People are critical to construction companies. Motivated workers are essential.
Check out this great article. THE WARNING SIGNS OF A DEMOTIVARED WORKFORCE
A poor subcontractor can harm a project, affecting the schedule, safety, client relations, quality and often costing the contractor additional money. It's therefore essential that contractors and clients go through a rigorous process when selecting a subcontractor. Some items to consider include:
A good client is one that:
Planning the project is probably the most important part of the project management process. When I say planning I’m not just talking about preparing the schedule or program which is an important part of the planning process. I’m talking about developing the overall construction methodology, deciding how you going to build it, who you going to use, what equipment will be needed and what materials will be used.
Many problems encountered during construction are a result of poor planning. Spending more time on planning the project can often result in a faster and smoother construction process. Proper planning can improve safety, quality and resource utilisation.
You are about to submit your quotation/tender/bid/price and you have to decide how much profit to add to your price. Add too much and your price may become too expensive and won't be considered by the client. Add too little and you could be much cheaper than your competitors. So what is the right profit?
The amount depends on a number of factors including:
1. The current market conditions. The more competitive they are the lower the margin will be. - 2. The other bidders. If you know who they are you may have an indication of how desperate they are for the project or what level their prices normally are. - 3. How desperate you are for the work. - 4. How confident you are in your pricing. If there is some uncertainty about the accuracy of your price you may add additional profit to cover for any possible mistakes in your price. - 5. The amount of risk. The more risk there is the higher your profit should be to recompense for the risk you are taking on. - 6.
The client's budget. You may consider tailoring your price to fit the client's budget provided this doesn't make you lose money or isn't going to make your price uncompetitive. - 7. The desirability of the project to your company such as: possible further work from the client, a good location, a prestigious project or an easy project with potential to make additional profit. - 8. Whether the project will use resources you currently have available. - 9. You may want to keep other contractors away from your client or market. - 10. You may want the project so you can enter a new market.
Adding the right amount of profit is one of the most important decisions in the tendering process.
There are many reasons that cause projects to lose money, and often more than one for a particular loss. Some reasons may be:
1. There are too many people. - 2. Inadequate, poor or insufficient supervision. - 3. The wrong mix of trades and skills. - 4. Poor worker morale. - 5. Poor discipline and time-keeping. - 6. Poorly trained workers. - 7. Poor safety. - 8. Too much equipment or the inefficient utilisation of equipment. - 9. The wrong type of equipment. - 10. Equipment that continually breaks down. - 11. A shortage of materials. - 12. Defective materials. - 13. Materials aren't available when they're required or where they required. - 14. The project is poorly planned and managed. - 15. Subcontractors not performing as they should, delaying follow on trades. - 16. Poor workmanship resulting in work having to be redone. - 17. Theft of materials and equipment. - 18. Wastage of materials.
Of course sometimes the reasons are because of the client, in which case it's important that the contractor notifies the client, claims for the delay, changes, or additional scope, and assists the client to rectify the problem. Some reasons may be:
1. Changed conditions to those expected at tender stage such as restricted working hours, longer haul routes or materials with different properties. - 2. Increase in scope. - 3. Changed specifications. - 4. Changed testing procedures. - 5. Late access. - 6. Late information. - 7. Changes to work already completed. - 8. Different ground conditions. - 9. Client provided services are inadequate or further from the work area than specified. - 10. Inadequate access or the client's operations impacting on the work. - 11. The client taking too long to approve designs and drawings. - 12. The client's design is more complex than the one tendered for. - 13. Encountering unexpected services. - 14. Finding unexpected artefacts or hazardous materials.
Occasionally the problem is due to a mistake in the tender in which case the estimator should be told so the same mistake doesn't occur on the next tender.
Two weeks ago my father died. My mother had died two years earlier and my father had been less than communicative with my brothers and I about his personal affairs, so trying to sort his things out after he died wasn’t easy. Fortunately he had given the church instructions on how his memorial service should be conducted. His financial advisor seemed to have his financial affairs under control. However, one of the biggest problems we had was finding out who his friends were and how to contact them to inform them of his death. There were five different lists of contacts and we didn’t know whether they were his or my mother’s friends and who was still living. Many had changed their telephone numbers and we couldn’t contact them.
This reminded me how important it is for Project Managers to keep records on site. As a Project Director I have on occasion had to step in on site when a PM has been suddenly taken ill or had to attend to urgent personal business. It’s often been frustrating trying to find who to contact and which suppliers and subcontractors were being used on the project.
In this day and age PM’s have their own laptop computers or tablets and it can be even more frustrating since all the project information is often stored on these devices which travel with the PM. It’s therefore important that the company has systems in place whereby information on these devices is regularly backed-up onto the company’s central computer system so that it can be retrieved by someone else should the PM be unavailable. The information should also be stored in a standard system of files and folders so that information can be easily found.
It’s important that PM’s give a full set of handover documentation to PM’s who are relieving them while they are away on leave.
Often projects work double shifts and there is a PM on duty for each shift. Again it’s vital that they handover sufficient documentation to the incoming PM so they know what work was done in the previous shift and what they need to do during their shift.
If the project has a full set of records which are easily accessible, and the PM prepares a comprehensive set of handover documentation, then the transition from one PM to another can be fairly seamless.
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Copyright 2016 - The attached articles cannot be reproduced for commercial purposes without the consent of the author.
The opinions expressed in the attached articles are those of the writer. It should be noted that projects are varied and different laws and restrictions apply which depend on the location of the contractor and the project. It's important that the reader uses the supplied information taking cognisance of their particular circumstances. The writer assumes no responsibility or liability for any loss of any kind arising from the reader using the information or advice contained herein.
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