“Okay, we got together and hammered out what we think we are facing, as an organization, moving forward,” Vicki explained. “We wrote it all down on eight flip chart pages. We used your chart on Growing Pains. We think we have moved through the first two stages. We have a sustainable sales volume and we have documented our methods and processes, our best practices. But you were right, our problem is our profitability.”
“How so?” I asked.
“We get most of the way through a project, everything is right on track, then, it all goes out the window. Things happen. We get to the end of the project, and boom, our labor budget lands 40 percent over. Lucky, our buyout was 10 percent under, but we still lose 30 points on the job.”
“How often does this happen?”
Vicki squinted, looking for the answer. “Seven out of eight projects in the past three months,” she grimaced. “And the one project on target was a fluke, dumb luck. There was a problem on the job covered by a bond from another contractor. We got through by the skin of our teeth.”
“You realize, you have used the word ‘luck’ twice in the past 15 seconds?”