Business Management, Foreman Reports
Foreman Reports are used on a consistent basis. Designed not only to provide information about the job, but to track manpower, double-checking time, and help track extra work, among other things.
by Len Hijuelos
, at least for awhile, having to do with paperwork. I just want to touch on a couple of other reports or mechanisms that I find useful in managing our business. None of the things we use are particularly new, and certainly have not been made up by me. Just about everything we have talked about is based on things that I have seen used by other contractors — not necessarily only painting contractors — and which I have modified or adapted to provide information in the format that I like.
In a previous article, I made mention of “Foreman Reports.” We use these types of reports on a very consistent basis. They are designed not only to provide information about the job, but to serve other purposes such as tracking manpower, double-checking time, and to help track extra work, among other things.
We also have forms for “Change Order Proposals” (COPs) and “Extra Work Orders” (EWOs). These forms are generated as often as needed and are logged in the order in which they occur. We are as specific as possible regarding the nature of the work and the costs. We copy the GC or owner as soon as a COP or EWO is generated in an effort to get the costs into the billing process as soon as possible. We have found that it is a big mistake to let these things build up and try to bill at the end of a project. That usually leads to a negotiating process and inevitably compromising on costs, which means that you are not going to recoup all your costs. By processing charges — either change orders or extra work — on a timely basis, you will know early on if there is going to be a problem, and you also have the opportunity of collecting these moneys earlier rather than later.
The last form I’ll talk about is a “Job Equipment Log.” On each and every job, regardless of size, an equipment log is maintained. From the first day of the job, when any piece of equipment is brought to the site, to the end of the job, every piece of equipment brought to the job is logged.
During the course of the job, any piece of equipment transferred to another job or returned to the shop is checked off. On final pickup, the truck driver or shop man knows exactly (hopefully) what equipment should be at the site. This does several things for us. Obviously, it lets us know at any given time where our equipment is being used. If the log is maintained properly, it can help to deter losses. It can also be helpful in providing information as to who may have a careless attitude about the care and maintenance of company equipment.
As I said before, I can’t take credit for creating any of the forms or devices that we have talked about, and which we use in our own company, so I don’t have any problem in sharing. Any reader who is interested in having a copy of anything we talked about in the last few articles may feel free to contact me, and I will provide copies.
Contact Len Hijuelos at P.O. Box 2585,
Gretna, LA 70054 or e-mail.