Brand Vaughan dedicates itself to quality at every stage of the construction project. Our customers know that BVL carries the industry’s most reliable products, along with turn-key solutions for framing, flooring and other installation projects. Brand Vaughan guarantees extra-mile service — and that applies to every stage of your construction project. We run our company on the belief that “every shipment, every invoice and every interaction” plays an important role in the relationship that we have with the builders we serve.
John Donkar heads up the Installed Services department at Brand Vaughan, and he was given the responsibility of building that team from the ground up. Installed Services at Brand Vaughan is like a construction company within BVL. “We take the customer through the estimate, bidding, all the way to construction: framing, trim, siding, you name it,” explains John, who’s been with Brand Vaughan for seven years now. The Installed Services team works with the customer, designers and any of the other stakeholders on a project. “We built the department based on service. We really have to own the actual product that we’re selling,” says John. Any issues that might arise on a project are handled “in a finite amount of time: within 24 hours.” John and his team are able to run projects more efficiently because of the autonomy that’s given to him in his role at Brand Vaughan. That means he spends less time playing middle man between project stakeholders, and more time being available to customers.
There wasn’t an Installed Services department before John was hired, but he was trusted to make the right decisions and create, and then manage, his team. “And Chip and Jon (Vaughan) are available as a sounding board if there are questions or we need to check-in,” explains John Donkar. Jon Vaughan believes in feedback so much, he went an extra step further. Just a few years ago, Jon Vaughan asked the employees at Brand Vaughan if any improvements were needed: in their job roles, in the company or on their teams. Asking employees for their feedback was a bold move on Jon’s part, but he gathered valuable insight from this exercise. There were plenty of opportunities for improvement, and to stay accountable (and on track with progress), Jon launched his Java with Jon program.
Java with Jon is a regular meeting that Jon has with employees throughout the year. Team members are invited to share suggestions, and later in the year, everyone is able to see what Brand Vaughan does with the feedback from employees. “The response has been so tremendous,” Jon says. “I thought people were going to walk in like it was a jail sentence. But they get there, and they’re excited. They’ve got notebooks full of ideas they want to contribute.”
Brand Vaughan works hard to help its employees to stay engaged and fulfilled in their roles. That requires training and dedication, especially from managers or directors running the department. Russ French runs Engineered Wood Products (EWP) at BVL, and he has helped grow his team of designers, all while managing inventory for the department. “Some designers are trained from scratch. I’ve taken guys straight out of college or people who took CAD and taught them how to design from there,” explains Russ, who has been managing his EWP team at Brand Vaughan for more than 20 years, since 1999. When he first started on the team, it involved some cleanup. “We lost thousands of dollars of inventory that couldn’t be used,” explains Russ. “When I took over, Brand Vaughan was doing about $1.8 million a year in EWP. We started out pretty small.” Russ spent the first year straightening out how EWP had been operating; he hired two people to cut product and took over purchasing for the department. He’s also helped create opportunities for current employees in other departments. “Greg was from Accounting and moved over to EWP. And Mike was hired to do maintenance, so I gave him more of a challenge,” says Russ.
In the last several years, the department has been successful, selling several million dollars worth of product just last year. Russ manages a team of eight designers, who work directly with clients to successfully build out their floor plans and home designs.
There are a few ways that Brand Vaughan has helped its team grow, and it’s through leadership programs and regular meetings like Java with Jon that employees stay engaged and expanding within their roles. Brand Vaughan also invests in tools and technology at every level, which helps to support employees and customers. “We have a saw in EWP that optimizes the longer lengths of lumber into cut lengths. Then the computer says what needs to be cut. The product is laser cut with details about the length, make number, job ID, and which lot it’s going to,” explains Russ French, head of EWP. This kind of attention to detail is a part of the Brand Vaughan “extra-mile” mindset. It’s a philosophy that supports our customers, partners and team members, no matter what part of the project you’re involved in.
Bo Venturi was hired at BVL in 2013, completely new to the construction industry. “There have been lots of opportunities to learn things I didn’t know, and grow in that aspect,” explains Bo. When he first started out, he moved around the company, from Operations to Millwork to Project Management. He did that for about five years before leaving for a job outside of BVL in 2019. After just a few months, he was hired back to Brand Vaughan, in Installed Services. “Brand Vaughan definitely gave me the tools to succeed,” explains Bo, who now manages operations in Installed Services. And we’re happy that Bo missed us so much that he could only stay away for a few months. You can learn more about BVL’s commitment to employee growth by clicking here, or you can check out how Brand Vaughan supports the builders we work with by clicking here.