Ramland Construction Co.

Ramland Construction founder, President and CEO Steve Ramras says the key to his business is building relationships. The company’s reputation among clients in the retail, restaurant and hospitality industries has helped it steadily grow even during the recession. “We’ve been busy; we haven’t seen a downturn in our business in the last few years,” Ramras says. “I think that’s because we do a good job and have built up positive word-of-mouth through our clients.”

Ramland works as either a general contractor or a construction manager in various project capacities, including preliminary design, value-engineering, conceptual budgeting, estimating, bidding, purchasing, on-site construction and project close-out.

The company’s level of service is what helps it distinguish itself. “We have a motto: ‘Ask what we can do today to help our clients reach their goals,’ and that’s how we work,” Ramras adds. He credits its reputation and a base of repeat customers for his firm’s steady growth.“We’re well-known within Southern California and one of the leaders in our market,” Ramras says. “After 11 years, people got to know us; it’s kind of hitting an apex right now. We have a good reputation in the industry.”

Ramras founded the company in 1998 after working for another construction company that specialized in restaurant and retail work, he says.

“I got my feet wet there, then started my own company,” he adds. “We’ve been successful ever since.”

Recent projects completed by Ramland Construction include Coast and Catch restaurants in Santa Monica, Calif.; Urth Café and Bakery in Los Angeles; Le Pain Quotidien restaurant on 53rd and Madison Ave in New York City; and the flagship showroom for Citizens of Humanity Jean Co. in downtown Los Angeles. Other projects now underway include a restaurant in the massive City Center development on the Las Vegas Strip, Ramras says.

Ramras says his company extensively uses a Web-based system to distribute plans and provide updates to clients. “We’re really using that [Web] technology a lot more, which is saving us a lot of money,” he says. “The Web has made dealing with clients who are not local a lot easier. [Clients] can see our progress and we can update them faster so they can see what’s really going on as we’re working on a job.”

Another recent technological development Ramland seeks to be ahead of the curve on is environmentally friendly buildings. “I’m finding a lot more clients are looking for sustainable and LEED-certified projects,” Ramras says. The company is more regularly using reclaimed wood and other sustainable materials in projects. 

Continuous Training

Ramras says his staff is working to educate themselves more about green construction through regularly attending seminars, meetings and training courses. 

Recently, Ramras attended the International Builders Show in Las Vegas. “From a product point of view, there’s so many contacts to be made [at the show],” he says. “All the big names like Kohler [and] Corning are there.”

Similar shows and events also have a Ramland presence. “Either I go, or I send people in my office out,” he says. “I really believe in constantly innovating the company.

“Even if we’re a small company, we try to provide every service a large company can and conduct ourselves as professionally and possible,” he adds. “Professionalism is one thing we pride ourselves on.”

Ramras also prides himself on developing his staff. Several of his key employees have risen through the company’s ranks, including Senior Project Manager Richard Francis and Operations Manager Dage Baker. Francis joined the company as an estimator, and Baker was initially hired to answer phones, Ramras says. Today, they each play key roles in the day-to-day operations of Ramland, which allows Ramras to work on expanding business, he adds. Ramras says that he sees more growth in his firm’s future. “I want to continue to grow the business but not lose sight of the type of company we are,” he says. “I feel we’ve got the right people who are well-trained and can take on new business.”

East Coast Connection

One major expansion of Ramland’s business can be seen in its increasing involvement in development on the East Coast. The company maintains an office in New Jersey and in the last few years has built a successful partnership with New Jersey-based EBS Builders. 

The two companies were introduced through a mutual client. “When I have clients I’ve been building for in California and they want to do a project on the East Coast, I get [EBS] involved, because I know [they] can give the client exceptional service,” Ramras says.

Ramland handles construction management on East Coast projects that EBS serves as the general contractor on, while EBS handles management duties on West Coast projects Ramland builds, Ramras says. “It’s nice when you find someone in the industry you can trust and who has the same outlook on business as you do,” he adds.

The level of service to the client is seamless through the arrangement as their point of contact doesn’t change, Ramras says.

“It’s a mutually beneficial arrangement, that’s for sure,” he adds.

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