Empire Drywall Calgary on Pace to Reach Record 1,000 Homes Worked on in 2023
Calgary, AB – Empire Drywall Calgary is closing in on having 1,000 homes worked on in 2023 – a new record in the company’s 24-year history. Strong relationships with Qualico homebuilders, beneficial market conditions, an increased volume of work with builders outside of Qualico, and a high-quality team have all contributed to this milestone.
Qualico acquired Empire Drywall Calgary in 2017, and in late 2020, Empire Drywall Calgary started working on the many single-family and multi-family projects for Qualico Calgary builders. Empire Drywall Calgary’s work for Qualico’s builders includes insulation, spray foam, drywall, taping, texture and sometimes priming scopes of work.
Since 2020, Empire Drywall Calgary has seen a steady increase in the number of homes the team has took on per year. The team insulated 487 houses (297 houses for Qualico) in 2020, 654 houses (495 houses for Qualico) in 2021, 710 houses (545 houses for Qualico) in 2022, and so far this year, 961 houses (579 houses for Qualico), with more to come.
Joel Aksenchuk, General Manager, Empire Drywall Calgary, credits the company’s staff for their ability to handle the workload with passion and professionalism.
“It really is a testament to our team, as we would not have been able to hit these record numbers without every single one of them performing at a high level,” he said.
According to Joel, market conditions (new home sales) have been strong in the Calgary market, especially since 2020, when the pandemic created a lot of uncertainty in the industry. This has been beneficial for Empire Drywall Calgary, as well as Qualico Calgary builders, as both have seen a similar trajectory in work volume as a result.
Joel noted that Empire Drywall Calgary’s strong relationship with Qualico means the team has received more work from its builders, but that work is not necessarily a given.
“Even with our relationship with Qualico, we have still have to constantly prove ourselves capable of earning and executing on that work,” he said. “The baseline of work that we receive from Qualico is something that is very rare in our industry. It allows us to make long-term business decisions knowing that, as long as we perform, we will always have a certain amount of work from the Qualico builders.”
Along with the increase in Qualico work, Joel said Empire Drywall Calgary’s volume of work for outside builders has also continued to increase.
“Some of those non-Qualico customer relationships have been fostered on our own, but others have been a direct result of the introductions/connections made from being a part of the Qualico group,” he explained. “Just like with Qualico, these relationships only work if Empire Drywall is performing at a high level. We have many competitors in our market and are constantly being compared to other strong companies.”
Joel pointed to labour shortages in the market being a challenge not just for Empire Drywall and Qualico, but for competitors and likely all other trades as well. But the Empire Drywall Calgary team has done everything it can to hire and increase the company’s trade base to handle the additional capacity. The business unit currently has more employees than ever before to help manage the increased volume of work.
“It takes a lot of extra effort to not only find these trades and convince them to work for us, but also the training, quality control management, and additional service work that goes into using new crews,” he said. “Not every crew has the same level of quality and professionalism, so it can significantly increase the amount of time needed to manage them.”
Empire Drywall Calgary has always known that the success of its business model is based on volume, said Joel, but this year has really highlighted that theory.
“This increased volume has shown us what kind of efficiencies we can have with an increased staff,” he said. “Now, we have more service techs and site supervisors in the field. The distance traveled for them on any given day has been reduced. The size of the areas they need to be responsible for are smaller (higher density).”
This means Empire Drywall Calgary is more likely to have a representative in every area it works in, at any given time, to be able to deal with any unforeseen issues. Joel said this is a change from past years, when the business unit only had two site supervisors who each had to deal with an entire half of the city and surrounding towns, and travel was a significant part of every day for them.
With many factors fueling Empire Drywall Calgary’s success, including Qualico’s vertical model, Empire Drywall’s hiring push to meet volume demands, and the business unit’s high calibre of employees, the company is well-positioned to continue to grow in the market and hit record-setting volume numbers year after year.
Published: February 20222021 - A Year in Review
Published: February 20212021 - A Year in Review
- Single-Family Homes
- Multi-Family Homes
- Building Materials and Services