In our first Teammate Spotlight, we sat down with our Business Development Manager, Bryan Moffitt, to talk about challenges, culture and how to build a project around an eagle’s nest.
BM: I received my B.S in Business Administration and Economics from Greensboro College. After I graduated, I worked at a few other companies before finding my way to HGC. Since starting here in 2018, I have been a Superintendent, Estimator, and now Business Development manager. I also help lead the Safety Steering Committee – HGC’s peer-led safety program that empowers everyone to speak up about safety issues without fear of retribution. This committee also reviews all workplace incidents to allow us to learn and grow our culture around safety.
BM: Honestly, I don’t have a “typical” day. I wake up at 4AM, go to the gym, and I’m in the office by 7. I go through the bid schedule for the day with the Pre-Construction team and follow up with our estimators on the status of bids. Part of my job is to make sure they have everything they need from clients and match them with upcoming bids. When someone reaches out to us to come up with a proposal, I work with Bryan Ribelin, our Pre-Construction Manager to assign that job to the estimator best suited for the scope of work.
Then, I dive into emails between meetings with new and existing clients as well as community and industry partners. I try to meet with economic developers of each county regularly to see what they have coming down the pipeline. That way, we are more prepared to bid when projects are announced. After that, I track project statuses for the Pre-Construction team. Being able to easily identify bids won vs. bids lost helps us bid more intentionally on upcoming projects.
My day is always changing. I have a good split of being in the office and visiting clients, so tomorrow will be nothing like today.
BM: I love getting to work with new clients. Bringing them in, matching them with the best estimator for their scope of work, and showing them everything HGC can do never gets old. Being able to facilitate the relationship between a new client and our team is rewarding because with every new client, a door is opened and HGC’s potential grows.
BM: I’m fortunate enough to be selective on what jobs we bid on, but sometimes it isn’t the right fit. We don’t like saying no to a job, but I have to communicate that decision in a way the client understands why we aren’t a good fit for their project. For jobs we do bid, I have to make sure the estimators have enough time to do their jobs but still meet the client’s due date. We can usually turn a bid around in two weeks, but lately it has taken us around 3-4 weeks.
BM: At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of our client’s hit the pause button on their jobs. We weren’t sure when jobs were going to restart, so we continued to make bids to make sure we had enough work for our team. Now that jobs are becoming active again, we are starting to work on those while balancing bids we’ve won since then.
BM: One word: teamwork. I never know who I’m going to end up talking to during the day. I have the opportunity to work with every division in some way or another and everyone is very helpful. If a client asks about drones, I’ll reach out to our survey team. If they ask about a piece of equipment, I’m in our Shop talking to our technicians or shop managers.
Last week, I worked with our Team Development Group to bring a client to the HGC Academy, our new training and development facility. Their Project Managers were interested in learning more about the earthworks side of our business, so I worked with TDG to create a presentation for them.
Making sure the client has access to everything they need is a huge aspect of my job. When our team is rowing in the same direction, working to achieve the same goal, it’s easy for me to reach out to whoever I need to ask a question or get some help.
BM: Know the core values and our safety standards and use them in your day-to-day life. They are the backbone of the company. We tell people, if you’re struggling with something, go back to those and you’ll find the answer.
Also, if you don’t know something, ask. HGC is a teaching company, so we encourage everyone to feel empowered to ask questions. Once you gain that knowledge, share it with your team. Your team becomes better and thus the company becomes better as a whole.
BM: I really don’t have a favorite project in particular. All projects are equally important because to the client, it could be their most important project.
I do like out-of-the-box projects – the ones that have something unique or challenging about them. We have to figure out how we’re going to get it done, whether we’re working with a soil type that has a high moisture content or putting a sewer line next to the world’s largest natural gas easement. I think we excel at these projects that require you to look at them differently. They’re not cut and dry.
One project we did had an eagle’s nest in a tree. The client worked with the appropriate government agencies to determine the buffer zone, but that zone changed based on the time of the year, so we didn’t disturb the eagles during mating season. These changes impacted the schedule of the project, so we constantly had to reevaluate. That was definitely a memorable one!
BM: Most of the time their biggest pain points are schedule and budget. Usually, the site work is the largest unknown. They can tell you what a building is going to cost or what they’re going to spend to build a house, but budgeting for what we do is tough. Every site is different so until we get them a proposal, they don’t have concrete numbers to work with. If we have a site with a lot of rock, that’s going to impact the budget. If we’re going into winter with a project, that’s going to impact the schedule. Finding creative ways to make the project work for them and making sure we do a good job of explaining so they understand, is key to our success.
BM: The biggest thing that makes my job easy are the guys in the field. They’re so great at doing what they do. People want HGC on their site because, from the bottom to the top, we have the right people in the right positions to do the job better than anybody else. When a problem does arise, everyone works together to figure out the best solution to get the project back on track. Our company’s ability to work together as a team keeps our clients coming back project after project.
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