Competent, committed and consistent are three words that have immense meaning for the members of Ducere Construction Services, Inc. (DCS). The management team weaves those words into the core of what the firm does as a builder and construction consultant.
Competence occurs from the employees’ relentless thirst for knowledge in the construction industry. Commitment develops through educating staff and clients via
training and communication. Consistency comes when they steadily break diversity barriers and follow through with their commitments to the community.
Part of what makes the DCS team special is its ability to not only do good business, but also, to take on the role of educating, encour- aging and supporting other small and diverse businesses so they will win work.
Markesia says, “We help small compa- nies fill out paperwork and complete certifications that members of most small firms do not understand.” Her husband, Korey Akinbami, Chairman of DCS, feels many builders are not investing fully in their futures. He says, “Many construction companies are functioning on a 1980s opera- tional platform. We try to help them understand how to utilize technology to improve their operations.”
COACHING AND MENTORING TO EMPOWER OTHERS Founded originally as Akinbami Construction Management in 2005, the company took a step back after the real estate market crash in 2008, focusing more on residential construction and small commercial
“Empowering individuals is one of our greatest assets.”
projects. While doing this, the lead- ership acquired a strong desire to coach other construction firms. In 2016, Markesia and Korey signed up for the Mentor-Protégé Program, sponsored by the University of Florida’s Small Business & Vendor Diversity Relations Division. Through the program, the husband-and-wife team connected with a company that is one of the largest general contractors in Gainesville, Florida. This company’s employees mentored the couple. Their relationship flour- ished, enabling Markesia and Korey to utilize the company’s network, helping their company grow expo- nentially. Reformed as DCS in 2017, the business now has two loca- tions—one in Gainesville, Florida, and another in Austell, Georgia.
Transitioning from protégé to mentor, DCS partnered with the Florida program and initiated its own men- torship class in Savannah, Georgia. Korey says, “It’s vital that we help people gain new skill sets so they can survive. We expose them to construction so they can support their families and live successfully. The community benefits from this immensely.” He adds that this rewarding partnership ensures a long-lasting positive impact for others, in addition to reaching financial goals.
The local construction industry also benefits from the knowledge of the DCS team. Classes on reading blueprints and organizing plans are offered by the company to newer,
TECHNOLOGY PROVIDES CONSTRUCTIVE SOLUTIONS
The AI component works in many ways. When contractors or trades document daily reports, the system can search the reports, identify potential issues, and flag them for an electrician or mechanical technician to avoid a potential catastrophe. The high-tech system also gives a more pragmatic benchmark for finishing a project. Korey says this is important because “you are able to give more realistic deadlines to owners.”
Working in the southeast, DCS deals with many weather-related issues, such as rain delays, flooding and hurricanes. But thanks to AI tech- nology, the team is ready for any event. For example, AI can be used to predict the number of rain days to expect on a project. In the event of a hurricane, the innovative software can quickly churn out solutions to address problems that might arise.
The team uses AI to plan for all con- tingencies, taking steps to reduce risks and losses by creating a cus- tomized mitigation strategy before a weather event hits. Korey says, “A lot of construction companies do not have a mitigation strategy. The technology helps you put together a Plan B or even a Plan C.”
small firms. DCS is on a mission to provide relevant construction train- ing to other firms in need of guidance or outside resources.
As a construction consultant, DCS enlightens smaller firms about understanding and managing productivity, inventory and waste. Additionally, the group helps compa- nies convert to new technology and teaches their staff members how to use it. By demonstrating the correct
or ideal applications of various tech- nologies, Korey and Markesia’s team educates clients on how to operate with sophisticated efficiency. Korey says, “Some construction manage- ment software, such as BIM 360 or Fieldwire, incorporates artificial intelligence (AI) technology. When data is input into the system, the software analyzes the information and provides ways the company can be more profitable, function better and identify safety hazards.”
relationship-building initiatives—and also its growth as a minority-owned business. The company has been featured in two publications, include “Entrepreneurship: The Practice and Mindset,” a textbook written by Heidi Neck, Christopher Neck and Emma Murray that is used at Babson College, which has one of the top entrepreneurship programs in the country, and other prestigious universities. “Implementing Supplier Diversity: Driver of Entrepreneurship,” by Kathey Porter, is a book on sup- plier diversity in small business development that also spotlights DCS. “Being featured in these books validates that our approach is solid and a proven success,” Markesia says.
Ducere Construction Services can build any project, but the company leaders look for the best opportu- nities to let their team shine. The firm is not limited to a specific spe- cialty; rather, it can be hired in the role of builder or consultant. Both Korey and Markesia feel DCS is not your average contractor. “We have an interesting construction life,” Markesia adds.
This dynamic duo is excited to work in the construction industry. With a positive mindset, the couple sees the big picture and comes up with inno- vative ideas.
Holly Titsworth has 25 years of expertise in writing/production for publications and television and is a coveted Edward R. Murrow Award recipient for journalistic excellence.
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