The number of new homes registered in the UK increased by 14% for the rolling quarter December to February compared to the same period last year, according to figures released by NHBC. (News Date: 28/03/14.)
Few Industries in the UK are as wedded to outdated systems and practices as the construction sector. Whether times are good or not, House builders and Principal contractors generally do things the same way that they have been done for years. Just because your business is not in the technology sector doesn’t mean that innovation isn’t important to facilitate improvements.
Alarmingly there is also a growing trend amongst SME’s in the Construction sector not to replace resources despite the upturn in productivity.
This reduction in workforce over the double dip recession period has led to even greater pressure on already depleted teams. Being too busy is a curse to owners of small and medium house building companies.
‘’I have too much on my plate at the minute’’
‘’We are snowed under at the moment’’
‘’Not enough hours in the day…’’
‘’I haven’t had the chance to visit site this week’’
‘’We were too busy to do the home demonstration’’ etc.
Being too busy becomes the excuse to tolerate poor performance within your business; allowing site managers to miss deadlines; allowing your team and sub-contractors the opportunity to let the quality of your product slide, missing internal quality inspections; sales team not delivering on customer service, missing key handover dates…
So, how do you get off the “busy” treadmill?
Setting long-term goals for your company is fundamental. But to make an immediate difference in your business, you must begin with immediate action. To halt the continuous loop of staying too busy and going nowhere fast, you must take time to plan your next steps.
Shut the door.
Make two lists: one for what is working well and one for what isn’t. Be objective. Look at your company like a consultant, and don’t take the criticism personally.
If your weakness in an area is the problem, identify it as an opportunity for improvement. Each person has strengths and weaknesses, so be truthful in your analysis.
Create a 3-month plan to ‘fix’ your issues.
Identify the top 5 things in your business that is causing you and your team the greatest pain. (Some examples below)
- Project planning.
- Accounting, finances and financial management.
- Estimating, pre construction and Build programs.
- Tender management, contracts and supplier issues.
- Health, Environmental and Safety Audits.
- Handing over new homes with zero defects. Quality Management.
- Employees and training.
- Lack of control over Sales process, CRM, lead management.
- Poorly managed Customer Care process.
- Technology, IT issues for operatives in the field.
Delegate to a member of your team the responsibility to find a solution for each “fix-it” area.
Ensure each fix-it team meet weekly until each of the priority problems has a written procedure or software solution to implement into your company.
Three-month goals can be managed without a major overhaul of your business operations. Some of your challenges, however, may take longer than three months to fix, so be realistic in your approach, and modify your fix-it goals to address these long-term problems.
Empower your workforce today.
Shut the door
Get off the busy treadmill.
It could be the most valuable discussion you and your team have this year…
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