is precious now," Greg says. "If you don't pay attention to small jobs, the big ones will drift away from you too."
—“No estimate gets out without two people looking at it,” Greg says.