A Century in Our Nation’s Capital
Working construction contracts in Washington D.C. is a unique privilege. As our nation’s capital, the district houses many of the most important buildings in the country, ranging from the Smithsonian museums to the White House. But it’s often what you don’t see that keeps the political center of the U.S. locations running.
BF Joy LLC, a veteran-owned small business specializing in the installation, maintenance, and rehabilitation of underground infrastructure for the public and private sectors, has been a part of the makeup of Washington D.C. and surrounding areas since 1917. From its humble beginnings hauling wood and feed to D.C. homes via horse-drawn wagons to becoming the first contractor to install underground conduit and manholes in D.C., BF Joy has worked on—or rather, under—major locations running from the U.S. Capitol and FedEx Field to the White House and Pentagon.
“We’re coming up on 100 years in 2017. Not many companies can say they have 100 years of experience,” said Kevin Joy, BF Joy Owner. “It’s quite a history we have here. And the fact that it’s remained a family company since my great grandfather founded it provides me with a great sense of pride.”
As the company begins to plan for its centennial celebration, it continues to devote its attention to being a leader in efficiency and Lean Six Sigma while providing the legendary service for which BF Joy is known.
The focus on efficiency is driven by BF Joy’s desire to be as cost competitive as possible. It can be challenging to come up with new lean ideas, so the company employs people from all levels of the company to propose anything that they believe will help improve the workflow. Those with good ideas are recognized, which means there’s always a little healthy competition to see who can come up with the next great idea.
The result of this has been a lot of little things that have added up to big changes.
“A lot of it comes down to simple things like moving away from paper-pushing to utilizing more electronic platforms and databases. But it also goes beyond that,” shared Joy.
“We look at every process we do and trim the fat to get down to what is essential. It can be a challenge to come up with new ideas, which is why we opened it up to the whole company.”
Although BF Joy does a range of different types of projects, a lot of the work they do is very similar. This allows the company to streamline their processes further, employing cross application from project to project.
Other tools create efficiencies for BF Joy too. They have implemented a company-wide mobile application that allows people in the field to enter notes on the status of construction, giving employees from the top down a chance to see where a project is status-wise in real-time.
“Construction companies are notoriously slow to adapt to change, it’s kind of a dinosaur industry. Our mobile application has been an incredible tool to help us catch up on the technology side of things. It eliminates paperwork in the field, and gives supervisors instant feedback to if they are on, ahead of, or behind schedule with a project.”
This is another way Joy is able to create healthy competition that drives a strong company culture. Results from the mobile application are posted in the foreman’s shop, meaning everyone knows the status of every project.
“It’s that extra little push to pump up the employees to do a good job before going to the site,” he said.
The biggest benefit is the time it saves a crew. When a supervisor can make small changes day to day to stay on track, big changes and fixes are avoided.
BF Joy is making investments in several other areas of the business too. The Great Recession led the company to make some changes to cut more costs than usual, including waiting a little longer to rejuvenate its fleet of vehicles. Since making a full recovery in 2012, BF Joy has been wholly committed to catching its fleet up with the rest of the business.
“The average age of our equipment went past where we wanted it to be, so we are making a big investment into a fleet rotation plan,” shared Melissa Koehler, President and CEO of BF Joy.
“It has given us a great opportunity to make sure we are not only using the right equipment, but that we are utilizing our vehicles as efficiently as possible. Our whole company culture is aligning with the principles of Lean Six Sigma”
With the New Year also came a new acquisition in the form of Mr. Go-Glass, a full service glass company on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, Delaware and Virginia that has provided BF Joy with a great investment opportunity. By diversifying its offerings, the company has found another good company to put under their umbrella.
“It’s a good company with a strong history that’s profitable. Most importantly though, Mr. Go-Glass has a solid culture that aligns very closely with ours,” said Joy.
Investment is the name of BF Joy’s game going into its centennial. Congratulations on 100 years!
A Forward-Thinking Partner
Beyond the confidence this company can bring to the installation and maintenance of core underground infrastructure, partners look to BF Joy to bring the latest proven technologies to each project with the goals of saving time, reducing costs, and producing superior results for everyone involved.
Leading Edge Solutions
5355 Kilmer Place,
Hyattsville, MD 20781
Website - bfjoy.com