Contractors Must Maintain Quality Although Tempted to Lower Standards

December 22nd, 2011  |  Published in Uncategorized

“The ability to maintain your business’s standards is one of the best indicators of long-term success. Business owners can be under pressure to lower their standards for two main reasons: when conditions are abnormally bad or when they’re abnormally good.”

That’s the take on maintaining quality as presented in an article published by American Express OPEN Forum, an online community of business owners.

Business owners often lower the quality of their offerings if company’s revenues and profits are low, thinking that it’s a survival method and things will turn around. The opposite scenario draws the same owner reaction. If experiencing a flood of work and interest, owners don’t want to turn down business and opportunities for increased revenue, and so cut corners and lower quality standards to meet the demand.

Have you compromised quality? For example:

  • Purchased subpar materials?
  • Took shortcuts with methods, processes, plans?
  • Lowered customer service by reducing personnel?
  • Employed less experienced workers to cut costs on labor?

Maybe you saw a short-term boost to cash flow by lowering standards, but the long-term effect could damage or sink your business. Your customers will feel the impact of poor products and service. Plus you’re sending a message to your competitors, customers, and employees that you care less, choose not to compete, and can’t produce quality the way you used to. Compromising quality is a sure way to lose. Do not concede to the pressures to lower your standards, whether times are good or bad. Maintaining (or enhancing quality) is the way to succeed and stay competitive.  

To read the source article for this blog post, read this OPEN Form item, authored by Mike Periu.

Even during the tough construction market of recent years, Maxwell Systems continued to take its quality offering very seriously. The company has invested in developing an innovative solution from the ground up on Microsoft’s .NET and SQL technology; invested in resources to service and support customers with convenient and reliable tools and information; and made an investment in its development capacity to continue delivering product offerings and updates at an accelerated pace. All of these efforts are to solidify Maxwell Systems’ ability to best meet the needs of contractors and be the ideal technology partner to construction businesses across the industry’s sectors. To learn more about Maxwell Systems and how you can evaluate vendors to be your technology partner, you’re invited to download this free eBook: 7 Reasons for Partner Fit.

How have you demonstrated your company’s quality standards? Invested in software for business management? Demanded your material producers, subcontractors, and employees maintain certain standards on projects?

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Is Construction Embracing Social Media?

October 21st, 2011  |  Published in Uncategorized

An article just published in Engineering News-Record/ENR.com, authored by Erin Joyce, notes that the use of social media is gaining ground among many engineering and architectural firms, but that construction companies have lagged behind.

As Joyce explains in the article, “Hashtag This: Social Media Risks and Rewards in Construction”:
“Although architecture and pure engineering firms have been early adopters of social media tools such as Twitter and Facebook—and continue to innovate these communication platforms in their business and communications strategies—for plenty of construction firms of all sizes, their social media use and presence can be hit, miss or just not part of the mix at all.”

So this begs the question: Why are so many construction firms hesitant to use social media as part of their operations?

One expert’s opinion is that, “for many construction firms, all their work is about getting a project off the ground.”

Perhaps that goes in hand with the opinion of Jason Falls, an online marketing expert and author, who explains: “Communicating effectively in social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn) can be tricky. There are certainly challenges. You are going to have to dedicate time and physical resources to be more efficient in how you approach each channel. Building relationships with customers is what you’re doing here and building relationships takes time.”

So is building or enhancing your social media presence among your business objectives for 2012? How do you make sure to plan for, dedicate resources, measure impact, etc. of your efforts in social media? How do you primarily use it in business … for branding, networking, communicating with customers, something else?

To read the article in its entirety, click here.
You’ll also be able to see Falls’ seven business drivers for using social media.

You’re invited to participate in Maxwell Systems’ social media efforts! Please visit http://www.maxwellsystems.com/company/community and choose from the various offerings which you like best. 

 

Erin Joyce is ENR’s managing editor, integrated media, and has a deep background in online publishing and e-newsletters.

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Are You Optimistic About Construction in 2011?

January 19th, 2011  |  Published in Uncategorized

Construction Business Owner magazine recently reported that “2011 presents a glimmer of hope as construction activity will most likely begin a gradual climb … contractors willing to read and research to stay ahead of the curve will have the advantage.”

The article, available here, about the State of the Construction Industry 2011 also shares opinions of industry experts, including George Hedley, business coach and founder of Hard Hat Presentations, who points out that contractors have grown their businesses by adding ongoing service and maintenance work to their offerings. “Contractors who are unwilling to enter these difficult service and value-added arenas will continue to scramble finding private work that is profitable,” he says.

On the subject of how to survive and prosper in the year ahead of us, it seems experts agree that contractors will either adapt or be left behind. Adapting could include reaching into new geographies or niches – but, as the article advises, being successful will demand construction businesses formulate a strategic plan and understand how to execute it.

What are your expectations for 2011? Are you investing in ways to capitalize on opportunities as they return? What are you researching to stay informed? Have you expanded your service offerings?

 

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Successful Construction Companies Know That Marketing Matters

October 4th, 2010  |  Published in Uncategorized

“Marketing is the strategic plan that you develop for your organization that looks at your construction company’s strengths and weaknesses; the areas in which you have a competitive advantage; the market(s) that you will target your sales focus on; the demographics of your chosen market; and the pricing structure that you plan to use.”

That’s a brief excerpt from an article, “6 Steps to Develop an Effective Construction Marketing Plan,” authored by Michael Moore and published in Construction Business Owner.

Moore explains the importance of developing your marketing plan and adapting it to changing competitive environments: “Developing a construction marketing plan and strategy is critical to the success of your organization. Marketing is the strategic plan that you develop for your organization that looks at your construction company’s strengths and weaknesses; the areas in which you have a competitive advantage; the market(s) that you will target your sales focus on; the demographics of your chosen market; and the pricing structure that you plan to use. The construction market looks very, very different today than it did two or three years ago. Our construction marketing plans must change accordingly in order to capitalize on potential avenues of revenue.”

The author then outlines the 6 Steps that a construction business owner can follow to “create a simple, efficient, and effective construction marketing plan that will help your construction business grow.”

To read the 6 Steps, you can find the entire article at the magazine’s web site, here.

Do you agree with the 6 Steps? Do you have suggestions of your own “steps” that have worked well for your business? What “mix” of tactics have you used? How do you monitor results?

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