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Incentive-based safety programs: Benefits and risks

Some construction companies can manage safety informally through stated rules, trust and accountability. But, as a business grows, a more formal approach may be warranted. Many contractors eventually consider an incentive-based safety program. This article describes both the benefits and risks of these programs.   Read More  >>

How to calculate the damages of an owner-delayed project

There are instances when a project owner causes a delay that inflicts financial damages on the construction company performing the job. In these situations, contractors may have recourse under the conflict resolution measures established under the contract — or even by taking the owner to court. This article explains how to calculate delay damages under a defensible approach.   Read More  >>

Should I use my own crew or hire a sub?

In this issue’s “Contractor’s Corner,” we answer a query about a general contractor’s temptation to use his own work crew for projects instead of bringing in a subcontractor. As the article explains, quality concerns and contract requirements usually weigh in favor of hiring a subcontractor.    Read More  >>

3 ways to manage backlog (before it manages you)

For contractors, a healthy backlog is a good thing. But having too much of this good thing can lead to project delays and frustrated customers. This article offers three ways to stay in control: approaching bids methodically, tracking mobilization times and managing customers’ expectations.    Read More  >>

Get to know the 3 states of profitability

For contractors, the daily minutiae of finding, winning, running and completing projects can make keeping their eyes on the profitability prize difficult. One way to simplify matters is to determine in which of three “profitability states” their company lies and where to go from there. This article examines circumstances and strategies for operating at a loss, breaking even and operating profitably. A sidebar distinguishes the important difference between sales and marketing.   Read More  >>

Defending your job sites from theft

The threat of thieves infiltrating construction sites is nothing new. But it’s a danger that demands constant attention from contractors, as the drag on a construction company’s bottom line from theft can go deep and heavy. This article looks at the types of assets that thieves look for and what can be done to better secure job sites.   Read More  >>

4 ways to do project management just a little bit better

Contractors manage projects every day. But, as the construction industry evolves, so does their need to keep getting just a little better at project management. This article describes four ways to gain a competitive edge when managing jobs. They involve preconstruction planning, simplifying field systems, and training managers and then holding them accountable.   Read More  >>

More than money: Customer-smart invoicing

Sending customers an invoice and receiving their payment sounds simple. But the process can be so much more — it can be an opportunity to improve business relationships and gather useful data. It’s called “customer-smart invoicing,” and it’s about more than just money. This article examines the two basic concepts underlying customer-smart invoicing: communication and information.   Read More  >>