RIKB Design Build

by Emily Blackburn

Tanya Donahue, Michael Donahue , Sr.

Warwick , RI
GQ All-time Recommend Rate: 95%
GQ 2020 Recommend Rate: 95%
Number of Jobs in 2020: 73
Type of Firm: Full-service Remodeler
CEO: Tanya Donahue, Michael Donahue , Sr.

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?

We have increased our communication after our Clients sign a contract. Since the lead times are so extended , there can be an information void during this part of the process . We had to implement touchpoints for our Production team to stay connected . For instance , something as simple as “Hi , your mosaic tile came in and it looks great, I’m going to text you a photo ” has been a great way to keep our clients excited about their project and let them know that even though the lead times have been extended , we are diligently working behind the scenes as well as keeping their spirits high about their renovation.

We are a one price complete package so we have not implemented escalation clauses but we have taken steps to order the larger items to secure pricing prior to full contract signings . We take a larger deposit during design phase so we can secure materials for the project as they are finalized . Our clients have had a very positive response to us trying to get ahead of what is happening in the industry right now . As a company , it has eliminated empty Production weeks because we are waiting for specialty items.

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?

We have had to have that conversation much earlier with clients so we can set their expectations right away in the “how can we help” stage . Typically , we would be focusing on the are we the right fit question and building repore at the initial part of the process , but we have had to adjust our conversations and be very upfront about timelines.

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?

This has been a very fluid process and we have had to adjust very quickly to the changing environment . We have weekly check-ins with each department and communicate to the entire staff if any operational adjustments need to be addressed . We focus on learning moments so we don’t keep making the same errors.

Our company theme this year is PACE P- People First A – Adjust – C – Culture E – Efficiency. We never realized how crucial that messaging would be for this this year . It is something we discuss as a Team regularly and have focused on cross training for our team to jump in and be a gas pedal if needed throughout other departments.

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