Today, more than 20 years after buying the business from his grandfather, Gregg Cantor says one of the best moves he ever made was hiring an on-staff architect. Before that the designs had been outsourced. Having an in-house architect makes sticking to schedules easier, permitting more rapid, and enables project managers to get on-site problems taken care of much more quickly. Use of 3-D modeling helps convince prospects, at a time when it’s harder to close deals. “Most people have trouble visualizing,” Cantor says. “My emphasis now is to show the quality of the work we do, in the design phase.”

Second-story additions are a signature project for Murray Lampert, a company known years ago as a box builder. “A lot of companies walk away from those,” Cantor points out, “because they’re too complicated or they didn’t want to take the time to land them.”

Visualize This  Owner Gregg Cantor (center), with project manager Steve Law (left), and on-staff architect Frank Piermarini.