You don’t have to be at the mercy of trade shortages. Streamlining your scheduling and operations—and paying quickly—can move you to the front of the line.
Last month while traveling through a southern city, a time slot opened up unexpectedly, so I emailed an old client suggesting we meet the following day, catch up, and discuss his 2014 plans. The next morning as I finished my first appointment a text popped up from Rick, the company president, “Can you be here at 11:00? Important field construction meeting!” Evidently there was something he wanted me to see. If I left immediately I could just make it and, besides, the site was close to my next meeting.
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A builder's "dialed-in" plan (with input from 25 suppliers and tradesmen)
How to get the best
We are just getting started, and there are many other opportunities for attracting the best suppliers and trades besides merely paying more. Most obvious, and so often abused, is paying quickly and always on time. You say you pay monthly but often let that slip to 60 days or worse? After working with more than 3,500 suppliers and trades in our LeanWeek sessions, I can guarantee you that any nickel you believe you save on the float is burned up five times over in response time, schedule, and warranty. Do what you have to do to get caught up. Thirty days without fail is barely table stakes in this market. The smart builders pay twice a month or even weekly. One of the best, DSLD Homes, pays twice a week. Each week, your suppliers and trades have to decide where to send their crews and more importantly their best crews. Where will they send them and at what price? To the builder who pays them now, or the one who pays them later? What would you do?