Contingency Budget to Performance Budget

Contingency Budget to Performance Budget

Turn your contingency budget into your performance budget

You can get your commercial construction team on board for saving time,  reducing rework, diminishing safety issues, and integrating increased productivity on each project. One way to do it is by giving your team the opportunity to reap the reward through moving the money from the contingency fund to the performance fund.

Contingency budgets are real

Before you get too excited about the possibilities. Or, before you get mad at me for suggesting the prospect of fund shifting, let me explain. I know a contingency budget is called a contingency budget for a reason. A very good reason. Contingencies lurk around the corner.

Therefore, knowing there are contingencies over which neither you nor your crew have control, a contingency fund is still an excellent practice.  Some of the uncontrollable aspects include:

  • premature equipment failure
  • owner bankruptcies
  • regulatory changes
  • strikes
  • unanticipated price or interest rate increases
  • unusual or calamitous weather

Then understand, there are other things which come up which are more in your control, yet sometimes missed. They can include:

  • incomplete designs
  • scope errors
  • equipment breakdowns due to faulty maintenance schedule
  • estimating inaccuracies
  • technological upgrades you haven’t incorporated (yet)

Too many dastardly contingencies can, at times, eat up the  entire contingency budget. Yet, that isn’t always the case.

Reprioritize your contingency budget 

You have the opportunity to reprioritize the “insurance” of your contingency fund when you find it has not been needed in the usual way. Well of course, you could stick those funds in your pocket or in the bank. Yet, think of the opportunity you have. You can garner much more than the five to fifteen percent of a given project’s budget. (You know, the contingency fund.) When you get team buy-in as well as fewer problems, you’re on a golden path.

It begins with communication. Giving your team the “rules” before the game starts, gives them the opportunity to mitigate the risk associated with each portion of the contingency.

Consider what you want from your team: 

  • Fewer safety problems
  • Reduced rework issues
  • Increased productivity

Ways you can work with them to reach those goals: 

  • Improve safety training and provide more of it
  • Create better processes removing inefficiencies (These two articles, found here and here are gold when it comes to helping you and your team increase productivity.)
  • Provide specialized training for supervisors
  • And, (this is important) let them know how they will benefit by helping you turn the job contingency budget into their performance budget.

Risk management tool

Think of the time and effort you put into working with your team on moving your contingency fund to the performance fund as a risk management tool.

Here are a few more tips to help you in this effort.

  • Get the crew involved in doing regular inventories. That way, they and you know what you need and what you already have.
  • Set aside a certain amount of time at the end of each day to cleanup. As a result, your team understands it is part of their job. You aren’t asking them to do “extra stuff” after the day is complete.
  • Avoid inefficient layout of the shop, work vehicles, and work site. Let the team know they’re part of the effort to be organized. Here is an article you can check to get more information concerning organizing your vehicles.
  • Communicate often. Remember, communication is a two-way street.

It is our desire this article (among our growing library of construction-centric informational articles) is helpful in assisting commercial construction contractors build better building businesses. 

Providing Accounting, Contract Document Management, and Advisory Board Level counsel for small to medium commercial construction subcontractors.

So you can Run With the Big Dogs. 866-629-7735  

Not “If” – Rather “When” Something Goes Wrong on Your Construction Site

 

 

If you’re a construction contractor who hasn’t experienced anything go wrong on one of your projects, you’re either brand new to the biz or you’re not being honest with yourself. Things go wrong.

The wrong size gizmos were ordered. Your top hand falls and is injured. The weather is playing havoc with the job site. Your supplier is totally out of the widgets you must have today (and won’t be able to get them in anytime soon.) Change orders are raining down on you.

Turns out a mistake was made

For many mistakes made on a construction job what is often required is stepping to the plate and explaining any mistakes or delays to your customer. This gives you the added advantage of being able to tell what you plan to do to that will fix or make up for the problem area. Being upfront and honest concerning the problem adds to the ability your client has to put trust in you to complete the project for them.

Even when there has been a natural disaster you can stay ahead of the rebuild game through planning and preparation. Construction Executive offers these valuable tips concerning taking steps to minimize operational downtime after a natural disaster.

Still, there are ways you can help to avoid some of the common problems found on construction sites and in construction businesses.

Steps to mitigating risk

Be certain your contract covers all the details including who is responsible for what

Be sure to include information concerning how change orders will affect both the dollar amount as well as the time frame for the project.

Purchase the best insurance

Some things to consider are, general liability, workers’ compensation, commercial auto insurance, business owners insurance, project specific coverage, environmental legal liability, contractors errors and omissions insurance.

Hire and train your staff well

Build safety training into the routine of how your construction company operates. You can’t tack on the idea of safety training as an afterthought or a “once in a while” meeting that takes place following an accident. Putting safety at the top of your list of ways your construction company benefits both your employees as well as your clients is a sound way to keep the risk factor in control.

Establish formal policies and procedures concerning risk management

Identify the hazard, assess the extent of the risk, provide measures to control the risk and manage any residual risk. This article from Capterra offers much information concerning the identification and control of risks.

Develop relationships with more than one supplier

Having an excellent relationship with your suppliers is very advantageous as this article from Entrepreneur points out. And as the saying goes, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. While you may get the best deals and the fastest service from one special supplier, having more than one source is an excellent step to avoiding the risk of supply failure.

Join industry related associations and build relationships with others in your trade

Knowing you have a trust-worthy fellow tradesman who can step into the gap when your job is at a breaking point is a balm worthy of taking time to achieve. Of course, you’ll be there for someone else when they need help also.

Establish an emergency fund

From natural disasters to broken down vehicles there is always something which hasn’t been anticipated and which will cause problems or delays on your jobs. Having funds reserved just for these types of emergencies can be the one thing that will save your construction contracting business from going under.

What now?

Considering all the above, it is understandable that construction risk management is a tough nut to crack. You need all the help you can get when you are dealing with risk in construction. We, at Schulte and Schulte are here to help you gain the traction you need and are prepared to help you take the necessary steps to establish and maintain the emergency fund you’ve always wished you had but didn’t think you had the dollars for. We’ll show you how.

Call today 866-629-7735 or get in touch here.