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Cutting The Fat - Slow Down Survival Tips
November 25, 2007
Action is the key to success. Here are just a few tips on leaning out during a slow down. This is a first of an upcoming series on surviving the market slow down.
Look around your company for those employees that just don’t shine quite as brightly as others. OK, now trim the fat. It’s that easy. Use this time to get rid of non performers. Think very carefully before cutting key employees. Replacement many of the costs for replacement are hidden. Long term employees know and understand your business. It’s essential during vast change to keep together a cohesive core.
Where did salaries go through this last building craze? Through the roof. Guess what, the slope just changed. Take command of your company. Trim just five or ten percent across the board while it’s here. Will it go over well? Probably not. However, having a job is much better than standing in the unemployment line.
Be sure you’ve scrutinized your insurance policies. Be sure to adjust estimated payrolls for projected premiums. Look at your estimated tax payments. Be sure they are re-aligned. The impact on cash flow from adjusted tax deposits and premiums can only be of help.
Many costs as you downsize naturally fall. Look at your floor space. It’s not going to shrink. If like many contractors you own the building, cost compare renting a smaller space, leasing your space to a more another business. If you’ve recently built, the change may pencil.
Keep the knife sharpener handy. Cuts don’t have to be deep nor drastic by any means. From toilet paper quantities, to pencils, to the cell phone plans to benefits synch it in. Lock it up if you must and designate a gatekeeper.
Hold brain storming sessions on how savings can be achieved with key employees and their subordinates. Create departmental teams and offer incentives for finding ways to save or increase efficiencies.
Take a very close look at your material handling or lack thereof it. Take your field guys to the conference room. Audit material handling and develop strict material handling training and processes. No nail shall go unclaimed. No board shall be cut too short. Use them as your tool for coming up with best practices. Most of it should stick when the heat dials up again. You’ll be operating as the new trimmer you.
Renegotiate with vendors. How low can they go? Negotiate a long term relationship to stabilize your costs if at all possible. Be sure to leave market adjustment allowances built into the agreements.
Stay tuned for more. Coming soon are moves that generate cash plus tips on running a successful construction company.
Construction Industry CPAs/Consultants Association (CICPAC)
October 19, 2006
The Construction Industry CPAs/Consultants Association (CICPAC) is a nationwide network of accomplished CPA firms specifically selected for their experience in and commitment to serving the construction industry. In addition to traditional accounting, auditing, and tax services, CICPAC members distinguish themselves by providing management and consulting services that meet the increasingly complex needs of construction companies.
Engineering & Utility Contractors Association
September 01, 2006
The Engineering & Utility Contractors Association is made up of 400+ union-affiliated contractors and associate firms throughout California who employ over 25,000 workers.
Construction Employer's Association
Labor relations, collective bargaining and legislative advocacy for the building contractor.
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Favorite Book 2007
Download Elegant Solutions from Change This which provides some highlights of the Toyota Production System. Too many ideas that are applicable to contractors to even count!
Management Class SeriesTraining Modules Specifically Designed For Contractors
- Construction Documentation Overview
- Project Pre-Planning Impacted Jobsite Productivity
- Production Tracking Customer Service & The Project Team
- Change Orders Talent - “People Processes”
- Profit Dynamics For Construction Contracts
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- Implementing A Project Management System
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