Ledge Brady founded Stafford Corp. (Stafford) in 1984 as a growing commercial general contractor. Brady, a graduate of Colorado College, says he just sort of fell into construction. “I taught high school math for a year in Summit County,” he explains. “In part, construction pays better than teaching. There are also unique challenges to each project here that are engaging.”
The team of six experienced superintendents and project managers work across the country on challenging commercial projects. While the company is located in Denver, Stafford is licensed as a contractor in 25 states.
“I believe what sets us apart is that we go further than anybody to satisfy our customers’ needs,” Brady says. “We have a corporate philosophy that we will do what we promise when we promise we will do it. Our catch phrase is: ‘Building on promises.'”
Brady goes on to note that Stafford’s niche is serving customers’ needs. “If our customer has retail space, we do retail for them,” says Brady. “If our customer has office space we do office work for them. We will do industrial work, we will do office tenant improvements and we will do medical work among other sectors.”
Strong Client Relationships
The company has a team of six, including experienced superintendents who move between various complex projects. The crew provides a full line of construction services from conception to completion. Clients have come to expect quality work, which includes design-build services, budgeting and estimating, as well as scheduling and value engineering. Throughout the process, Stafford superintendents tightly manage safety, schedules, communication and quality control. The work does not end when the building is up and the equipment cleared away, as Stafford provides certificates, documentation and maintenance guidance to new owners and occupants.
Stafford’s customers include Weingarten Realty, Kimco, Safeway, Sam’s Club, Wal-Mart and Avnet among others. “We have a lot of corporate customers,” Brady notes. “We do it all: whatever their needs are we do. We work where they want us to work. We have worked for Wal-Mart in North Dakota and New Mexico. We will be working for Safeway in Douglass, Wyo.”
The team recently finished a retail store that includes Starbucks and Cellular Plus. “We did ground-up and tenant improvement work inside, which was retail,” Brady explains. “A year ago, we finished a headquarters for Offen Petroleum. That project was combination of existing building and building from the ground up. We converted a warehouse into a corporate office building.”
On the ground level, Stafford works with a number of reliable subcontractors, suppliers, owners and clients. In order to track work and keep contacts organized, the company has put together a database; of the 5,000 subcontractors in the database, Brady says his team has built strong relationships with a select portion. The company often works with the same subs, varying by region, on several unique and challenging projects.
Running Lean and Clean
The economic downturn had a strong impact throughout the industry. Fortunately, Stafford has been able to avoid any kind of major crisis by reeling in expenditures and tightly managing operations. While the team was forced to cut staff in the recession, Brady says the crew is growing again. “We have upcoming interviews for additional employees,” he says. “We have doubled our volume over the last three years and we expect to double again within the next few years.”
The crew is taking several initiatives to increase cash flow and volume. The business has been reaching out to new clients in new markets while also maintaining strong relationships with existing clients. The crew takes great pride in maintaining a high number of repeat customers, which continue to support Stafford year after year.
These relationships make up a strong foundation for growth at Stafford. “The No. 1 reason we have held on throughout the recession is that we have a broad customer base,” Brady explains. “I think that’s what has helped us more than anything else. We have customers who do ground-up stuff; we have customers who do retail tenant finish and office tenant finish. We have a broad range of customers.”
In order to keep these customers, Brady promotes strong communication. “The biggest point of pride for us is just being able to talk to our customers,” he says. “We always want them to be satisfied and happy with the quality of work and the quality of customer service that we provide.”
As the business approaches its 30-year anniversary, Brady and his team hope to continue on a path of growth and stability. More importantly, the crew will extend high-quality construction management services into new territory. Stafford Corp. continues to dominate the market with organized, safe and efficient construction services from the ground-up.
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