Even though SEI Construction is more than three decades old, it recently has gotten some new blood courtesy of president Mike Rizzo, who bought out his partner in 2015.
Since then, Rizzo has taken this company into the 21st century with a suite of technology solutions. His project management software (Buildertrend) ties to his online bookkeeping (QuickBooks) and automatically alerts workers and customers about jobs.
“The speed at which we are able to get things approved and related back and forth between homeowners has increased exponentially,” Rizzo says. “We get answers way faster than we did before from the customer and the team.”
Similarly, Rizzo has upgraded his team’s internal communication from group chat to an online application called Slack, which works so well he upgraded to the paid version. He uses TSheets for timesheets and tracking of subs including mileage and tool checkout, which also syncs to his Quickbooks.
But all that tech would be pretty useless if Rizzo wasn’t also focused on encouraging the repeat and referral clients that are 70% of his business. It starts with a focus on cleanliness that extends to using BuildClean systems on site and elaborate padding and taping to prevent dust. Then, when the job is finished, cards, gift baskets and referral gift cards keep the relationship going.
“It’s all about that relationship,” Rizzo says. “When a customer has a problem, we don’t try to debate them about it to save $100. We just fix it. Even if they’re wrong, we just want them to be happy, because at the end of the day, we want that referral.”
But Rizzo knows continuing to grow means pushing his company and his staff to improve even more. So when issues come up, he and the team take the time to analyze it and find a better way.
“Every day, we strive to be just a little bit better,” he says. “That’s why we’re succeeding.”