Although the construction industry ranks as the largest single element in our modern economy, the industry's business today can be described as the best of times in terms of volume but the worst of times in terms of profits. This has caused numerous and essential changes both inside the industry and outside. Changes inside the industry are due to competitive pressures driving the winning bid to a very low amount. This has caused concrete management to realize that the best dollar earned is the one it does not spend. Infinitely better cost controls which include careful buying and supervising at the job level and controlled overhead in the office, and therefore being used. Contractors are also realizing the need for top grade financial talent supplemented with audit reports by qualified certified public accountants. In addition new methods of contracting have arose. Often time the contractor with the winning bid figured in a healthy profit margin even though the bid was low. He could have done this with a computer to do job scheduling or for establishing his estimates of all the variables of a bid. Similarly job supervision by closed circuit television could materially lessen production costs. Also use of this device for water main or sewer work could be most helpful. Changes outside the industry are due to the way banks are now looking at the financial soundness of a contractor. Because contractors are have trouble getting credit and surety bonds, they are using every resource to gain dollars, actual or inactual. Therefore it is good not just to know the bottom line of a business venture but know the man running that business. Does he have integrity, ability and diligence? If he does lend to him, if not think twice.
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