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Columbia Business Monthly

#3 - Frampton Construction Company LLC

Jan 08, 2019 10:35AM ● By Kathleen Maris
Year Founded: 2014
Founder: Chad Frampton
Headquarters location: Ladson
Number of other locations: 1 (Charlotte, N.c.)
Number of employees (start): 8
Number of employees (present): 41

Frampton Construction is a regional full-service construction firm providing planning and design support, preconstruction, and construction services. The dedicated team of professionals takes pride in building strong relationships with clients while providing the highest quality of service. Through personal oversight by top management throughout the building process, Frampton Construction is passionate about delivering incomparable results, start-to-finish, on each and every project. With offices in Charleston and Charlotte, the company is positioned to manage projects in the Carolinas and beyond.

What are the keys to your company’s rapid growth?
Chad Frampton (President and CEO): I think part of it is because we approach work acquisition with a focus on the client rather than the project. Our intent is that we build relationship with clients who have multiple projects and choose Frampton Construction to deliver them. We want our clients’ experience with us to be so good that choosing us as their construction partner is a no-brainer.

Another key is having an open mindset and the confidence in our ability to do good work — we are willing to venture outside of our comfort zone and broaden the types of jobs we do. The sky’s the limit, really. 

We are also proud to have developed a strong culture with a good reputation that attracts top talent.

What’s in store for your company?
We are focused on the continued growth of our team and project portfolio. We will be doing business for some of our long-standing clients as well as for new ones. A few of our current projects include trucking terminals for Southeastern Freight Lines and Old Dominion Freight Lines, a Hilton Garden Inn & Homewood Suites hotel and conference center, and the flagship office for Adams Outdoor Advertising.

What are your firm’s biggest challenges and how do you plan to overcome them?
Making sure we focus on projects that are a good fit for us and for our team, and then making sure we have the right staff in place for those projects and beyond. We have weekly calls with the management team for exactly this reason — to make sure we are on the same page about which projects we want to go for and then also to discuss the staffing for those projects to make sure we are equipped with the right people to execute it at 100 percent. It’s hard to say no to a negotiated project, but sometimes you have to if it’s not the right fit.

What trends and innovations do you see down the line for your industry?
Technology continues to improve the way we can deliver construction. Several years ago, the entire construction industry was behind in technology, but now we’re heavily influenced and engaged in the dynamic technology platform; we’re an industry that not only accepts technology but relies on it. 

Construction management programs not only provide more collaborative project delivery methods but access to real-time data and resources. This in itself has changed how construction projects are managed, providing more transparent costs and schedules, as well as tools for better quality and safety management. 

In our opinion, the next big shift will be the use of offsite/modular construction. This offsite technology will allow higher quality and faster deliveries, similar to how Henry Ford reinvented the production of the automobile. We also see a shift toward using virtual reality/augmented reality to assist with the design development and coordination throughout construction.

What word of advice, if any, has shaped your career and who gave it or where did you read it?
My father, Charles Frampton, is a brilliant man in its simplest form. He had a no-fuss way of doing business. His advice to me is simple: “You may not always be the smartest person in the room, but have the smartest person on your team.” 

Another common phrase that I have found to be so true in regard to good business development practice and making connections in the industry is, “You can’t sell construction sitting in your office.”

Growing fast is one thing, but long-term sustainable success is another. What are you doing to make sure your company sticks around for the long haul?
Our focus isn’t on what our company will look like one year from now, it’s on what our company will look like 25 years from now. With that mindset, we are putting the pieces in place now to achieve that vision down the line.

In terms of employee retention, we make sure we hire the right people who are a good fit, and we equip them with the resources they need for continued growth personally and professionally to ensure they feel fulfilled and successful. The same thing really goes for retaining our clients too; we prioritize their happiness by holding up our end of the deal and focusing on quality construction. We aim to add a few new clients through the front door every year without losing any out the back door.

We look at each project, no matter the client, as an audition. You give your best every time like it is your only chance to prove yourself. This mindset helps management and our team stay innovative and non-complacent.

How important is continued learning to your success and if so, what do you do to ensure that you are always learning about your industry, your company, and yourself?
Very important. Part of our vision statement is to remain committed to continuous improvement. We strive to challenge the current “Frampton way” by continuously learning and getting better every day. Examples of this include holding position-specific annual meetings to discuss challenges and solutions (ex: superintendents meeting), lessons learned exercises after each project, inviting OSHA for voluntary visits, attending industry events and conferences, semi-annual reviews for all employees with a focus on short and long-term goals and how to meet them.

A personal one for me is being part of YPO (Young Presidents’ Organization), which is a global network of young chief executives founded on the principle of education and idea exchange among peers. It has been really rewarding to share experiences and advice with people that are in the same boat as me, so to speak.

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you first started your professional career?
I don’t know that there is anything, really. I realize that learning through experience is really the only way to do it. You could go back and tell yourself something, but it won’t have the same impact as learning that thing through firsthand experience.
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