Quality Doesn’t Cost, it Pays (Even for the Contractor)

As consumers, we’ve either been taught to appreciate quality or we’ve learned the hard way that the least expensive option isn’t always the cheapest in the long run. This can be especially true when hiring contractors because the cost of having to redo a project can be 50-100% more than getting it done properly the first time.

I’m going to take this one step further and propose that not only does it pay to get a good quality contractor, it also pays for contractors to focus on quality for many reasons. If you’re a contractor, here are a few ideas for you:

Reputation and word of mouth

As a contractor, you probably get a lot of your leads by word of mouth or some kind of referral; from a previous client, an architect or engineer you’ve worked with, a supplier, etc. If you didn’t get your lead from a referral, chances are you were looked up online and your prospect read your reviews on sites like www.Homestars.com, where clients can share contractor reviews.

Now, quality isn’t the only important aspect a contractor needs to focus on to get a great review (there’s also honesty, customer service, care, experience, to name a few); however, if quality is ignored it can be extremely irritating for clients to deal with. Firstly, they have to call the contractor to tell them they are unsatisfied with the work, then schedule time to have them come over, there could also be dust involved, which means having to clean up, etc. So if quality is a recurring problem for your clients, you can be sure they will mention it in their online reviews and to their friends.

The thing about a bad review online is that it doesn’t go away, it will stay on your company’s digital timeline forever.

  • In the digital era that we are in today, how much can a bad review cost your company? Could it prevent you from receiving more inbound leads?

Additional expenses and lost opportunity costs

Assuming you are a reputable contractor, you will be compelled to return to your client’s site or home to repair any deficiencies caused by poor quality. Clearly, there are additional costs involved to redo work, including travel expenses.

Some contractors pride themselves on being very prompt at correcting deficiencies, however, it’s important to remember that not only are there additional costs involved there are also lost opportunity costs. You could be somewhere else generating revenue instead of going back to a site to make corrections.  

Delayed payment certification

Please see one of my previous posts about accelerating payment collections. The first point is to ensure there are no deficiencies! Delayed payment certification is quite common if the consultant or project owner is not satisfied with the quality of the product. This affects your cash flow and can add a tremendous amount of stress to your accounting department.

Although collaborative contract administration software like ContractComplete can streamline the payment certification process and help you get you paid faster, if you have outstanding deficiencies due to quality, nothing can be done until those are resolved.

Additional administration costs for project managers and office staff.

You can imagine that there are a bunch of additional administrative costs involved as well when it comes to correcting poor quality. Whether its fielding calls from irate clients, calling in underground locates again, ordering new materials, coordinating with staff, fixing incorrect invoices… (the list goes on); you and your staff could definitely be doing something more productive with your time, like planning your next high-quality install!

  • What could my team and I be doing instead of going back to a site to repair a deficiency?

Increased frustration within your team

If rework happens too often, it can really drag the morale of your team down. Nobody likes to do things twice, let alone three times! People like to know that they have a purpose and have been productive if they are constantly going back to the same sites to repair work it can be quite frustrating and can really take a negative toll on your staff. Increased frustration can lead to resentment, and to disgruntled employees. If the situation isn’t dealt with, there’s a good chance you can lose good staff.

This can happen if your staff are relatively inexperienced and haven’t properly been trained on the importance of quality and/or how to achieve the desired result.

Ask yourself:

  • During times of labor shortages in the construction industry, what is the cost of replacing a team member?
  • In the digital era that we are in today, how much can a bad review cost your company? Could it prevent you from receiving more inbound leads?
  • What could my team and I be doing instead of going back to a site to repair a deficiency?

Hopefully, this has helped you realize the importance of spending a little extra time on site and ensure you and your staff have focused on quality. It will pay off in the end.

Sean has a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Toronto. He is the General Manager at Geoscape Contracting, and has been actively managing projects in the land development industry for over 10 years. He realized in 2015 that there must be a better way to do contract administration in order to minimize mistakes and save contractors and consultants time on their paperwork. He's a father, an entrepreneur and habitual crossfitter. He enjoys roasting coffee beans and uses the pour-over method to brew his daily cup.

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