- General contractor Suffolk announced this week a rebranding and diversification strategy that will see the company expand and introduce additional services to its current construction-based offerings and launch a new brand identity that includes a new logo. The new turn, exemplified by the slogans, "Invest. Innovate. Build.," and "Prove impossible wrong," will guide Suffolk's involvement in projects from inception through property management phases.
- The additional service lines include research and development, real estate funding and support of technology investments and startups through its Suffolk Capital arm. A new line focused on design-assist will allow Suffolk to better impact projects and shorten their development timelines using its knowledge of costs and constructability as well, the company said. It's also planning a new incubator and research space called the Garage, where Suffolk will engage in product development, academic partnerships and experiments that will drive industry innovation.
- Suffolk will continue to self-perform work such as general requirements, equipment rentals, and concrete and drywall, on projects where it "makes the most sense and brings the most value." Suffolk plans to eventually launch even more service lines, including enterprise risk management, insurance, supply chain management and facilities management.
The company said it is basing its expansion on its core competencies in the construction arena. "We are not changing who we are," said Lea Stendahl, Suffolk's chief marketing officer. "We're amplifying what we do best today and what we will do even better tomorrow."
But the company is about to expand in new directions, and according to Suffolk CEO John Fish, such bold moves are necessary to ensure a top spot in the industry.
“Finding new ways to add value for clients, especially in this era of great disruption," he told Construction Dive, "is absolutely critical to survival in this industry. The construction industry is typically averse to change, but contractors must think differently, embrace technology, collaborate with sophisticated partners and continue to innovate and push the boundaries of what is possible or they will quickly fall behind the competition.”
In order to execute on its new strategy, Fish said, it is also important to have the right people in place.
“Suffolk’s greatest strength is our people," he said. "We have experienced, seasoned personnel who manage our core competency of construction management and building services, but we have employed individuals and teams with a wealth of experience across all the vertical service lines that make up our diversification strategy — including real estate funding, design-assist, technology, data, and research and development."
Suffolk's culture, he said, which places a high value on innovation and forward-thinking, draws in "the very best talent" from both inside and outside the construction industry. "[This] allows us to think differently, continue to evolve as an organization and provide better service and a stronger value proposition for our clients," Fish said.
The company is already winning recognition for its innovations. In November, Suffolk's RiskX program, a mobile data entry and tracking system that identifies project safety trends, won a Safety Innovation Award from the Building Trades Employers’ Association. The association gives the award to companies who have contributed an idea, method or device that increases safety on the job.