A Sturdy Foundation and Dynamic Growth

The Holbrook Company
Written by Grace McDermott

The Holbrook Company is a leader in excavation for the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Despite substantial growth and wide-reaching success, the ethos of a small, close-knit family business permeates throughout the company’s approach and remains a key factor in its overall success.
Taking on everything from smaller residential projects to major industrial works, The Holbrook Company provides every excavation service as well as demolition, stabilization and soil remediation services. From equipment to expertise, the company offers each component of the excavation process in-house. Being able to offer all services in-house expedites and guarantees the quality of its processes.

Founded in April of 2000, The Holbrook Company started out as a family excavation business. Attempting to enter the extremely competitive Texas construction industry was no easy feat; with one tractor and two employees, the firm’s success seemed unlikely. In a sector dominated by corporate giants and deep-rooted professional relationships, the small company set itself apart, focusing on developing quality service through investing in staff development and top-of-the-line equipment.

Fourteen years on and The Holbrook Company is more than just succeeding, it is prospering. According to Stephen Holbrook, the company’s COO, its stable growth through even the toughest of economic times was guaranteed by repeat customers and a workforce committed to “doing what it takes to get the job done.”

The Holbrook Company had to build its success from the ground up, literally. From what started out as a small excavation business with one tractor, and six to ten full-time staff, The Holbrook Company is now one of Texas’ leading excavation companies, turning over twenty million dollars annually. With 160 highly skilled staff and a large fleet of excavation, demolition and stabilisation equipment, the company continues to play a key role in the wider construction sector of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex and surrounding area.

Against the odds, the company has persevered and conquered, an accomplishment Stephen Holbrook accredits to a company culture founded on family values, staff retention and a commitment to quality customer relationships.

It harnessed its humble beginnings to be used as a strength, going on to create a distinct company culture around its family values. Today, these values remain at the heart of its approach, fostering a creative work environment of close-knit employees. “There is a level of trust there.” Stephen explains that while the company and its competitors do essentially the same thing, Holbrook has “found it is best to hold on to good staff because they have an in-depth knowledge of how we do business.”

Although the construction sector is plagued by high staff turnover, The Holbrook Company has an extremely high rate of staff retention, a feature that has ensured the company’s continued success throughout its evolution. “The vast majority – over eighty percent – of our equipment operators are long time employees who have worked their way up,” explains Stephen. “That ties back into the atmosphere we have around here: no matter where you stand, if you work hard, there is always room to grow with us.”

The Holbrook Company’s continued commitment to the development of a highly skilled workforce underlies the quality, efficiency and customer service of the company, earning the firm numerous national accolades and keeping clients coming back for more.

Investing in the training and skills of its staff is part of staying true to the values of running the business as a close knit family, and there is no match for experiential knowledge. Since the majority of Holbrook staff have worked and grown with the company, each employee – from machinery operators to management – has a full understanding of each step of the Holbrook process.

“We have multiple skilled operators, but we like our employees to feel like there is always room for promotion. Every single person we have in our management team started out as an equipment operator and grew from there, working their way up.”

The experience and training of its staff is a prime point of difference that continues to separate the firm from its competitors. Its cohort of committed staff benefits not only the company, but the customers. Through the up-skilling of existing staff, Holbrook ensures that the team is both skilled and well-versed in its expected standards of quality. Consequently, Holbrook is able to not only create and maintain a uniform quality standard throughout a diverse range of projects, it is also able to guarantee the timeliness and expertise of its services.

Although Holbrook is now much larger and more prolific than when it first started, the companies’ foundational values have stayed the same. Today, many members of the Holbrook family remain heavily involved throughout both upper management and other parts of the company. This ideology of close-knit relationships and trust is illustrated in the firm’s commitment to the development of its staff and, in turn, the staff’s commitment to The Holbrook Company.

In the construction industry, there are two major factors which influence quality: equipment and expertise. “One thing that makes us stand out from our competitors is how much we do in-house,” says Stephen. Throughout the company’s endeavours to provide the most efficient and highest quality service, it invested heavily in developing both a skilled workforce and a top-of-the-line fleet of equipment.

After years of experience working in the excavation industry, The Holbrook Company realised the potential of owning, rather than leasing, equipment. Anyone with construction experience knows that, often, securing the necessary equipment can make or break the schedule. “Owning our own equipment benefits us and the projects we serve,” says Stephen. “Because we know we don’t have to wait on anything, there is no worry of availability of machines.”

Although equipment, particularly large scale equipment, can be expensive, The Holbrook Company was committed to the investment, believing it would benefit the company and, more importantly, the customers. With over seventy percent of the company’s current client base composed of repeat customers, the firm’s commitment to maintaining positive customer relationships is priceless. Stephen explains that the company’s, “customer relations is the most valuable thing we have in our business, so we believe in doing whatever it takes to take care of the customer.”

The Holbrook Company owns a large fleet of track loaders, bulldozers, excavators and other heavy prime movers. As a result, it can work to the schedule of contractors, rather than dictating the pace of the project. “We tell any general contractor we work with, ‘You give us a schedule, and we will meet it.’ – and that goes back to our equipment availability,” says Stephen. In addition to heavy moving equipment, the company has a fleet of smaller machines which enable it to perform and service every aspect of the excavation process.

The Holbrook Company’s growth and development have gained it not only a dedicated client base, but local – and even national – recognition. It has received a number of national and regional awards in the last seven years. These achievements highlight the company’s increasing success, but according to Stephen, the best is yet to come.

Stephen says the company plans to grow further in the next few years while maintaining a close commitment to its staff, its clients and, above all, quality services. “Right now, we are the biggest our company has ever been; 2014 has been a great year.” The current construction boom in Texas, paired with the company’s consistent track record of growth, promise a vibrant future for the firm. The Holbrook Company exemplifies the growth potential of quality customer relationships, proving that excellence is not just in the process, but in the people.



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