Multiple Jobs

 
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Old 07-16-2008, 08:30 PM   #21
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Re: Multiple Jobs


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I run several jobs at once, with average jobs is in the $100k-150k range. Good subs are the key. I used to be that guy who looked at pricing first and spent much more time managing subs (I called myself a glorified babysitter). Now I pay high dollar for good subs and save time in managing (because I don't have to with these guys). I also used to do some field work as well, but that cuts into the office/management time. Find good subs (ask for references from GCs and call lisencing boards to check for complaints). As far as sub agreements go, a proffesional company will understand the value and reason for a well written contract. I have scarred off subs when I mention the word contract, and although dissapointed at first, realize it is for the best that we do not work together.
AS A FORMER SUB, I APPRECIATE YOUR ATTITUDE ABOUT QUALITY SELF MANAGING SUBS.
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Old 08-16-2008, 07:04 PM   #22
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Re: Multiple Jobs


Usually I have two or three jobs going at once. What has worked for me is having a full time carpenter who finishes framing one job, moves to the next while subs are roughing in the first, then comes back for tile, cabinets, trim, etc...

Once those are complete at the first job, the second is is ready for finishes. Then the third starts framing....and so on.

Good subs are a huge factor, take really good care of the really good subs.
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Old 09-02-2008, 12:56 PM   #23
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Re: Multiple Jobs


Atlantic, great list!! This is great advice that I will begin putting to work immediately.
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Old 11-01-2008, 12:14 PM   #24
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Re: Multiple Jobs


This list is excellent. It's so good I compiled it into a one page printable checklist. Awesome work, Atlantic. Thanks for the great information.

Balance - Daily Checklist for Running Multiple Construction Projects


○ Create an organized file system you can use to actually find stuff. (Separate folders for separate jobs, etc.)

File every piece of paper in a file, the very first time you handle it. (Touch it once.)

○ Daily review of each job, the schedule, necessary planning for the following week/month/ six months.

Subcontractor review: List top three subs I currently have to babysit, and write down one thing I will do to improve the situation. Thank the subs who do the best job for me.

○ My schedule and time management: One thing I will change to eliminate wasted time.

○ One thing I will change to make my mobile office more effective.

○ Think about my communication history over the last week. What is one thing I did that I would do differently now that I see what happened as a result of my communications skills. Was I hot-headed? Were my expectations clear? Did I “make sense?”

○ Have all my employees and subs checked in today, and do they all know I expect them to without exception?

○ Do I have my notepad and pen on my at all times, including on the bed stand?

○ Did I get up early and get to work before everyone else today? Will I tomorrow?

○ One thing I can do today to improve my relationships with my subs, suppliers, and salespeople who service my account.

○ 3 Foot Rule: Did I network in a positive, friendly way with every person who came within 3 feet of me today?

○ Is my office space clear and easy to use right now (which is when I always need it?)

○ Am I diligently tracking project expenses? One area where we are dropping the ball. Also, do my employees and subs know the reason, or what happens if I don't get those receipts? Look for teachable moments.

○ Is my vehicle properly maintained? Do I plan my travel efficiently?

○ What are my team members' strong points? What are my weak areas? How can I delegate (or accept responsibility) to make up for them?

○ For every business activity...do I have a system or procedure in place? Does my team know it?

○ Am I a great manager? Good communication, written lists, forms, follow ups, inspecting, coordination, fore-thought, planning, all of the above....?

○ Do I use this list every day, including Sunday night?

This Checklist is based on the famous post by AtlanticWBConst and compiled by Seth Holdren.
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Old 11-02-2008, 09:45 AM   #25
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Re: Multiple Jobs


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Originally Posted by AtlanticWBConst View Post
It is not an easy thing to balance multiple projects.
I like the way you have put this down in point form, there is a bit for everyone. It is not easy to create this balancing act, it is however made to look simple by following a group of guidelines such as yours and reaping the rewards. One point that I would like to really stess is consistency..... be it in the work that is done or the product that is used or the process to how a project is complete. Giving a written process to your staff or to your trades on how you would like to see something done. It may be something as simple as you would like your carpenters to make all their notes on the back of supplied file folder or texted to you their notes at two every afternoon. This needs to be down consistently......
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Old 11-03-2008, 12:38 AM   #26
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Re: Multiple Jobs


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Originally Posted by AtlanticWBConst View Post
It is not an easy thing to balance multiple projects.

These are some of the factors that help us:

1.) I believe in organization. Good organization can help to eliminate potential problems from even happening, in the first place. I keep separate folders, for separate jobs. Everything is in that folder (in a ballistic computer type bag for the road), not spread out, all over the place.
2.) Fore-thought, and fore-planning are essential to any construction project. Even more so, if running multiple jobs. Regularly, review all facets of each current job, beginning to end. Make the time to do it. This is what separates the "wannabees", from the "ares".
3.) Find the right subs, and the right workers. The right sub contractors are the ones that you do not have to babysit. They are the ones that communicate. They are the ones, that have the ability to make good onsite-decisions and "calls".
The same can be said for workers.
No job can run on automatic-pilot. There are times that you should be there, there are times that you should not have to be there. Train your help to work the way you need them to work, in order to be 99% self-sufficient, equip them to be as well.
Train your subs (without letting them realize it) to the way you need them to work, when on your jobs.
4.) Personal scheduling: Work out a proper schedule to take care of all aspects of your business. Example: I do all my phone calls, with a hands free set on the road. It's down time = use it to your advantage.
5.) Mobile office: You need a "form" of one, if you are going to run, more than one job...period.
6.) C-O-M-M-U-N-I-C-A-T-I-O-N.
7.) All workers and subs are required to check in every morning, and every day's end....period.
8.) Note pads = always have one and a pen.
9.) Get up a little earlier in the morning. If you are used to the 8-5, it's time to change your schedule. Get up earlier, and you'd be surprised at how much more you can get done and how much more organized you will be.
10.) Develop a good list of suppliers and reps. If you have specific sales people, or reps, that you can do business with, on a regular basis, they can do alot of the extra work, and phone calls for you. They can even run materials and supplies out to your jobsites for you.
11.) Always be "networking". You will be able to find resources that can help you.
12.) Have a good office, or home office. Sometimes, you just need a nice big table to spread out the paperwork, until you can catch up to it.
13.) Keep track of your project expenses.
14.) It's a fact, more jobs = more driving. Be prepared for more gas use, and more wear on your vehicle.
15.) If you have a business partner, think about what his/her strong points are, think about what your strong points are. Delegate business matters accordingly. You will get more done.
16.) Always develop a system for everything. It will create efficiency.
17.) MANAGEMENT SKILLS: Good communication, written lists, forms, follow ups, inspecting, co-ordination, fore-thought, planning, all of the above....
To successfully run multiple projects, your are a manager first, and a carpenter, GC, or whatever.... second.
how man people are you talking to EACH MORNING?
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Old 11-03-2008, 06:17 AM   #27
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Re: Multiple Jobs


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how man people are you talking to EACH MORNING?
Alot. I try to have the call list ready the night before.
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Old 11-20-2008, 08:49 PM   #28
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Re: Multiple Jobs


I am a 1 man show doing drywall and painting only thing i sub out is hanging drywall if im too busy.Calendar and knowing how long it takes you to do things is a must.Big jobs and little fillers are perfect to keep me busy at the same time working 6 days a week, and having happy customers.
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Old 11-22-2008, 09:33 AM   #29
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Re: Multiple Jobs


On average, we have 15 to 20 jobs going at one time, and sometimes as many as 30. Most of our jobs are completed in 1 to 3 days, so they are small. I have experience, with new construction, and built as many as 227 Townhomes on one project, so I worked with a lot of employees and subs.

Every time I hire a sub, there is some type of major problem, compared to having your own employees do the work. There is no way you can teach a sub to do work the way you would personally do it. You spend about as much time working with the sub, and correcting the work, as you would to do the work yourself.

The best workers are those you can train at a very young age. I'm 58 years old and I still work in the field, along side my employees, every day. They learn, more by seeing, than by listening.

You cannot tell people instructions and expect they understand. Not even subs. Many supervisors are more incompetent than the workers.

This is how I used to do up to 21 large jobs every week. I took young guys that knew absolutely nothing. I start them out as helpers and work on the jobs with them. As I get confident that they can perform tasks, I keep giving them a little more. Then, after 6 months, I start a job, work with the helper for a few hours, and when everything is flowing, I go to another job. You can start one job, every day, work on the job, and then leave for another job.

Last edited by pcplumber; 01-04-2009 at 12:52 PM.
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Old 01-10-2009, 10:58 AM   #30
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Re: Multiple Jobs


I just price them high enough that all I need is one job. No stress, no hurry up, except to work with my hands (love that) and properly manage subs and owners.

Oh I might leave for a day to coordinate plans , engineering, permits, preliminary discussions for a project...... but I am happiest when I get it down to one thing and put my bags back on.
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Old 01-13-2009, 08:42 AM   #31
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Re: Multiple Jobs


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tao_Rider View Post
This is what I posted:

If you want to run multiple crews, your company’s culture has to be one that builds leaders. Piece work is a great way to do it. We run three teams and here is how we do it.

Estimate: We break labor and material down for each phase of a project. Phases are, demolition, foundation, framing, roofing, electrical, plumbing……etc…punch out list.

Installation, each Team has a team leader. You are filling that roll now, and should be training a leader at all times. The Team leader understands the goal for today, which phase’s budget is affected, and, most importantly, how much bonus he’ll make if he brings that days work under budget.

Reporting: Every monetary expenditure is logged daily so we know exactly where we are with the budget at all times. On Friday, we have a real time review of the week’s performance, and the game plan for the next week.

The success is in the processes and your ability to be disciplined enough to enforce them. Best place to start is with very detailed job descriptions for each person involved, including you.

For clarification, piece work is often confused with sub-contracting. With piece work, they are still your employees, the difference is that you are guaranteeing them an hourly wage that must be above minimum wage, but, you are giving them the opportunity to make more money for speedy performance. #1 culture rule * don’t sacrifice quality for speed.

The success in this type of expansion relies on your ability to manage, coach and counsel. Check your skill level before proceeding because you are trying to break through one of the proverbial glass ceilings, transforming from a Tradesman to a Businessman. Just because you are successful at one, doesn’t make it a given you will be successful as the other. Find a local Mentor who is a good business person.
How do you handle the situation when your crew goes over budget on a phase ? How are they accountable then,
Many thanks for your post.

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Old 02-05-2009, 03:48 PM   #32
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Re: Multiple Jobs


I don't have a large company, summer i have anywhere from 5-8 winter i only have 2. But I'll tell you in a way I wish it was just me and a helper like the old days. Everything was done right, tools were takin care of. My vans/trailers were organized, and subs wern't steeling any work. I've been thinking about cutting down and just having me and a helper. Maybe get 1 more in the summer. But keep it small. 1 job at a time, I think I would be alot less stressed! Any thoughts?
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Old 03-14-2009, 03:52 PM   #33
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Re: Multiple Jobs


I usually have 3 - 4 jobs going at one time with myself and 2 employees on the painting end of the company. On the remodel side I wont let myself have more than 2 going. Great relationship and communication with my subs, and they can have their check whenever they want it. Couple of times they were paid in advance as they needed the money due to others slow paying. Never a problem with them by doing that.
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Old 05-07-2009, 08:06 AM   #34
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Re: Multiple Jobs


If you are having trouble getting reliable carpenters,give this Carpentry Agency UK a call on (deleted),they havent let us down yet and they have many carpenters that do work in all areas of the construction industry.

Last edited by Kent Whitten; 07-11-2010 at 08:05 AM.
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Old 06-25-2009, 07:09 AM   #35
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Re: Multiple Jobs


We do a lot of sub work for larger painting contractors. I think that the key to success is to build relationships with subs that "vibe" with your business philosophy. For example, we handle a lot of custom color work and our guys are very detail oriented. If want it fast and cheap, we may not be your cup of tea. However, if you are looking to please a client with excellent taste, we definitely be someone to consider.

It is very important to discuss your expectations on the outset of the job. And I agree with one of the posters that we really appreciate prompt payment.

We put a lot of emphasis on developing relationships that make everyone happy. One of the biggest issues is that we are often not informed when a job is not ready. Our guys spend 2 hours on the road to get to a job site only to find that it is not ready. Most of the time we were never contacted us to let us know that there was a schedule change. This is a waste of time for everyone.

Another issue that seems to be difficult at times is the coordination of trades being on site. When you are painting, you don't want anyone messing up your work. So it is crucial that everyone is done when my guys get in to do their work. (To the extent possible)

I think the customer has the right to know that you are subbing out the work, however, I think it is key that when you do this, you have a base of subs that meet (or exceed) your standards. Perhaps you can use past projects as a point of reference to recommend the sub you are using.

Proper project management, clear communication of job expectations and courteous interactions are key to building thriving relationships.
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Old 07-14-2009, 08:01 AM   #36
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Re: Multiple Jobs


bump this post please
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Old 07-14-2009, 08:58 AM   #37
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Re: Multiple Jobs


On second thought...why are you here?

Looks to me like you're not a contractor at all...and you're likely here just for the backlinks...

I'll be shocked if the pure white side bars on your site aren't filled with ads in the very near future...

I suppose I could be wrong...
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Old 08-21-2009, 04:28 AM   #38
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Re: Multiple Jobs


great
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Old 09-21-2009, 01:53 PM   #39
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Re: Multiple Jobs


You need to keep it small or get more help. No way around it.
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Old 10-29-2009, 05:28 PM   #40
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Re: Multiple Jobs


I run into general contractors who tell me what great schedulers they are. I laugh right in their face. A general contractor is no more in control of a job than a cowboy is in control of a bucking bronco. The GC should just hang on for the entire ride and hope he's alive at the end.

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