Fick Bros

by Emily Blackburn

Patrick Fick

Joseph Fick






Baltimore, MD
GQ All-time Recommend Rate: 96%
GQ 2020 Recommend Rate: 99%
Number of Jobs in 2020: 228
Type of Firm: Full-service Remodeler
CEO: Joseph Fick, Patrick Fick

1. Demand for services is stronger than ever. Supply delays are widespread. Building product prices are rising. Please name the concrete steps you take to keep customers satisfied as timelines and prices are fluctuating?

Fortunately, our backlog of work has been long enough to mitigate most issues with material suppliers. As a result, we have not had an issue when its comes to customer delays. The bigger issue is the rise in cost of materials between the sale and the installation. While we do have escalation clauses, we try to avoid using those unless absolutely necessary. Now, we purchase the materials as soon as the job is sold, and then we warehouse the materials until the project is ready. This costs additional time and money, but it helps eliminate problems with material delays, and keeps the project on schedule. That’s how we keep customers satisfied during these unusual times.

2. A good remodeling or home improvement firm knows the limits of its capabilities to take on additional work. What do/would you communicate to clients when you cannot handle their job and must decline their inquiry?

Well, if we believe the project is a good fit for Fick Bros, we would never decline the inquiry. During our initial meeting with the customer, we determine the customer’s needs and urgency to complete the project. And, then after we provide our proposal, we take time to explain the installation process to the customer. We show our schedule to the customer, and provide an approximate time frame for the project. Since, it is not unusual for us to have extended backlogs of work, we are used to dealing with this scenario. Once a customer understands that we are the right contractor for the job, often the scheduling and long lead times become a non-issue. Customers will wait for you if the proposal matches their needs.

3. During busy times like these, operational adjustments are needed in order to take on more work, often with the same level of staffing. What steps have you taken to ensure a quality experience despite the added workloads for your team?

Since we value quality above all else, we actually have not made any real changes to the way we approach our projects. And, since we have been dealing with lengthy work backlogs for an extended time frame, we have already have experience dealing with today’s current market. We are always looking to hire good people with positive attitudes. And, while finding new employees is an ongoing challenge, our current employees have stayed with us and continue to thrive. Our installers respect the fact the we put such a high value on quality, and it is one of the reasons that they work for Fick Bros. in the first place.

That said, we have recently developed some custom software which has helped improve the efficiency of our service department. The new software is used to digitally generate our maintenance reports directly from the field. And, with over 850 maintenance customers, the software has saved a great deal of time, from the previous manually typed reports. This project was two years in the making, and the software integrates into our existing operating system. So, we are glad to see it up and successfully running.

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