A significant proportion of the projects we win are competitively tendered, we are regularly competing against up to 5 contractors and sometimes more. It is a competitive world we live in and sometime the race to be the cheapest can be soul destroying.
We spend money and time in making sure our Management Systems, IT, insurance, Health and Safety and accreditations are all up to date, relevant and practised. It’s great when surveyors and clients look beyond the numbers and the quality of your company is part of the selection process, in fact we actively encourage a Price/Quality split.
We are competitive, we know it, but we never want to be cheap as anyone who has experienced a contractor ‘buying’ work will testify, more often than not the tendered price and the final account become two different figures, somewhere along the line there is usually a disagreement.
We have been around for over 16 years and are committed to being here for the long term. By investing in our people, our clients and property professionals alike we can continue to develop the business and hopefully become the contractor of choice more often than not.
What is astonishing is that even though we have been the most competitive offer on a couple of occasions the client or his surveyor have appointed another contractor – sometime we get a plausible reason and sometime we don’t. Once thing is for sure there is no point in getting upset, we dust ourselves down, get back on the horse and hope that we win the next one!
So what the point in this blog (apart from being quite therapeutic) – well it is just a chance for us to share our experience as a contractor. We try to be the best at what we do and believe in honesty, a word that often doesn’t align with the word contractor very easily, unfortunately as often is the case, the minority of rogue contractors give the majority a bad name.
Negotiating projects with clients and surveyors is becoming more fashionable, although we do think it should happen more often (of course we would!). We say this, not because that route to procurement is more profitable for us, but because it gives us certainty of future work, which allows us to plan better and ultimately deliver a better service.
Do clients really care about their contractor as much as their design team or their furniture supplier, we hope so and we hope that by continuing to work the way we do that contracting will become a more valued appointment and perhaps even a more popular industry (we might have taken that too far!).
In our world it can be extremely difficult to forecast the future both financially and operationally but we have significant experience, in fact I think it keeps us motivated and energised, we might even enjoy the buzz in a strange kind of way.