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Construction Contractors Declining Work for Company Benefit with Executive Vice President of Business Development

“Many contractors would likely cringe at the idea of turning down work. After all, construction is a cyclical business, and there is often a ‘get it while you can’ mentality of taking on new projects. But experienced contractors warn there are a number of good reasons not to take on too much,” said Kim Slowey with Construction Dive in their recent story.

Some companies in the construction industry are careful about the projects they construct, because they want to control the process. Additionally, some businesses even turn projects down if the company’s values don’t align with their own.


Other reasons contractors choose to turn down work include:


  • Lack of capacity
  • Too much work can be worse than not enough
  • Scrutinize financial results
  • Focus on responsible growth


Gray executive vice president of business development Jeff Bischoff offers his insight into how Gray Construction handles the decision of whether to accept new work.


According to Bischoff, since Gray specializes in manufacturing facilities, it comes down to using risk management methods and controlling overhead to make sure an investment in the company will be a future benefit. Opportunities must be in the company’s core markets and provide acceptable profit margins. As well, the project must fit a specific delivery type, because working outside of that spectrum is “putting yourself at risk,” said Bischoff. Most of Gray’s work is either negotiated or the company is invited to bid, and all leads and opportunities are considered before they are culled in the development process. Said process extends over months at a time — at no point does it come to a head all at once.


One factor that Gray always considers is the subcontractor workload. “As diligent as we are in checking subs’ financials during a down market, we’re that much more diligent during an uptick,” Bischoff pointed out, adding that Gray scrutinizes subs’ bonding capacities and other aspects of the companies to make sure the subs aren’t “biting off more than they can chew.”


Using risk management methods and controlling overhead ensure that investments in the company will be a future benefit. “You won’t see the ramifications from the decisions that you make today until many, many months down the road,” he said.


For more information on the reasons for contractors to turn down work, visit Construction Dive for an in-depth report.

"As diligent as we are in checking subs’ financials during a down market, we’re that much more diligent during an uptick."
Jeff Bischoff, Chief Sales Officer, Gray, Inc.

    Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a contributing author and not necessarily Gray.

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