Helping Contractors Grow Profitably

Working with us is like having a very well-rounded, hands-on General Manager working closely with you to solve a variety of business problems on an as-needed basis.  learn more...

Article Blog - The Perfect Construction Year

Many businesses operate based on the “things to do” strategy and that can be successful but also very stressful. What if you were to sit down with your team and jointly decide what a perfect day, week, month, and year would look like in your company? Strive to achieve these ideals every day. Focus on the process, not on the task. I am not advocating the elimination of planning and goals. The achievement of these goals can be enhanced if you back up and focus on the underlying processes that lead to successful execution. If you design the process correctly and focus on the process, then goals will be achieved as a byproduct. - read more....

What Else Is On This Website?

This website is a work-in-progress and is continuously updated with new information to help owners and employees of growing contractors and other businesses. If you find it interesting you can subscribe and we will keep you updated when changes are made to the website. read more....

...What We Do

The full scope of services we provide can be found under the Solutions section. There are however a few common threads running through these various services:

Project Management Processes & Training: As a contractor most of your money is made and risk managed at the project management level. The processes you use in managing projects need to change as the industry continues to advance, schedules continue to tighten and risks increase. Our experience at a variety of companies on good projects, in rapidly expanding markets, in catastrophic downturns, and on turnaround projects combined with our field, financial and upper management perspective can help you manage the changes required with your project management processes. We are very familiar with integrating the project management processes with a variety of software programs and streamlining the processes through technology.

Financial & Accounting Systems: We are very results oriented and a key measure of business success is financial success. Your accounting system includes the software, hardware, accounting staff and managers who both feed data into and need data from the system in order to run the business. This is one of the first places we look and and strive to improve because it is impossible to understand where you are, where you have been and where you are going if you do not have accurate financial data to rely on.

We are very familiar with common construction accounting programs for contractors of various sizes; Timberline, American Contractor, MasterBuilder, QuickBooks, NetSuite, and Dexter+Chaney's Spectrum.

In each of these we have been able to streamline processes and improve information delivery dramatically from a basic installation.

A Recent Success

in this area was for a contractor using the Spectrum construction suite. We were able to utilize the payroll system in a unique way that allowed them to track and job cost their vehicles as well as recover accurately their labor burden costs including insurance, small tools and warehouse.

Talent & Career Development: At the end of the day it's the people that matter. It's the people on your team that provide services to your customers and who are ultimately responsible for whether your company is a success or failure. We have taught trade apprenticeship programs, designed and delivered in-house training for various clients and speak regularly to professionals in the construction industry about career development.

Strategy & Planning: We list this service third but most people would want to put this first. We have seen a lot of consultants claiming that they do business plans.  They have a nice outline but don't discuss anything deeper than that outline. All these consultants could possibly do is provide you with a written document built from a template and based on very superficial financial data, market data and team information provided to them. This plan will do absolutely nothing to help your company grow.  You can put together a similar plan using one of the off-the-shelf software products.

If you really want to achieve results from the business plan process you need to have a good foundation of historical information and a strong team before you  get down to developing a written plan. We believe that you must have accurate current and historical performance data along with a well-trained team to help you analyze that data otherwise it is impossible to have a good planning meeting and put together an effective business plan.

As a matter of fact if you have good financial information, make it available to your team, teach them how to use it and involve them in the planning meetings then the written document is just a follow-up report. If you build the business plan without going through this process the business plan is just an interesting and expensive document that will gather dust on your shelf and the shelves of your team.

We would not even think of developing a business plan for a company unless we had been talking to and working with the management and operating teams to understand the company for at least a few months. The one exception to this deliberate approach being if a document were needed for financing, banking or bonding purposes on short-notice.

Process Improvement & Documentation: As a business grows the processes and systems also need to grow. Other people may have to start using the same system. New people may have to be brought in to help out.

The systems and processes that worked when the company was started may not work as it grows.  It is very important to pay strict attention to the processes in your company and continuously work to improve them.

System and process reviews may seem like unnecessary additional work when you are focused on the challenges of growth but this review will become more important as the growth proceeds.

...What Else Is On This Website?

There are many other sections to this website that can be found by browsing around.  In general it is broken into several key sections:

Solutions: We provide a more detail in this section about the various consulting services provided, including what kind of return you can expect and what timeframe you can expect them in. If you are thinking of hiring a consultant or assigning one of your own people to handle these changes internally, we encourage you to read through this section and also look over the various White Papers to get some ideas.

The Biggest Mistake We See...

is that many business owners and executives want unrealistic results too quickly and too many consultants and employees are eager to make promises. Personally, I believe in being a straight shooter and telling it like it is. There is no magic pill. Making changes in any organization of any size takes time and hard work.

Improperly estimating how much time and what resources these things will take will have the same negative effect as if you misestimated a construction project.

White Papers: Over the years we have written a variety of papers on subjects ranging from financial architecture for a medium sized construction company to case studies on how we were able to add fleet management capabilities to QuickBooks for a client.

Articles Blog: We are constantly looking around for articles that have any nugget of information in them that may be useful to a small or medium sized construction company. We've organized these articles in several categories and provided our own comments.

Resources: We have arranged a variety of resources geared towards small and medium sized contractors including a Library where some of our favorite books can be purchased from Amazon, a Technology section where you can learn how IT systems can drive productivity, a Subscriptions section where you can subscribe to various services and publications that we have found useful, Bid Sources to find public works opportunities and a section on the various Business Certifications in California that can help your business.  

Career Development: The construction industry has given us so much that we are always looking for ways to give back. We have arranged some key resources that any professional in the construction industry, from an apprentice to a project manager, can use to help set and achieve career goals. These career development resources and any advice or speaking engagements we do on career development are all done free of charge and are simply our way of giving back to the industry.