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Barnard is different from other construction companies in many ways, some small and some substantial. Like all construction companies, we strive to deliver quality, on time, under-budget projects that include terrific environmental stewardship and community relations. We are different in the way we execute our work and achieve these goals.
For starters, we are organized around one Home Office and we rely on our people as our greatest asset and resource in all aspects of our business. We started small, first one man, then one team, and we found we liked the team approach to construction. Consequently, we don’t have satellite offices or regional headquarters that compete for business or spread our resources thin. We have the Home Office based in beautiful Bozeman, Montana, where the business began. This means that if someone on a project in British Columbia has a question, he or she calls the same number that someone in upstate New York calls for an answer. Field staff can be sure that they reach the people they need for support, assistance or some well-deserved kudos. If a question requires more than one person’s answer, we can walk down the hallway, hold an impromptu meeting and work out a solution or answer without the effort becoming a scheduling event. This efficient communication and access to management is key to Barnard’s people and to our culture. In fact, our entire Executive Management meets monthly with our Department Heads to connect and keep everyone involved in the big picture as well as the individual projects and bids that we have in the works.
We also stand out among our competitors in our practice of pairing a Field Supervisor with a Project Engineer to form a “team” that is strong in office and field skills. This eliminates the problem of not knowing who to ask for a material order or not understanding if the schedule is being met. It creates a culture of accountability. Our Superintendents and Project Managers are paired as well. This splits responsibilities while also having a peer with whom to consider options and problem-solve.
As a job winds down, key project staff members are cycled back to the Home Office to estimate upcoming work. When the work is awarded, that bid team mobilizes to the project and performs the work. The knowledge that is gained from being involved in a project from the estimate to project completion is invaluable.
We believe that the more we empower our people, the better off we’ll be. After all, we are People building for People.