Crew Builders Inc.
Founded in 2006 by Jon Archer and Jeff Salewsky, Crew Builders Inc. has grown into a leading commercial tenant improvement contractor. With locations in San Diego and Irvine, California, Crew Builders remains a unique contracting company in that it self-performs its own framing and drywall. “We enjoy that part of the business,” says Archer. “We’re a small company with a lot of people that we enjoy having on our team.”
In regards to tenant improvements, Crew Builders often works in commercial office space. Many of the company’s clients consist of industrial holding companies that own multiple properties throughout southern California as well as on a national level. “We’re a little different from other companies that work in this sector because of our size,” says Archer. “We’re smaller than a lot of the companies that tend to do that type of work.”
The size of Crew Builders has been a major factor in the company’s success as its management team is able to provide autonomy to its people while presenting them with an opportunity to grow within the company. “We don’t have much of a hierarchy here,” Archer explains. “We hire good people that want the opportunity to grow.” These business practices have established a strong retention rate for the company despite its relative young age.
Entering the market
Starting a construction company in 2006 may have been one of the worst times to begin a venture in the industry. Through solid business and hiring practices, Crew Builders has managed to grow every year it has been in business. “It’s a very organic environment here,” says Archer. “We look for people with an entrepreneurial spirit that want to grow professionally and personally.”
Archer says that Crew Builders has never intentionally penetrated any particular geographical market. “We’ll work for one client in an area and people will see the projects or word gets around about it,” he says. “It has just seemed to have this balloon effect in every market that we go into. We’re now able to sit back and watch the company take shape on its own because of the people that we have working for us.”
With this effect playing out in each job location, the company has generated new relationships with multiple subcontractors. Crew Builders is a general contracting firm that manages its own in-house crews as well as a team of specialty contractors on each job. The business ethics that Crew Builders practices has led to a strong network of subcontractors and business partners. “We pay people on time and we don’t shop numbers,” says Archer.
Self-performing its own drywall and framing work has created advantages for Crew Builders that many other general contracting firms are missing out on. The management of its own crew helps to control the scheduling of each project. With roughly 35 projects running concurrently, the company will often have two- and four-man teams on each job.
Bringing people together
The name “Crew” derives from the inspiration that Archer and Salewsky had to start the company. “The concept was to create a group of people working together to positively impact each other’s lives,” says Archer. “Our teamwork and self-perform philosophy comes from that mentality. We place people together on a team and see what they can produce together.”
The impact of the teamwork philosophy that Crew Builders has created is present in the success of the company’s employees. Witnessing his associates support their families is what gives Archer the biggest sense of pride with his company. Crew Builders hosts holiday parties twice a year in Orange County and San Diego where the employees and their families are given a chance to celebrate the years’ worth of hard work.
“It’s amazing to see how many people are impacted by the hustle that you create,” Archer explains. “Every time we have these parties everyone leaves extremely motivated. It really makes you think about how one project that you got put someone to work for 40 hours, especially when you might not have thought about it at the time. When you put someone to work you are giving them an opportunity to become a hero to their family, and that’s what it’s all about.”
As Crew Builders continues to progress, the company is in the process of developing new clients. “That has been a big part of our growth,” says Archer. While the new relationships develop, Crew Builders Inc. will continue to seek out hard-working, people-friendly employees who possess that entrepreneurial spirit.
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