As most of you know, it is challenging to predict when a project will be awarded, and even harder to determine when the actual construction starts… It is even more challenging in COVID/Recession times since the award cycles are longer, and project bids slowed ( or even halted). The significant impacts we have seen were in April/May, where some projects were canceled, and the competition started to get crrrraaaaazy J on prices and quantity. This is still affecting both Colorado, Wyoming, and Texas; however, there is more funded work coming out in various vertical and our preconstruction team is slammed.
This week, Colorado was awarded the Colorado Convention Center Expansion Project, which was bid at the beginning of the COVID shut down (Yay!!!). This project will provide the company 100,000+ man-hours of work for our future and will keep our fellow teammates working. The project is currently going through some cost-cutting now, as it is over budget… but that’s for us to worry about, not you. Texas also won additional infrastructure work at the Ripple project.
On another note, if you are feeling it and hearing it, we are indeed seeing a decline in manpower needs in the coming months. In May/June, the leadership team for Colorado, Wyoming, Texas, and Holdings started taking steps to fill the manpower gap. In fact, it was the focal topic of discussion in our quarterly strategic meeting and in our executive L-10 meeting on June 29th. This is the main reason why you may be seeing changes in the way we are doing things- right now.
Some of the changes you may have experienced are our field management team has worked tirelessly to increase the company’s productivity (referencing our 2019 low of 82%, to our current rate above 90% in 2020, and we have a goal to increase it over 100%). Another is that we have implemented better predictive and forecasting tools (8-week schedules, CTC’s, the company manpower graph, Procore, other software, etc.). Next, we have readjusted everyone’s titles and benefits (PTO, vehicles, allowances, new positions, etc.), and cut costs on project items that were not needed. Lastly, we reduced overhead costs (we cut headcount throughout the company, not just field positions). These changes have already happened, so if you haven’t experienced anything, then it did not affect you, so please don’t worry. We (the entire team), are all focusing on the greater good of the company and how we can preserve our health, culture, and workload. These current measures will help us become that lean, mean, electrical installing machine, and most importantly, make the next generation better!
Long story short…. we plan to fill the manpower gaps as fast as we can. Our efforts on the items above have dramatically improved our position against other electrical contractors, so now all we need is the available work. The measures we have taken will help us elude reducing our manpower in the coming months.
I can assure you my goal and vision is to keep us growing and secure, so we will keep pushing forward as much as we can to keep all of our team employed. I know we cannot change the things outside of our control, but we can make sure we don’t leave anything on the table.
Let me know if this helps clarify the rumors that may have been going around. The manpower gap isn’t anything we haven’t experienced and dealt with before as we are always working ourselves out of a job J