Feb 11, 2020
Generation Innovation: How Change Happens in
Construction Companies with Andrew Silverstein
The construction industry is considered fairly stable and
in-demand as there are hundreds of roads, bridges, and buildings
that need construction every day. However, it is also rapidly
changing in terms of innovation and technological progress.
Modernization is essential for the evolution of the business to
remain attractive to both customers and future employees.
In today's episode, Andrew Silverstein of Metralite shares his
experience in the construction industry as a young executive in a
company full of experienced and seasoned employees. We will discuss
why modernization is important in the industry, as well as how to
effectively implement transitions.
Andrew has tons of interesting insights and advice to share with
us. Check out these highlights and tune in to the show!
About Our Guest:
Andrew Silverstein is the Vice President of
Metralite Industries Inc., an architectural metal and glass
construction company in New York that mostly concentrates on making
Manhattan’s corporate interiors. He oversees the estimating and
sales department of the company.
How Change Happens in Construction
- Andrew had a passion for public service and joined Teach For
America after graduating.
- He had an unexpected career shift from being a teacher and a
school administrator to the private sector in a construction
company as a corporate executive.
- He used to be an outside counsel for his father as a teenager.
He then proceeded to join the multi-generational company to
continue the family legacy.
- Andrew focuses on estimating sales for the company, as well as
helping in operations and modernizing the process
Modernizing The Construction Business
- Part of overseeing any department of the company means having
to develop true knowledge of construction.
- Metralite used to focus on both storefronts alongside corporate
interiors but decided to shift concentration and resources to only
- Evolution is nature's most powerful law. You either adapt, or
you go extinct.
- Changing a company is difficult because most organizations are
static. It needs action from the top management.
- The construction business struggles to innovate because there
are high barriers to market entry.
Having The Correct Business Attitude
- Have humility and do not be afraid to learn from the people
- People respect when you own your knowledge gaps.
- Be transparent with your customers.
- “You got to fish where there are fish.” Meet people; both
employees and customers where they are.
- Adapt to your team and bring them towards your goal.
- Make mistakes and be comfortable with it.
Mistakes And Lessons In Running a Construction
- The management rolled out sophisticated software to employees
but no one used it.
- Change cannot be implemented immediately. Be comfortable with
- It is okay to have slow, small wins as long as you are
consistent with your direction.
- Be the role model for your team.
Why The Construction Industry Is
- It is a financially stable sector with practical career options
and is always in demand.
- There is ownership in seeing something tangible that you
- Even with a generation less inclined because this is an unsexy
industry, the excellent compensation and sense of pride in making
something you can touch and see is desirable.
The Importance Of Customer Service In
- Having excellent customer service is now at a dramatically
different level and standard than it was before.
- You can order something and know exactly how it looks when it
- Nobody believes that the contractor should demand and dictate
the terms anymore.
Starting Out In A Construction Career
- People learn things in different ways. Gain experience and
knowledge by understanding first in which method you learn
- Make hard work your competitive advantage.
- Never forget to practice humility even as you progress on your
Advice For Companies In Transition
- “The most successful companies are ones who really define what
their core principles are.”
- Get the consensus and values of the whole team to make sure
everyone is on the same page.
- "There was a common theme for us. Quality, quality,
Check out Metralite's
website and connect with Andrew Silverstein on LinkedIn.
Connect with me on LinkedIn. For more
podcast episodes, visit my website, and you can
also check out Construction Genius Podcast on LinkedIn.
Tune in to the Construction Genius: A Leadership Master-Class
Apple Podcasts, Spotify,