Farnum Construction Management: Finding a Better Way to Do Business
Farnum Construction Management was formed on one simple premise: there’s a better way to do things.
“As professionals in this industry, I think it is our responsibility to push the industry forward, always expanding and improving on how we deliver. Far too many projects are completed while using traits or methods of past because that’s how it’s always been done. With new technology and efficiencies available at our fingertips, it allows us to focus on how to do things better, ultimately providing better service quality and overall project experience to our clients” explains Sean Farnum, Managing Director at Farnum Construction Management. Acknowledging this issue with the construction industry, Farnum is guiding his business based on principles of quality service, integrity, forming strong relationships, and above all finding the best and most efficient ways of delivering projects and doing business.
Imagination and Innovation for Varied Projects
The philosophy at Farnum Construction Management has led the company to take on jobs that range greatly in scope and profile. One thing that many of them have in common is that they are important jobs demanding the quality results that Farnum promises.
These can be projects such as the approximately $2 million remediation project for Alberta Health Services in High River, or the $4.8 million disaster recovery project at the Calgary Zoo—both were damaged by the devastating floods that overtook Alberta in the summer of 2013. They can also be private construction management projects like the $3.8 million crematorium and reception center for McInnis & Holloway that Farnum took on in conjunction with Norr Architects. This 14,000 square-foot project was one of the largest that the management firm has taken on to date, but through careful planning it was able to deliver on time and under budget.
“It just came down to proper planning in being able to reach those goals—having a strategy put in place right from the beginning, as opposed to rushing to get into the ground too soon. Having aligned goals, outlined expectations, and a clear communication process was the key to its success.” says Farnum. “The owner was very involved; he was on the site probably two or three times per week, and it made it very nice to establish the relationship between the site staff and him, as well as with us on the management side. Along with the architects, we created a nice little project group that worked very well, so that was a great experience and a nice project to end the year with.”
A Company Culture of Caring
When it comes to finding project staff for Farnum Construction Management, there are several traits that are highly valued. “I do my best to make sure that all of our employees, from senior managers to laborers, are dedicated, respectful, hard working and take pride in what they do. I try to instill that in being at the forefront,” says Farnum. “I'm onsite often, not afraid to get my hands dirty, bringing our site guys lunch and coffee, nothing is below me so I try to instill that in them, and show them that I'm just as dedicated as they are. We all share common goals, we all share strategies and ideas, our success is dependent collaboration, and we promote an open door policy for all team members. Whatever we're working on, we take a team approach.”
Another trait that Farnum looks for is employees interested in taking time for giving back to the community. From charity work and community service to education, Farnum Construction Management takes its philanthropic philosophy very seriously. “We're heavily involved in investing into our community and into our staff,” says Farnum, noting that the business has been involved in benefits for everything from the Calgary Zoological Society to Calgary’s Prostate Cancer Society and Kids Cancer Care.
“Calgary has been so great to me—coming from Ontario, moving to Calgary, and having the opportunities here to build my company,” explains Farnum. “I feel that it’s our social responsibility to give back. We're given such great opportunities, and the ability to provide a great life for ourselves and our families, I feel it's our obligation to give back—what goes around comes around.”
The Farnum Difference
The thing that sets Farnum Construction Management apart is the fresh way they view the industry and they approach it. “I think we're a different type of company with a different vision,” says Farnum. “We're very versatile, as we can structure our services and our project delivery methods based on requirements, restraints, as well as specific client or project needs.”
Beyond that versatility is a refreshing honesty and commitment to excellence that Farnum’s clients can count on project after project. “We do what we say we're going to do, it’s as simple as that,” he adds. “We're out to align our goals, relationships, and strategies with our clients. We are very transparent in what we do, and we take pride in what we do.”
That may not lead to rapid growth, but it does lead to the kind of growth that can be sustained and a point of pride as Farnum moves into the future. “We're on a calculated growth pattern as we've planned, and we only take on as much as we can handle and do it the best that we possibly can,” he says. “So it's all about respect and integrity, the morals and ethics of the company, and the services that we provide. The company was started on that premise—that we can do it better.”