By John Corban
You have undoubtedly experienced previous projects that did not work out the way you had anticipated. For example, construction mistakes that had to be rebuilt, certain parts of the scope that took longer to build than was quoted, increased material costs, and clients that ended up being difficult to work with. So, when a project doesn’t go to plan and ends up costing you, (both time and money), what do you typically do?
Some landscapers tell me they can’t wait to move on to the next job so they can end the frustration and start making profits on a new job. I get it, but I have been suggesting to my clients for a while now that we should review the jobs that didn’t go so well once the numbers are in, so we can learn and make adjustments and avoid repeating mistakes. I know it’s great reviewing the good jobs, but reviewing the not-so-good jobs will help make some much-needed improvements.
So why review a project every three months?
Reviewing a completed project to compare quoted man-hours VS actual man-hours can help your estimator to see which components of the scope of works blew out, and which areas the construction crew installed on time. This helps to improve estimating and see which areas continually take longer. I have noticed when looking at these comparisons, that some areas are typically underquoted due to the owner/estimator thinking their crew can build at a faster rate.
Another big lesson will be increased material costs that your quote hasn’t been adjusted to cover. If this is happening, then build a clause into your terms and conditions that will cover you, before starting any new projects.
Employees hourly rate
Adjusting the hourly rate for crew members in the quoting system so it is current, is an important factor. This can be a major oversight that might be costing your business a loss of profit.
This quarterly review allows you and the foreman to review all parts of the construction process, including but not limited to, preparation and communication between the estimator, project manager and the foreman, and communication between the foremen and the crew, so any kinks can be ironed out.
It is worth looking at a couple of projects every three months. It may take an hour or so to review each job, but this task could save you tens of thousands of dollars over a year, making it a worthwhile exercise I would say!
Business Coach for Landscapers,
Horticulturists and Nursery owners
Mob: 0433 271 980