An electrical contracting company is worthless on a job site without the proper people and the right tools. Equipping skilled employees with the appropriate tools and equipment at the right time is the difference between profits and disaster.
The key to profitably pricing service work is knowing the true “street cost” of running your service department, which, simply put, is the cost incurred fulfilling your customers’ needs and expectations.
The government’s deregulation of five major industries—airlines, telecommunications, cable television, banking and electricity—has harmed customers far more than helped them, according to a study released by Consumers Union.
Why manage your cash now Some contractors have said the construction market is slowing. Others report they are busier now than ever in the last 10 years. One contractor said this is the busiest construction downturn he has ever experienced.
An owner approaches you not only for the electrical wiring of a new building, but also the highest-tech structured cabling system available for security, networking and e-access, including Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP).
Whether you believe we’re having a recession, might have one or are just coming out of one, there are ways to make such downtimes less painful. Analyze your field labor force. How many full-time journeymen and apprentices are making you money?
Just a few years ago, knowledgeable electrical contractors believed that the trick was to virtually “give away” an initial VDV installation, and, by landing a service contract in that way, capitalize for years on the very lucrative moves, adds and changes (MACs) that followed.
You have many electrical requirements to meet when specifying panel boards, but is addressing the cost-effectiveness issue ever one of them? In facilities having indoor or outdoor areas with hazardous locations, there is a need for very substantial equipment, namely explosion-proof panel boards.
If you’ve been in business long enough, you remember when retainage wasn’t standard practice. Now that most general contractors are deal brokers with little of their own money at stake in their projects, they use other people’s money (yours) to improve their own cash flow.
What’s the key to financial health for the modern electrical contractor? While stakeholders value liquidity the most, it is not what electrical contracting firms build on to become successful. Look at your last balance sheet.
While the stock market has beaten up on electrical, mechanical, and hybrid roll-up companies, voice/data/video (VDV) specialty companies—focusing on long-haul networks and other “outside” work, or on-site network service work—are thriving.
Companies with deep pockets and locally strong brand names are providing services traditionally provided by electrical contractors and, in some cases, buying electrical contractors. Will these activities dramatically reshape the electrical construction market?
Although literally happening in slow motion, there are dramatic changes taking place right now in electrical contracting. The sum of these changes could be a dramatically different market, changes affecting all the readers of this magazine, large contractors and small.