From left are the Thrasher family – Nancy, David, Greg and Dan. All are part of the growing family firm.
Omaha’s Foundation Supportworks, Inc., Honored for ‘Radical’ Customer Service
By Dan McCann
The Daily Record
At the Greater Omaha Chamber’s recent Economic Outlook Luncheon, keynote speaker Geoff Colvin, Fortune’s senior editor-at-large, outlined four ways “the great performers, the best businesses” are thriving, even in these uncertain economic times.
• They are innovating their business models.
• They are integrating all parts of the business to create great customer experiences.
• They are continually building their human capital.
• They are getting radically customer-centric.
Colvin relayed exemplary stories about Apple and Exxon, Amazon and Medtronic. Omaha-based Foundation Supportworks, Inc., was not highlighted – but it could have been.
Honored as the Greater Omaha Chamber’s Small Business of the Month for December, Foundation Supportworks – a “spin-off” of family-owned Thrasher Basement Systems – appears to embrace each of Colvin’s keys to steady success.
They Are Innovating Their Business Models.
Foundation Supportworks makes its money by manufacturing and distributing foundation stabilization products to a network of installing contractors across North America. The inventory it sells utilizes the latest technology, but what is equally innovative – is what the company gives away.
“The only thing we sell as a company is product, but as a ‘value add,’ we provide free one-on-one consulting, training and development for our clients,” said David Thrasher, vice president, Foundation Supportworks.
The company currently employs 35 people, 30 of them working in a consulting role.
“We have a team of people who are excellent at different facets of marketing. We have a team of graphics people and video production people. We have a team that is great at developing sales systems and training sales people on how to communicate effectively. We evaluate each client at a high level, and if they need help in a certain area, we have a team that can provide it,” Thrasher explained.
He added, “The most rewarding part about my job is helping a struggling business owner to effectively improve and grow a successful construction company.”
The Are Integrating All Parts Of the Business to Create Great Customer Experiences.
“I would describe our team as a group filled with passion for one common goal,” Thrasher said. “The entire team at Foundation Supportworks is 100 percent focused on helping our more than 100 installing contractors grow their businesses.”
They Are Continually Building Their Human Capital.
“Our plan is to hire more people to work as consultants and partner with our clients to develop really sound businesses,” said Thrasher. “Our focus for the next 3-5 years is on developing systems and processes that our clients can use to help grow their business, which, in turn, will cause them to buy more of our product.”
They Are Getting Radically Customer-centric.
Just last year, Foundation Supportworks re-wrote its mission statement to better describe its core focus – radical customer support.
“That mission is ‘to champion dealer success through genuine relationships and radical support.’ This mission brings great energy to our team as we collectively work to push the boundaries as it relates to providing ‘radical’ support for our customers,” Thrasher said.
In support of Colvin’s premise, the company’s business approach is paying off in a big way. Five years after launching, Foundation Supportworks is the largest company in its industry.
“By developing new technology, making the focus on customer support and training, and putting key employees in positions to do extraordinary things, the company has grown from zero dollars at the start of 2008 to over 40 million dollars in sales in 2013,” Thrasher said.
As a company blessed with success, Foundation Supportworks has made it a priority to return those blessings to the community, a core value. Each year, it selects at least one family or project and provides the foundation repair services they need but cannot afford.
Last September, Foundation Supportworks partnered with the Abide Network, an organization working to transform hopelessness in North Omaha. Donating materials and the manpower to install them, Foundation Supportworks turned a condemned home – with cracked, bowing and failing foundation walls – into a safe, welcoming home for a family.
“We understand that the products we manufacture and distribute can dramatically change the living conditions of those in our local community,” Thrasher said.
In July 2012, employees from Foundation Supportworks volunteered their time and resources to help a local woman who had lost her husband to cancer. To make ends meet, she was working two to three jobs, including a business she operated out of her basement.
“Debra was getting water in her basement, which caused a musty odor that was unhealthy for her and her customers. Our employees installed a new deck, retaining wall and a waterproofing system at Debra’s house.
Volunteers were out all day and, by working as a team, managed to get everything finished in a single day,” Thrasher said.
Additionally, Foundation Supportworks contributes to a variety of organizations in various ways, including the Ollie Webb Center to benefit individuals with developmental disabilities, King of Kings’ mission work, Faith Missions International and its orphanage in Haiti, and the Open Door Mission.
Thrasher being named the Chamber’s latest Small Business of the Month supports a belief that the company is doing the right thing – in the right way.
“It’s a good feeling, a sense of accomplishment that we’re being recognized by an organization that we really respect,” Thrasher said. “It cements what we’ve been trying to do over the last five years and gives us credibility as a pioneer in our industry.”