2023 Professional Profile: Southern Design Companies
In 2009, during a time widely remembered as the Great Recession, Blanchard Benson’s thoughts were instead focused on founding a company that would grow. Benson planted entrepreneurial roots in North Georgia, launching Southern Design Landscaping. The company steadily matured to become Southern Design Companies (SDC), an industry leader in turnkey landscaping, concrete foundations and helical piers.
Innovative approaches to operational efficiency combined with providing a quality product and exceptional service have always been at the forefront for the SDC management team. This “get things done right” attitude soon led the company to expand into concrete foundations and flatwork (Southern Design Concrete) and to vertically integrate by adding a plant nursery (Southern Design Nursery) and helical piers (Southern Design Piers) to the company portfolio.
With a big vision for the future, a willingness to take on new challenges, and a commitment to remain true to the company’s value system of Integrity, Quality, and Service (IQS), SDC experienced explosive growth. The decision to partner with private equity in 2021 was soon followed by the acquisition of Metro Contracting in 2022, offering the same suite of services to commercial and multifamily contractors. Having owned a home in Watersound Beach for many years and watching the profound growth of the area, Benson resolved the next logical step was to expand the business from Georgia into Florida’s Gulf Coast.
The goal of SDC’s Florida leadership team, including Benson, Burel, Bradford and Grogan, is to fill a service void for builders, helping them to meet production requirements efficiently and at a fair price. Construction is booming along Florida’s Gulf Coast, and SDC is partnering with big-name players including Kolter Homes, D.R. Horton, Samuel Taylor Homes, and Minto Communities.
“Our hands-on leadership team is a good balance of training and experience combined with progressive ideas,” Benson said. “Processes are continually improved, enabling rapid growth of the organization. The SDC team cares about the company and our customers. We appreciate the opportunity to work with such great builders in the Gulf Coast area.”