Many of the commercial building contractors on The List experienced an increase in revenues just as they did last year.
Additionally, seven companies had a 50 percent increase or more in revenues. The most significant gains were garnered by R.G. Petty Construction, No. 11, with a 92 percent increase; and DPR Construction Co., Inc., No. 6, and Swinerton & Walberg, No. 10, both with a 71 percent increase.
This may be attributed to the “thriving” San Diego marketplace and California’s viable economy, according to Stephen C. Marble, president of Nielsen Dillingham Builders, Inc., No. 1 this year.
“Significant increases in commercial office space requirements combined with Downtown redevelopment and infrastructure requirements has presented a myriad of opportunities to the local construction industry,” he said.
Marble believes the ballpark district redevelopment and Senate Bill 1953, which requires the health care industry to fulfill seismic evaluation and retrofit regulations, currently have and will continue to have the most impact on the local industry beyond 2000.
“The directives of SB-1953 have opened the door to a variety of opportunities for both the design and construction industries, not just San Diego but throughout the state of California,” Marble said.
& #711; Affecting The Way
Business Is Done
Technology is also affecting the way local building contractors do business. “The advances in technology have had a tremendous impact on our industry. E-commerce, E-mail, project Web sites, etc., have become the norm rather than the exception. Today’s technology has allowed us to enhance the level of service we provide our clients and their design teams through immediate accessibility and immediate transmission of document,” Marble said.
“Ten years ago, the image of a contractor was brick and mortar. Now our field people, including project superintendents, are connected by wide area networks and cellular phones. Seeing a project superintendent seated in front of a computer updating a project schedule is standard practice today. High-tech project delivery is not relegated to the suits and ties any longer.”
Acie Davis, president of Davis & Adams Construction, No. 23, agrees that the instantaneous exchange of information between everyone involved in the project has had an impact on the industry.
Technology, Davis said, has even helped increase the accuracy of the work and made the job easier because more things are being written down rather than passed on verbally.
“Those kinds of changes have made everybody’s job easier. You certainly have more information and are more accurate in your work. That gives you the ability to accomplish more and make it flow more smoothly,” Davis said.
& #711; Technology Can Give
Companies The Edge
Technology can also give companies an edge over the competition. Government contracts made up half of the 1998 projects for Davis & Adams Construction, and technology gave the company an advantage in winning them, Davis said.
Since computers can make the process more economical, it can help a contractor make a lower bid, he said.
Once a contractor wins a government contract, the company is faced with filling out many forms and filing many reports. Technology can simplify the process, Davis said. “If all your forms are filled out electronically, you have an advantage over someone who just uses pen and paper.”
Although technology can give contractors an edge over the competition, it can also level out the playing field. Small companies can use technology to produce very professional projects in their price range, Davis said.
& #711; Computer Costs
Have Come Down
“The expense or cost of computers has come down to a level that even a very small company can afford them. It makes it easier for small companies to produce the same quality work as bigger companies,” Davis said.
Although technology can help a company, contractors still work on the basics in order to experience continued growth and success. Nielsen Dillingham has maintained its No. 1 position and attained a 12 percent increase in revenues.
The company attributes this to its commitment to understanding and responding to clients’ needs, Marble said.
“We seek construction opportunities with complex technical challenges and/or tough scheduling requirements. We look for the projects in which our in-house resources, expertise and innovative problem-solving approaches provide a significant benefit to the client.
“We help our clients manage the entire process from site selection through construction. This approach continues to result in project awards and repeat business from many satisfied clients.”
To ensure continued success, Marble added, the company keeps its clients’ goals and objectives in mind during the planning and execution of the project. The company also tries to reward and acknowledge the efforts and successes of their staff.