The pandemic presented challenges for everyone, particularly those in the construction industry. Frank Balleste and his team at Cisca Construction faced those challenges and came out stronger than ever before.
All of us who lived through the COVID-19 pandemic are well aware of the many ways it upended our lives for a while. From quarantine early on to the more recent rise in expenses, it has certainly been a challenging time for many.
As the founder and CEO of a large team at Cisca Construction, Frank Balleste can relate to these challenges. For a company that prides itself on strong relationships and communication with their customers, suddenly those in-person meetings were no more. Then came the construction-specific supply chain shortages and pricing increases that followed.
Through it all, however, Balleste and his team remained dedicated to maintaining the core principles of their business. As a result, Cisca Construction is now stronger than ever before and ready to take on all your business or commercial construction needs.
Solving the Communication Crisis
A lot of companies give lip service to the idea of strong customer service, but for Cisca Construction, it’s the foundation upon which the rest of the business is built. So, you can imagine what a challenge it was when, suddenly, face-to-face contact became nearly impossible for some time.
“The main challenge was that people still wanted construction projects to continue during that time, but some were afraid of us going into their home,” says Balleste. “This meant we couldn’t be as hands-on as we normally would be. We were on the outside looking in, and it was challenging because my team and I like to meet with the homeowners and get to know them and their personality so that we can build a connection.”
Luckily, Balleste had technological tools already in place to handle these challenges. The Cisca team communicates with each other and the customers via a mobile app. The system sends out daily status reports, so you know exactly what’s happening on the job site — what day they’re starting, weather reports, inspector visits, how many men were on the job, photos of the work and more. It also keeps all construction documents in one place for easy access. Customers can log in from anywhere in the world and know exactly what progress has been made.
Coping with Pricing and Supply Chain Issues
Of course, isolation wasn’t the only challenge of the pandemic for those in the construction industry. As people settled in at home and construction demand skyrocketed, common materials started to disappear from shelves altogether. The materials that were still available shot up drastically in price.
Once again, Cisca was ready for some of these challenges by planning ahead. “I have storage in my warehouses where I had 70 to 80 bundles of plywood, and we were able to use up that stored supply,” he says. “This meant that I could pass on a more affordable price for these supplies to my clients.”
That’s not to say that Cisca Construction didn’t face challenges from the supply chain. They most certainly did. “We just finished a medical job and were waiting for a commercial electric panel and cover for almost eight months,” says Balleste. “Pricing for wood and metal framing was also outrageous, but now they’re coming back down a bit — or at least closer to what it was before the pandemic.”
Some of these pricing issues, of course, are unavoidable in the current climate; but Balleste and his team handle this with customers the same way they always have: with open, up-front and honest discussions that take place well before the work even begins.
“We sit down with clients and discuss these market challenges, so they are well aware before we begin,” he says. “And we won’t start the job until we get all the roughs in because we don’t want to inconvenience our clients. We wait until we have all the materials, and then we begin the job. We communicate with them and make sure that they know when we are planning to start.”
Honesty, Integrity and Transparency
In the end, Cisca Construction weathered the storm and came out of the pandemic strong by focusing on their core values: honesty, integrity and transparency. No matter what the market brings, you can rest assured that Balleste and his team will communicate the costs and challenges to you clearly before the work even begins. Of course, that open communication will continue throughout the project as well, so you always know where you stand. Balleste’s continually growing business, as well as his growing number of five-star reviews, are a testament to that dedication and focus.
Cisca Construction is located at 7300 N. Kendall Drive, Ste. 204. For more information, call 305.595.2246 or visit ciscaconstruction.com.