Build a team that offers different skill sets to satisfy customer needs.

That is exactly the answer your potential customer wants to hear. However, I’m sure some of you might hesitate to tell a customer that because you don’t think you have the manpower, experience or ability to provide the needed services on time.

The Great Recession has provided you with the opportunity to build a “dream team” to effectively meet whatever situation arises. Many skilled craftsmen, contractors, engineers and architects would like to join your dream team, hoping for that dream project to materialize. With these out-of-work craftsmen, you can turn this negative economy into survival and success.

But do not wait to build your dream team!  Your procrastination may turn your dream into a horrible nightmare. It is far better to have the potential for new team members and not need it, than to need it and not have it!

Fortunately, building your team is very easy, takes little of your time and very little expense. Your database skills inventory simplifies this entire process. You will be pleasantly surprised at the willingness and appreciation of all you solicit to join your team.

Dream Team Options

Your resources are endless:

1. There are thousands of qualified, skilled craftsmen who have been laid off or are partially employed. They would greatly appreciate being on your dream team.

2. You should contact other trade contractors, especially those you have worked with in the past. Larger contractors are experiencing difficulty finding ample work to keep their crews employed and would welcome your invite. Smaller contractors, including the “do-it-yourselfers,” would naturally reinforce the team.

Even if you are not presently an active member of your local trade associations, you should attend their meetings and present your proposal. Here again, you will be pleasantly surprised at the response.

3. Do not overlook the mutual benefits you could share with general contractors and construction managers. In addition to them gaining a dream project during this work recession, this opportunity will benefit your team and their continued success when times get better.

Your dream team may need expertise and experience from outside the industry, as well as bonding, banking indemnity and legal advice. You could partner with a contractor as the prime or a sub, and use a joint venture agreement when appropriate.

4. You can offer design-build capability by contacting architects and engineers to join your dream team. They share our desperation as they look for projects during this economic work recession. Design-build is an efficient and economical solution for the customer and the contractor.

5. Include your fab shop capacity as well as other contractors on your dream team.

6. You already should have inventoried your salvage yard to offer to needy customers for low-cost repairs and replacements.

7. Include on your list contractor-owned equipment to minimize necessary rentals. Some dream-team contractors have cranes, forklifts, backhoes, snorkel lifts, scissor lifts, vibratory tampers, trucks, trailers, etc., that they would share with you.

8. Discuss flex-time availability with potential dream-team employees and contractor team members.

Database Skills Inventory

I know many of our readers have been doing everything I’ve recommended for years. When we needed help with a project, we contacted our competitors, and vice versa. This cooperative sharing was very common during the Great Depression and again in the boom period after World War II. Industry outsiders were amazed that competitors would help each other in a time of need.

Cooperative assistance has always been available, but we have had to search for what we needed when we needed it. With our database skills inventories, we can stack our aresenal with all of the relevant fire power and push a couple buttons to put it to work.

We have discussed the effectiveness of using a database inventory for all of the salvage equipment and materials in your salvage center. I hope you are already using the database “Employee Plumbing and Mechanical Skills” inventory to ensure that dispatch properly sends skilled craftsmen to every project (see the link below). This is a typical database front page, which usually has four or five more sheets.

I have worked with many contractors who initiated a database skills inventory and they were pleasantly amazed with how simple it is to install. Many were surprised by the lack of skills in their craftsmen that they assumed were available. Some were pleased by the response from those employees who possessed skills that were not being recognized.

I hope this dream-team concept will prepare you to successfully obtain those hard-to-get projects during this economic recession. Keep in mind, your well-stocked database arsenal will continue to make your dreams come true, not only now, but in the good times, too.