Case Studies

E.M. Wood Construction Inc.

Thirty years of earthwork in coastal Maine

The mission at E.M. Wood Construction Inc. has been, and always will be to provide caring customer service and quality products that are backed up by highly skilled craftspeople while paying extra close attention to detail. By sticking to this mission, E.M. Wood has been a premier excavating and utility contractor in the midcoast and central Maine area for more than 30 years.

Founded in 1983 by Eric Wood, E.M. Wood offers excavation services throughout Maine including septic systems, driveways, site preparation, pond work, utility work and much more. Throughout its existence, E.M. Wood has remained a relatively small company with approximately 15 employees, which Wood feels has been an asset as the company cares more about quality than quantity.

E.M. Wood Construction Inc.

Quality over quantity

“It can be difficult as you grow to find people that have an appreciation for doing high-quality work,” Wood says. “Doing great work and providing excellent customer service are aspects that are very important to us and we want people that have those same values. So consequently we like to stay around this size.”

While E.M. Wood remains a small company, the firm has grown significantly since the beginning. Wood started his company with just himself and a 1-ton truck. Wood now has family members involved in the business including his son, Justin Wood, who will take over the business when his father retires.

Justin began working for the company as a child. After going to college and trying some other career paths, he found that he missed the family business and ultimately returned. “The desk jobs weren’t for me,” he says. “I enjoy being in the field.”

Justin has also found that the crew his father has put together is the strongest aspect of the business. “They are all hardworking, honest people,” he says. “Everybody takes pride in what they do and can diffuse any situation before it becomes a problem.”

The philosophy that Wood has toward his customers is echoed internally in the treatment of his employees. By taking good care of its workers, E.M. Wood has maintained a low turnover ratio, with some employees having been with the company since its formative years. “We treat our employees how we would want to be treated,” says Wood. “It’s part of our core values to put family first so we make sure that people have the time off they need in order to take care of their families.”

A relationship-based company

Repeat business accounts for a fair amount of E.M. Woods’ revenue. When the company does a project for a client and then is called back year or two down the road to do another one, Wood likes to be able to have the same people on that job that were on the previous one.

Much of E.M. Wood’s repeat business is in the residential sector, where it has strong working relationships with numerous general contractors. Lately, the company has been performing more small commercial work than in the past. “We don’t go after the large commercial jobs,” says Wood. “We use the commercial work to supplement the residential side of things.”

Being in a coastal community and tourist-driven region, E.M. Wood does a lot of work for clients who are building second homes. This year, the company is involved in the construction of a number of new homes for individuals as well as developers for which E.M. Wood is providing earthwork. “There is an influx to the region due to the fact that it’s a destination,” shares Wood. “There’s golf course that’s being rebuilt, as well as a Botanical Garden that wants to be known as a destination on a national level.”

Last winter, E.M. Wood completed a project for Linekin Bay Resort in Boothbay Harbor, Maine. Built in 1946, Linekin Bay had always been under a family ownership until it was recently sold to new owners that decided to give it a major overhaul. The resort is receiving a multimillion-dollar upgrade. “It was a substantial project with a heavy timetable,” says Wood. “We worked closely with a lot of other trades to put it all together.”

Moving forward, E.M. Wood plans to maintain steady growth while still focusing on providing top-notch quality work for its clients. “We don’t have any aspirations to significantly increase in size,” shares Wood. “We have been very fortunate to experience the success that we have over the years and I don’t see any need to change that.”

With the next generation eventually taking ownership, E.M. Wood Construction Inc. has a strong foundation on which to build its future.

Published on: November 8, 2016

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