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Getting Back, Better than Ever In Construction

Monday, June 1, 2020
Getting Back, Better than Ever In Construction
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By: Matt Meyer, CRIS, Senior Sales Executive / Risk Advisory Solutions

Across the United States, construction contractors look to return to operations and continue their various projects with the summer season ahead. We’ve had several conversations with customers in the past few months regarding emerging risks, safety enhancements, the effects on future labor, and many other topics. 

Below are some of the critical insights customers have shared on how they’re remaining involved in projects:
  • Ready Labor Force.  For those who have had jobs shut down or possibly not at full capacity, document to your client how your labor force is chomping at the bit.  Prepare both your client and your labor force for the increase in activity.  “Rally the troops,” as they say.
  • Intact Supply Chain. As projects continue and new ones kickoff, clients are going to want to know how you’ll continue to get materials/supplies to jobs on time.  Work out the details in advance and communicate it to your client.  Additionally, as complications come up, tell them sooner rather than later. Bad news delivered late is a death sentence. 
  • Acknowledge the Risks.  Regardless of your stance on the current severity of COVID-19’s outbreak, you need to show your clients that you’re listening and understand how others feel.  Make sure you vocalize with clients that you’ve got your finger on the pulse.  You, your team, and your company are going to do what it takes to stay on the leading edge of what’s available to progress their project safely and efficiently.
  • Communicate Preparation. The last three months have been filled with a lot of information.  It’s difficult to understand what is accurate and what isn’t.  That said, the ability to communicate regularly and positively with your clients is going to be crucial.  If you haven’t adopted technology, it’s still not too late.  Get Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Skype, Google Hangout, etc.  Your clients will love that you’re in constant communication with them during this tumultuous time.   
  • Safety for All.  Here is the spot for you to demonstrate your proactive spirit to clients.  You’ve heard the issues, studied what to do, put together a plan, and you can now prove it.  It’s more than just placing a few hand sanitizers in strategic spots, but rather a well-documented plan on how to protect all that come on to the job site.  Additionally, what happens if there is a confirmed infected person on the job?  Be ready to show and tell how you’ll handle it.   
During this possible shut down or slow down, what can you be doing to prepare for getting back to full capacity? 
  • Contract Revisions. When the state shutdowns first started, a lot of questions came to the surface.  How the contractors would be impacted (think Liquidated Damages) and what rights they had legally became a focal point.  If you haven’t revisited your Owner and your Sub-Contractor agreements with a legal counsel, now is a great time.  

  • Operating Capital. Financing for construction firms is unique compared to other businesses.  Working on the business rather than in the business is a necessity.  Spend some time with your Accountant, CFO, or Financial team to plan for how to fund the tough times.  It will pay significant dividends in the future.  

  • Safety Manual/Procedures. Now more than ever is an excellent time to have your safety program evolve.  These are changing times we’re living in; your safety program needs to change with them.  If you are not sure where to start, Horton Safety Consultants can help.  

  • Contract Revisions. When the state shutdowns first started, a lot of questions came to the surface.  How the contractors would be impacted (think Liquidated Damages) and what rights they had legally became a focal point.  If you haven’t revisited your Owner and your Sub-Contractor agreements with a legal counsel, now is a great time.  

  • Communication. Most importantly, talk to your clients or prospects.  The more you know about what your clients think, the better prepared you’ll be to address their needs and concerns.  

The contractor of the future will execute these tactics, and as a result, be in an optimal position for what the future may hold. Our Construction Practice will always be ready to continue providing industry insights to help you achieve a higher level of performance

Material posted on this website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a legal opinion or medical advice. Contact your legal representative or medical professional for information specific to your legal or medical needs.

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