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Who Should You Work For? Top Construction Companies In The Limelight
Over the years I’ve written several articles addressing some of the biggest challenges we face in the construction field. The fact remains
that even though construction can be a lucrative field, the barriers between the owners/general contractors and a profit can seem insurmountable. I maintain that there is no other type of business with as many potential pitfalls. A job can be humming along and then a contractor can run into several large extras that derail productivity on the contract. You would think that the extras would help the bottom line however many times the profits are negotiated out of the extras and many go unpaid. You have no idea how many times I’ve seen general contractors negotiate retention withheld from subcontractors. The subcontractor is so desperate to get his/her money that’s been held for a year or more that they are willing to take half of what is owed. So it’s a negotiation on the front side of the job to get a general contractor the best price and then they skim another 5% on the backside. It’s like theft
Who You Work For is as Important as How You Manage Your Construction Company
That brings me to my point. Who you choose to work for as a subcontractor is as important as the way you manage your projects and your office. You can run the tightest ship in world but if the companies you work for are constantly making it difficult for you to make money or consistently pay in 90 to 120 days it will wear the best subcontractors down to a tiny little nub. I’ve dreamt about an online tool much like Google Reviews or the much-hated Yelp where subcontractors can talk about their experiences working for owners, management companies and general contractors. Where their views and comments are unfiltered and honest. However, this place can’t just be limited to reviewing GC, Owners and Management companies, those firms have to have their place to review subs as well.
The Book of E.L.M. is Required Reading
Several months ago I had the pleasure of meeting Ron Pestone the founder of the Construction Pros community on Google+ and author of The Book of E.L.M. one of finest job costing, project management books ever written. In addition to the former he was also in the process of developing www.Elmpost.com. A website to support and enhance his book. Ron was nice enough to share with me a sort of grand plan
and one part of the plan was to develop a sister site creating an on-line tool to do exactly what us subcontractors have been thinking and dreaming about. www.elmscoreboard.com is a place where you can go to look up General Contractors, Developers, Management Companies and other Subcontractors to see how they have performed. Do they complete their work on time? Do they pay on time? Are their Project Managers knowledgeable or do they hire cheap young Junior PMs right out of Purdue’s Construction Management program? (Understand having young aggressive PMs are a good thing, however knowing you may have to do quite a bit of leg work to help out a wet behind the ears project manager is something you should be aware of) Does a developer bring in new subs to put budgets together and then forget those subs when the job is let? Believe me there are developers that prey on eager subs for budgets only to let them swing in the end. The experienced subs usually get a straight answer from a GC or Developer that goes something like this (Hey Sean, I’ve got a job in the budget process, we have a relationship with the Owner but it’s going out to competitive bid so you have to be low. You will get the job if you’re low) At least you know where you stand.
Anyway Elm Score Board allows you read about these topics and also write about them. Yep, if you take some time to register you can begin to post your own reviews of companies you’ve had relationships with, both good and bad. So give it a whirl, the more people that use it and participate the better the site will become and more metro areas will be covered.
If you haven’t had a chance to read Ron’s book you can order it here. It should be required reading for all superintendents, foremen and project managers in the construction trades. Ron is extremely good at writing in a way that resonates well will skilled labor.
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