Company: Advanced Design Contracting
Q&A with Foster Hackett, President
WHAT MAKES YOU STAND OUT FROM COMPETITORS?
What makes us stand out from our competition is that we are 100% union affiliated, over 70% minority employees, certified DBE/SBE/8a, and we have our own shop in Blaine where we can custom fabricate all our sheet metal needs.
WHAT COMPANY SUCCESSES WOULD YOU LIKE TO SHARE?
As a company we have been in business for 14 years, without one loss of work injury. We have worked on every project size from the Como Zoo seal lion exhibit, MAC Silver Ramp, Historical projects like the Fort Snelling Upper Post (current project), several federal prisons, Army Corp Of Engineers, and many local park and rec buildings for the cities.
WHAT ONGOING COMPANY CHALLENGES/ BARRIERS ARE YOU FACING?
The biggest challenge for any company is being paid on time. Other challenges are fair access to projects, and being treated as a real company. A lot of GCs try to not pay their change orders, expecting me to go out of business so they don’t have to pay their bill.
IF YOU COULD GIVE ONE PIECE OF ADVICE TO A NEW MWBE FIRM, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Best advice to new firms would be to grow slow and steady. Life happens real fast in this industry, and you need to be able to handle what is in front of you at a moment's notice. Don’t work on Sundays; you need to rest for Monday.
WHAT RECOMMENDATIONS WOULD YOU GIVE GENERAL CONTRACTORS AND OWNERS?
Pay your bills on time! Pay your change orders! When you have a good subcontractor, take advantage and grow them to help your company. They may need help with your billing system, how you do change orders etc. Every GC is different, and it’s a lot for a subcontractor to learn a new process for every system.
WHAT IS SOMETHING ENCOURAGING YOU SEE HAPPENING IN THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY?
I love seeing the culture of safety on the projects and in the employees. It is also nice to see more people of color and women join the trades.
WHAT ELSE WOULD YOU LIKE US TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR COMPANY?
My company is one of the largest minority-owned businesses in the scope of work we perform. We use 100% union employees, and have also the ability to custom-make anyone’s sheet metal needs.