Munger Construction Featured in Metal Construction News
Published on: Tuesday, April 9th, 2019
Munger Construction was recently published in Metal Construction News as a monthly featured company. The article goes into detail with David DeMaio, Munger president, about strategic business planning, team building and earning clients’ trust over the years. Take a few minutes to read this piece on the key components for success as a commercial construction company in Connecticut.
Strategic planning, team building and earning clients’ trust support design-builder’s growth
In 2018, Pat Munger Construction Co. Inc. completed $50 million worth of construction projects, marking the largest revenue volume in the company’s 50-year history. The banner year did not materialize entirely by chance. The Branford, Conn.-based company had been executing a strategic plan to grow its core business—low-rise metal building construction, repair and interior fit-out—when demand for construction increased.
David DeMaio, LEED AP, president and treasurer at Munger Construction, says, “The industry has been strong; it’s stronger in Connecticut than it has been for a number of years. So I think it’s a number of different things; strategic planning and some good fortune. And we’ve been around for 51 years, so we have a pretty good reputation for doing the job right.”
Members of Munger's Estimating Team reviewing blueprints
Field employees from Munger Construction excavate utility trenches during steel erection for The Lee Co.
Field employees from Munger Construction set grade for slab pours at The Lee Co.
David DeMaio, President,Treasurer
Land Rover of North Haven, North Haven, CT
Quality Subaru of Wallingford, Wallingford, CT
Stephen Mansfield, Vice President of Estimating and Design
Stony Creek Brewery, Branford, CT
American Polyfilm, Inc. , Branford CT
Solidifying a Team
Munger Construction has been growing steadily since DeMaio took over the company in 1992. From a staff of four, the company grew to 64 employees by 2019. One of the most significant turning points relative to Munger Construction’s recent growth occurred in 2015, when DeMaio says he was at a crossroads with the business. He recognized an opportunity to set the company on a deliberate course for the future. What direction the company would go, what role DeMaio would have with the company, if he would continue in an ownership position and other considerations were indefinite. “This was really important; it was a defining moment for me and the business’ history,” he says.
Subsequently, DeMaio began meeting regularly with a business consultant. He researched strategic planning and gathered input from his employees. DeMaio determined Munger Construction could thrive under direction from the next generation of leaders, and he began developing a strategic plan for the company’s next phase of growth. He started solidifying a leadership team. A marketing coordinator and business development manager were hired, two new positions at the company.
Before the changes, DeMaio was the only person soliciting new clients. Delegating and letting go of some tasks was difficult at times, he says, but he knew the benefits would be well worth the efforts and embraced the changes. “I needed to surround myself and take advantage of all the good people we have in this company and empower them with leadership responsibilities so that I could really focus on growing and running the business. And that’s a hard thing to do, to give up responsibility. It comes down to trust; I trust these folks. I surrounded myself with a great leadership team.”
In addition to building trust among employees, DeMaio’s strategic plan emphasizes building trust with potential and existing clients. To clearly communicate those efforts to clients, DeMaio’s leadership team put down in writing what they call their proven process, based on a concept in “Traction.” The proven process summarizes the execution of projects from inception to completion in nine steps, the first six of which include estimating and design work done in advance of a contract or any payment.
“The first six steps are how we define our relationship with our customer, we’re earning their trust,” DeMaio says. “That’s what this is all about; it’s earning the trust position with the customer. Once we earn their trust, they are going to be customers for life.”
The proven process gives clients greater confidence in what they can expect from Munger Construction during a project, DeMaio says. “What I’ve learned from defining this proven process is that customers look at this and go, ‘Ah, this is what Munger is about; this sums it up.’ I never fully realized how important our service and this process that we do so naturally here is to the clients. Even years after completing a project, customers talk about how we took them through that process, how we executed that process for them, and how comfortable it was.”
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