Beyond the Build


Appearances Count

There are many layers to being successful, and some things come easier than others. In the construction business, we may not have daily interaction with our customers, but we do have a lot of visibility with the public. Most of the people who walk or drive past one of our construction sites have no idea if the project is ahead of schedule, on budget or built with quality. The one thing they can judge is if the site appears well-kept, organized and safe. To me, a big part of this is site signage. Anyone around here will tell you that our signs are first thing I typically ask about on a site visit. Are they visible, in good physical condition and properly placed? While it’s a small item on the ladder of success, it’s a first impression and the most obvious tie back to our company and culture.

Taking this to another level, we clean our equipment regularly, because well-kept machines are treated with more respect by the operators. Years ago, I remember hearing that UPS washes their trucks every night as part of their brand. This isn’t quite practical for us, but we can take the extra steps to keep our sites looking their best. While construction is by nature a dirty business, the way a site is maintained is a reflection of the name on the door. 


Merrill Stewart Jr.

Merrill Stewart is Founder and CEO of The Stewart/Perry Company, a commercial building contractor based in Birmingham.