Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The power of long term relationships

When I think about my clients and their projects, I think about how I feel about bringing my truck to my mechanic, or my thoughts when I see the doctor. I trust my mechanic because he has been taking care of my car for years. He knows its history, and I know he will use the best parts for it. The same is true when I visit my doctor: I am completely trusting his experience in his field to advise me on what treatment or medication best suits me. He has known me for years, and therefore can give me the best treatment for me. These relationships are about longevity.

          Nourishing my relationships with employees or subcontractors elevates the quality of my product. Unfortunately, I often see big-brand companies that are only concerned with their bottom line. They hire pushy salesman, drive up their prices, and do lousy installations using low-end materials. It’s pretty much the standard with today’s boom & bust type mentality. The average company on the S&P today only has a 15-year lifespan, verses a 67-year lifespan back in the 1920s. (http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/04/where-do-firms-go-when-they-die/390249/)

          Long-lasting companies are those that do not have revolving doors. If your regular doctor now has 5 new staff members since your last visit a few months ago, does that increase your confidence in the care you’ll get? Big companies have high overhead, which leads them to take on many projects with tiny margins and fast turnover. Since employees are hindered by tight budgets, they lose morale. Their apathy is projected in the quality of their work and the high employee turnover. Projects that have an easy call back, which can be solved faster by the employee who handled that project the first time around, now cost more time and money because that employee is no longer working there. When you have high employee turnover the quality of workmanship goes down.

          I’ve been blessed to have the right people guide me through my 20 years of experience as a contractor. I have worked with the same contractors as a subcontractor on their projects, and as a general contractor working with them as my subs. Our relationship was never lost. I became best friends with my engineers. Not only is there a deep trust between us, but a mentorship was also established. This relationship gives us both valuable information about how to build better for less, gives our clients confidence, and has brought us more work over the years. Which brings me back again to the need for long-term relationships. Watch out for those fast-paced machines that are big for only a short while and then disappear.

I believe boom & bust will be here for a while until long-term goals are once again imbedded into our culture. Meanwhile, I will continue to be long-term minded in all my endeavors.

          I trust that eventually we will all begin to focus on long-term goals. True prosperity will come from nourishing our relationships with employees, subcontractors, clients, vendors, and all the people in our professional arena.

Visit my projects gallery to see the projects I've worked on with some of my long-term clients korling.net 

With Ross, my mentor
On a job with my crew of 15 years

Monday, February 15, 2016

Our upcoming Solar project

We are very excited to see this project coming to its install phase in the next few days.
It is a 5000 sf residential property in Carpinteria, CA, with a flat roof, which required custom racking system from sunmodo.com of Canada.
It is a complex install that took some time to design and prepare for and now we are finally ready to move forward with the installation.
This is the "before" picture. more to come after the project is done.