Upgrading Your Processes – Part 2
As fun as an old typewriter may be to look at – even play around with – it wouldn’t be of much use to your construction business operation. In the same way, developing sophisticated, modern operating processes and procedures is much better than (shall I say it?) doofing around with antiquated systems that don’t fit the bill.
In the first part of this two-part series, we introduced the need to upgrade the processes in your construction company. This part shows you a few ways to make implementing systems easier.
Getting your head in the right place to build systems and processes is essential to growing your construction business. If you miss this part, the rest of what follows will have little impact. There are numerous books, articles, and how-to blog posts concerning processes. The main point is to embrace the idea that with efficient systems, your construction business has a much better opportunity to flourish and be the profitable enterprise you envision.
If you like a true story about how one man came to his senses concerning systems and how he put the information to work, then Sam Carpenter’s book Work the System is an excellent source. We have an early copy of the book, which is now in its fourth (and much improved) edition and is a testament to the system improvement process espoused by Mr. Carpenter.
Process development and improvement must be a conscious part of your construction company’s DNA.
Many process solutions begin with the technological tools you already use or are considering using. From apps to SaaS, you have many options which take the guesswork out and provide step-by-step processes for getting the job done. Besides the added benefit of streamlining what was once a manual procedure, technology can reduce costs while improving quality.
Here is a sampling of the types of apps or SaaS that integrate systems and processes into the framework of daily activities useful for running viable construction businesses.
QuickBooks Online - Manages bills, tracks income and expenses, invoices customers, runs reports, and more.
Zapier - Zapier automates work across 5,000+ apps.
Knowify - Knowify empowers subcontractors with the tools and insights to manage their finances, teams, and projects more effectively. It handles budgeting, bidding, job costing, invoicing, and more.
Levelset - is construction payment and compliance software.
Adaptive - Adaptive combines artificial intelligence with simple software that helps automate job costing and control cash flow. It integrates with accounting and project management software.
SaasAnt - uploads, maps files, and imports transactions into QuickBooks.
Scribe - Scribe is a tool used to create documented processes, complete with screenshots, instructions, and clicks. It allows you to “write it” in an oh-so-easy manner.
Outsourcing Makes a Difference
Removing the need to create, document, and apply processes for your construction business (while still maintaining all the benefits of their use) can be accomplished through the straightforward tactic of outsourcing.
One way to discover outsourcing partners is to search online for the type of provider you need. For example, we found possible providers for the three services listed below using search terms like “outsourced answering service for construction contractors.”
Another (and we believe a better) way to locate excellent outsourcing partners is through industry-related associations. We learned of the following three construction-centric sources through interaction at meetings and events of the American Subcontractors Association of Arizona.
Safety Compliance – Insure Compliance
Construction Lawyer – Palecek & Palecek, PLLC
Tax Planning and Tax Compliance – Conover Asay CPAs, PLLC
Notice! A shameless plug follows.
When you need to outsource your construction accounting (as well as workflow analysis and software implementation,) here you go. The Profit Constructors – yeah, that’s us.
Five Useful Tips for Documenting Systems
Let the person who uses the system write the system. For example, if Susan is in charge of incoming inquiries, she should document the steps necessary to complete the task.
Allow someone to test the documented system who is not in charge of the task. Giving written steps to someone who doesn’t typically perform the job allows you to find the gaps and improve the process.
Use titles rather than names when writing the process. If it is Susan’s job to deal with incoming inquiries and she is promoted or leaves your company, her title remains attached to the document – she doesn’t.
Include the documented systems for individual tasks in your employee onboarding and training process. (You have established your onboarding and training process, right?)
Develop a hierarchal system that documents the steps that need to be taken to implement improvement to individual processes. In other words, determine who in the chain of command has authority over suggested changes and how those changes will be made and communicated. Remember that rewarding those who make system improvements is one way to ensure that systems remain a conscious part of your construction company’s DNA.
Reflection: What is the first step you will take to develop or update critical systems to enhance your client’s experience and improve your employees’ performance?
Ambitious Construction Contractors look to The Profit Constructors to provide advocacy in dealing with:
Clients and customers
Employees and subcontractors
Vendors and service providers
Working with The Profit Constructors gives Construction Contractors the means to organize their operations in ways that help them:
Ready for action? Or want to know more? Get in touch today to schedule a complimentary discovery call. 866-629-7735