Close-Out Profit Leaks Part 4

July 19, 2004

How to Stop the Project Close-Out Profit Leaks!

By: John Zink


Jobsite Trailer Checklist

Has this ever happened to you? A month after your job has closed, you get hit with a $500 charge from your rental company. When you check into it, you learn that the job trailer had some minor damage that had to be repaired. Or you discover that for each of the last three months, there has been a $50 charge going to one of your closed jobs. When you look into it, you discover that the phone company is still charging you for a jobsite trailer phone line that was never disconnected.

To prevent these little misses that add up to big dollars, give your foremen a checklist to go through before returning the jobsite trailer. This list should cover each and every thing that has to be completed or checked before that trailer goes back to the rental company.

This list should include:

  • Cleaning and repairing any damage to the job trailer. Remember, even a small ding or hole in the trailer can cost $150/hr to fix at the rental company. Fix these problems yourself before the trailer goes back to the rental company to avoid these costs.


  • Disconnecting phone service. Make sure that phone service has been disconnected once the trailer is ready to be returned. You can’t assume that because the phone lines were cut that the service has been turned off.

Restock Charges and Leftover Materials

Work with your suppliers to eliminate restock charges. At the end of the job, return all of your unused specialty materials, even if you will not get much back for them. If these materials are brought back to your shop, you are just paying rent for the space that they are taking up…space that could be used for more profitable use, like fabrications activities.

Those materials could end up getting moved time & again, costing labor & waste. If you cannot return the materials, it may be less expensive to throw them away than handle them repeatedly in your shop.

You can also strike deals with scrap companies to come to your jobsites and remove leftover materials and waste. The scrap company will pay YOU to get their hands on these leftovers that you would normally have to pay someone else to remove.


Post-Job Meetings

Post-job close out meeting are usually not held because the project is over and employees feel that they need to move on and get cracking on the next project.

This end of job meeting is crucial to discovering what went wrong, what caused the problems and how the company will avoid those issues during the next job. If a project went perfectly, this is the time to identify what went right and ways to recreate that experience on the next project. This may also be your opportunity to recognize an employee that made the difference in that job.


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