Aug 26

E530: Efficient Travel Time

Plan ahead to make the most of travel time.



  1. Many of us travel - commuting / job visits / out of town
    1. It can take up a lot of time
    2. That time can be very unproductive or productive - our choice
    3. With a little effort, we can avoid wasted time
  2. We need to use that time wisely
    1. Get some work done
    2. Learning
    3. Socialize
    4. Just don't waste it
  3. Plan for your travel
    1. Automobile travel
      1. Listen to audiobooks & podcasts
      2. Make calls
      3. Consider hiring a driver if you spend a lot of time in the truck
    2. Airline travel
      1. Review documents
      2. Listen to audiobooks & podcasts
      3. Be sure to plan ahead so you have what you need while you in the air

Aug 25

E529: Listening To Your Employees

You can learn a lot by listening to your employees.


  1. Our employees know more than you think
    1. They are usually the front line with our clients
    2. They know a lot about their tasks
    3. They often have some great ideas
    4. They know when they are in trouble and need help but afraid to tell you
  2. Build a culture where employees are heard
    1. Not just a suggestion box
    2. Really listen to what they have to say and get their opinions
    3. Have an open door policy
  3. Create a habit of walking around
    1. Check-in on your employees
    2. Ask how things are going
      1. Don't let them off with "great boss" - really dig in
    3. Take time to brainstorm with them

Aug 24

E528: Proper Field Tracking

Make sure you are capturing the right information from the field.


  1. Tracking activity, conditions, and changes in the field is critical
    1. We need the information for tracking purposes
    2. Need info for payroll, job costing, materials, billings, changes, extras, and many other things
    3. We also need to know what is happening in the field
  2. What are the field tracking requirements?
    1. Internally and externally
    2. What information is needed every day? Weekly?
      1. For the client, payroll, accounting, purchasing, etc.
    3. How is that information captured and delivered?
  3. Some items to watch closely
    1. Changes to the work
    2. Extra work and change orders
    3. Delays to the work progress

Aug 23

E527: Know Your Prospects

Is that potential client really the right one for you?


  1. We have customers we target - are they the right ones
    1. Different client types have different requirements
    2. Home Owners differ from Commercial Owners / Government is different than Industrial
    3. We think we want to work for a certain client but make sure you really do
  2. Research your potential customers
    1. What are their expectations?
    2. What will it take to be successful working for them?
    3. What skill sets are required?
  3. Compare to your capabilities
    1. Do you have the right skill sets?
    2. Does the customer fit your culture
      1. The culture can be completely different from Commercial to Government Hard Bid
    3. Is this the right client for you?

Aug 22

E526: Ask Coach – Project File Organization

Create a consistent file management plan to save hours and frustration.


  1. It's a small item that can create a big headache
    1. PM has everything filed but something happens
    2. Where is the information you need? Can you find it?
    3. Items can get lost
  2. Create a unified system of filing
    1. Create a file tree legend for all projects to follow
    2. Cover everything from estimating to closeout
    3. You can find a sample in the resource section here
  3. File sharing and access is important too
    1. Figure out the best solution for your organization
    2. Keep all files in a common system that's easy to access
    3. Consider a cloud-based system like Dropbox
      1. Pay attention to access controls

Aug 19

E525: Be Part Of The Solution

Get more out of life by focusing on being part of the solution.


  1. If you not part of the solution, you are part of the problem
    1. We don't want to be the problem
    2. The pessimistic / excuses / complaining
    3. The person that creates the roadblocks
  2. Being part of the solution
    1. People that support things
    2. That want to help and win
    3. Who would you rather be around?
  3. Let's work on being part of the solution
    1. Start with recognition
      1. Look at your day and evaluate where you were part of the solution
    2. Start asking questions instead of making statements
      1. What do you think about this? How about?
    3. Have gratitude

Aug 18

E524: The Right People In The Right Positions

Successful teams thrive when you have the right people in the right positions.


  1. Create an elite team for success
    1. Construction is team oriented
    2. It takes many working together to complete a project
    3. Elite teams have the right people in the right positions
  2. Start with the right people
    1. Do they have the right mindset?
    2. Do they support and enhance your brand
    3. Do they mesh with your culture
  3. Then put them in the right positions
    1. Do they have the proper skills and knowledge?
    2. Don't fall into the trap of promoting to incompetence
    3. Do they have enthusiasm and want to be in the position?

Aug 17

E523: Managing Material Deliveries

A Little effort upfront can save a lot of time when dealing with material deliveries.


  1. Material management is often an after thought
    1. Delivery arrivals - unload
    2. We sign tickets without confirmation
    3. We hope everything is Okay
  2. This approach can result in problems
    1. Wrong materials
    2. Damaged materials
    3. A little time can save big headaches
  3. Put the effort into manage your materials
    1. Verify all deliveries
    2. Properly store and protect all materials
    3. Notify your suppliers of problems

Aug 16

E522: Estimating The Contract

Review your contracts carefully during the estimating process.


  1. Contracts are the basis of all projects
    1. Contracts = risks / deliverables = cost
    2. Contracts can be simple or complex
    3. Review the clauses and account for them in your estimates
  2. Risks & deliverables cost money
    1. Depending on the risk / deliverable the value will fluctuate
      1. You can break them into Actual and Potential
    2. Actual: reporting, scheduling, manpower, supervision, security, etc.
    3. Potential: Acceleration, change order mark-ups, delays, hold harmless, etc.
    4. Account for them in the estimate
  3. Review and add to your estimate
    1. Treat like a contingency - have adds/deducts
    2. Review each clause to determine what time / effort is required
    3. What are the possibilities on the project

Aug 15

E521: Ask Coach – Better Supplier Management

Take control of your suppliers with great communication and clear expectations.


Q: How can I get better control over my suppliers?

A: It starts with a good Purchase Order and excellent communication.


  1. Suppliers can make or break a project
    1. Late deliveries versus on-time
    2. Material problems like damaged product or wrong product
    3. Poor submittals
  2. Start by pre-qualifying your suppliers
    1. Just like any sub we should make sure our suppliers are up to the job
    2. Can they handle your needs
    3. Is this something they do regularly
  3. Write a good purchase order
    1. Always use a PO - your own not theirs
    2. Create a template
    3. Outline the requirements including expected durations
  4. Communication beats all
    1. Start communicating your requirements clearly during the buyout
    2. Keep them up to date with clear timelines
    3. Follow-up with them, never think that they have you covered, confirm it

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