| Scope + Ability + Stability + Price =
In today’s hyper-competitive construction marketplace, low price seems to be the main focus for owners and general contractors to put project teams together. Once again, do you want to put your project and your reputation on the line by choosing your project team primarily on price?
Scope of work bid should be the first determinant when evaluating potential team members. Sometimes the drawings and specifications are very clear and therefore make comparing scopes somewhat easier. Other times, “gray areas” requiring some interpretation can make comparing scopes more difficult. It is a policy at TJ Wies Contracting to “protect our customer” by not only providing a detailed scope of work, but also finding, identifying, and qualifying the “gray areas” of a project. Most times these “gray areas” have monetary consequences on the project. Just recently on a project, the “front end” of the specifications stated that the project would be a LEED project and referred to the LEED documents in the spec book. One line in the LEED documents stated that “all gypsum board will be mold and moisture resistant”, nowhere else in the specs or the drawings was this issue addressed. This line item alone added over six figures to our cost. We feel that being a responsible and professional contractor we should identify these items and include these costs in our proposal. Unfortunately, when price is the main focus of selection, we are higher than our competition and can be penalized for trying to protect our customer.
Ability to perform the work required and previous experience with similar projects should be the next questions to ask prospective team members. The cost structure in the wall and ceiling industry is heavily weighted with labor costs versus material and equipment costs. This along with no licensing requirements make for an industry that effectively has no barrier to entry. With the construction depression of the past several years, many contractors have been proposing on types of projects they have no experience with.
TJ Wies Contracting has completed projects ranging from $2000.00 repair jobs to $19,000,000.00 casino projects. Our 19 years in business assure you that we have the ability to perform and make your project shine! Stability, whether it be financial, professional, or insurance related, should be the next set of questions used to determine who you want on your team. As I stated earlier, our industry is heavily dependent upon our labor, and as such, you should not only find out if your prospective team member is current with their material vendors but also if they are current with their fringe benefit payments to their labor organizations. With the current payment system in construction, the wall and ceiling contractor is paying their labor weekly, material and equipment monthly, so it can often be 8 weeks of payroll payments and 2 months of material and equipment payments before we receive any money. TJ Wies Contracting has the financial strength to complete your projects. We pay our material vendors early in order to take advantage of any discounts offered, and have never been late with a weekly payment to any of the labor organizations we are affiliated with.
The final quantifier for your prospective team member is the price. TJ Wies Contracting takes pride in providing consistent and aggressive pricing on all projects that we bid, but we do expect to have a fair return on our risk. (PROFIT, there I said it, it is not a dirty word).
When all of the above are taken into consideration, TJ Wies Contracting more often than not does provide the best value for your consideration.
Thanks for reading, and until next month work safe, work hard, and have fun.
TJ Wies Contracting