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Old 07-02-2014, 01:32 PM   #1
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Getting a little crazy here...

Well, since Monday, we've been notified that we have been awarded aver 700K in either prime contracts or sub-contracts, adding even more load to what has been the biggest year this firm has ever seen by over 100%. This is both good for the firm and scary all at once.

I know this whole jump in available work is due exclusively to federal government spending, and I further know it is transitory, so we're trying to form an intelligent and responsible strategy to deal with what we assume will be an accompanying cliff dive when the money stops flowing. The Old
Man wants to "grow" and I just want to expand, so we're at loggerheads about what to do. On one hand, we are extremely short handed in the office and it is taking a severe toll on all of us, so the old man wants to pick up some estimators and another manager. I want to continue as we have been, but pick up a couple of temps to do the mundane but time consuming shit. I thought I would ask for some opinions so I would have some objective views from outside our "box".
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Old 07-02-2014, 02:07 PM   #2
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Hey Ancona

Hire that crew who spray painted the buildings at the air force base ...........

Everything gets done at breakneck speed for sod all cost and your future workload is reduced by 90%

Seriously this might be an opportunity to up your prices rather than your overheads and all the stress that goes with that.
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Old 07-02-2014, 02:07 PM   #3
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Not enough info to offer an opinion with any real value. How long are the known contracts going to keep your elevated demand for labor? What is the probability that you will pick up additional contracts before that time expires? Would adding additional manpower on a permanent basis like the boss wants make it more or less likely for you to win additional contracts?

BTW, congrats. It wasn't so long ago that you were griping about a much less desirable problem to have.
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Old 07-02-2014, 03:28 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by PMBug View Post:
Not enough info to offer an opinion with any real value. How long are the known contracts going to keep your elevated demand for labor? What is the probability that you will pick up additional contracts before that time expires? Would adding additional manpower on a permanent basis like the boss wants make it more or less likely for you to win additional contracts?

BTW, congrats. It wasn't so long ago that you were griping about a much less desirable problem to have.
My 5.62 million dollar contract runs for 1,145 days, so it's quite a while. We have already added 1.6mm to the original price through change orders. I have a shitload of other work that will be finishing within a year or so. In addition, bidding season is here, which means that we'll have a basket load of new stuff to bid. My little birdie told me that there is another project a lo9t like the one we're currently performing that will hit the street for bid between now and August 10th, so it may get truly insane pretty soon.

As for manpower, it's not labor that is the problem, it's management in the field and supervisors. In addition, we need more admin girls to handle the absolutely stunning amount of paperwork that comes with .Gov contracting, as well as additional computers, another mass copier and another server module.
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Old 07-03-2014, 03:21 AM   #5
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Considering what we know about what is coming down the road, if it were me, I would be very conservative on how much permanent overhead that I would add. For critical work, I would tend to go with more permanent highly qualified manpower while bringing in temporary help for pushing papers. When things go south, you keep the hard-to-find permanent people by making them overpaid paper pushers until things turn around. You can find a surplus of paper pushers any day of the week, but finding highly qualified personnel can take weeks or months when you need them.
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Old 07-03-2014, 02:30 PM   #6
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Workers are one thing, and since there exists a pretty large pool of guys perfectly capable of doing the demolition side of things, I can always do some shifting around with my existing team of around 65 ce3rtified guys to do the environmental side, but in the office it's quite another thing altogether. Working as we do, Primarily for .Gov, finding people that can dip right in and start working without a protracted learning curve can be a challenge during the best of times. We are currently interviewing three folks for temp positions that have the requisite paperwork experience, but only two of them look like they would survive a week around here.

We are going to travel the path of least resistance here, and if necessary, poach the folks we need from competitors.
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Old 07-07-2014, 09:38 PM   #7
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When you take on a temp? doesnt a middle man get a cut?

If you need specialized talent- you have to go where you can get it.
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Old 07-08-2014, 11:51 AM   #8
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No Penn, when I take on a temp, I go head-hunting. When I find a candidate that fits the bill I hire them directly and put them on my payroll. Usually, we are pretty up-front that the spot is temporary, so there is little confusion and there is no middle man peeling off a vig.; We have our own work comp, commercial liability and errors and omissions insurance, so it's pretty easy.
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