Engineering firm adapts to changing marketplace
Madrid Engineering Group of Polk County
Larry Madrid has been working his way up the engineering ladder since he graduated from Colorado State in 1984 with a master’s in geotechnical engineering. Upon graduating, Madrid moved to Florida and started working for an engineering firm where over the course of eight years he climbed his way from entry-level engineer to director of geotechnical engineering.
It was at this point when Madrid realized he wanted more. He decided to branch out and start his own firm. In 1992, Madrid Engineering Group was born.
Initially most of Madrid’s work came from sinkholes. Fast-forward to current day and they now provide an array of geotechnical engineering services including laboratory testing, drilling, and soil sampling.
“We’ve had a number of challenges over the years,” Madrid said. “Sometimes it’s the economy, sometimes it’s just not being able to market our services in an efficient way, but the most recent one was a rule change that took away the need for some of the services that we did. We had to reinvent ourselves and that’s what we’ve asked the SBDC to help us with.”
Madrid reached out to the Florida SBDC at the University of South Florida in May 2015 and started working with business consultant Carl Hadden of the Polk County office. Hadden immediately began the reinventing process by completing a Growth Acceleration Report, which is a two-phase, in-depth analysis of the business.
“In phase one we took a look at our webpage to see how we could use our webpage and social media to get the message out to a lot of people,” Madrid said. “In phase two we looked a bit further down stream to see where we go from here.”
During phase one of the Growth Acceleration Plan it was determined that an in-depth Website Analysis was necessary in order to revamp their online presence. That report was handed off to Gina Smith, SEO consultant at the Florida SBDC at USF.
“The SBDC provided a consultant to review our website and provide us with very specific recommendations that will help us have a more interactive website as well as being able to get good feedback from the visitors that come to the site,” Madrid said. “As a result we expect to implement a number of different recommendations and we think our website can improve, and will improve.”
With two in-depth reports on his desk within a two-month period, Madrid is now working with Hadden to prioritize the long list of recommendations. “Some of them are things I know we can implement quickly and others things are going to take more time,” he said.
While the hard work is far from over, Madrid is excited for what the future holds. Madrid Engineering Group was recently selected to begin working on the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway extension that will connect the toll road with the Gandy Bridge. For their role, they’ll be providing services before the construction begins, which will include foundation design, soil boring subsurface sampling, and laboratory testing.
Madrid plans to continue working with Hadden and the Florida SBDC at USF, with his eyes set on eventually opening a Tampa or Orlando office, or both.
“The Florida SBDC at USF has really been instrumental in helping us crystalize a plan that we can use to move forward with our company,” Madrid said. “Not only do we want to grow, now we expect to grow as we implement that plan.”