Site Delays Could cost You Your Business!

This Week’s “Wise Up Wednesday” is about a dirty trick used regularly by unscrupulous Contractors when things are not going well and the works on site get delayed.

Contractors Can’t Programme/Manage Properly

Regrettably, in my experience the standard of management by the Contractor’s team has declined over the last 10 years. Many have shed their most experienced staff, so as workload picked up they have brought in inexperienced personnel, or as is often the case freelance staff. On a great many projects this leads to problems, including programming and managing the works, and in some cases that I have seen the programming was shambolic.

Of course, the Contractor won’t accept responsibility for any of this!

The Contractor Blames The Subbies

As an ex Specialist Contractor turned professionally qualified consultant I have been fixing Subcontractors problems, cost effectively for the last 27 years, and I have seen this trick used over and over, and over again!

The Contractor blames you for delay and cobbles together a claim against you for – and here are actual figures from a a claim we rebutted last month;

Excessive plasterboard patching: £10,000

Cleaning: £327.50

Fire stopping: £15,000.00

Delay to overall completion 20 weeks delay: £165,131.00

 Total: Minus  £133,441.75

Take Action

Remember, if you do run into this type of set off or any other kind of contractual or payment problem, it will not get better with time!

You need to know what you have to do to protect your company.

Come  and discover the Secret Keys To Minimise Risk and Maximise Profit, that we have been putting into practice on behalf of Specialist Subcontractors for the last 27 years.

And they’re are being revealed at our March events;

“Understand Your Contract to Minimise Risk and Maximise Profit”

“Introduction To Contractual Awareness and Using JCT Subcontracts”

WHEN/WHERE IS IT? The dates and fast access venues are as follows;

15 March – Oulton HallLeeds close to M1 and M62

22 March – The Nottingham BelfryNottingham close to M1 J26

29 March – The Village HotelCoventry close to M6 and M40

WHAT DOES IT COVER? We will be unlocking the Secrets To Getting Paid on time every time in a straightforward down to earth easy to follow style using real life examples.

Here’s what your fellow Subcontractors said about our last event;

“Easily digestible information delivered in an interesting and easy to understand format”

“Very detailed and informative”

“Very informative and well delivered”

“We were struggling to get paid; not any longer!”

THE HEADLINES 

  • Session 1 – Contract Formation
  • Session 2 – Introduction to JCT Contracts and Construction Act
  • Session 3 – Time, Notices and Delay and Disruption
  • Session 4 – Instructions, Variations and Maximising Return
  • Session 5 – Getting Paid On Time and the Right Amount
  • Session 6 – Resolving Conflicts and Disputes
  • Session 7 – Putting It All Together

WHO SHOULD ATTEND? This is exclusively for Specialist Contractors and is designed specifically to provide a broad appeal for Specialist Contractors staff who work with contracts which includes;

  • Estimators,
  • Contracts Managers;
  • Project Managers;
  • Commercial Managers,
  • Quantity Surveyors,
  • Credit Controllers and
  • Directors.

WHAT WILL WE GET OUT OF IT? The Secrets To Getting Paid! Specialist Contractors don’t get paid because they don’t understand the contract or don’t apply it when they should. We will reveal all you need to know to enable you to understand the fundamentals of those subcontracts, and how to get paid.

WHAT DOES IT COST? You can book now for preferential discounts and rates – but be quick to ensure you receive your Early Booking Discount!

Book within the next few days and instead of paying £350, you can pay just £315.00 saving you 10% off the standard price.

Book two or more places and you can pay just £280 each saving you 20% off the standard price.

Special rates apply for our Buddies (members) – please ask Tanya for details.

All rates are subject to VAT

Booking couldn’t be simpler, just contact Tanya directly on 01773 712116 or tanya@streetwisesubbie.com to confirm your places and she will take care of the rest. She is brilliant!

But hurry our last round of seminars sold out very quickly.

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Why the bosses must pay for failed Carillion

“I work for Carillion – or at least the remains of it – and feel disheartened about what has happened because as the Government’s own phrase goes, I and many others ‘did the right thing’.

I’ve never claimed a penny from the state in almost 40 years at work and I’ve saved into various pensions, many of which will now be reduced in value. No one should be expected to lose a penny due to the incompetence of company directors.

Each time a firm goes bust and a hole is discovered in the pension fund, we are told: ‘There will be an inquiry’.

Regulators are seemingly useless and the so-called gold-plated element of final salary pensions is a myth.

This time, the state-owned British Business bank will step in, which seems to mean millions of taxpayers like me will pick up the tab. The perpetrators, always motivated by greed, should be made to surrender all wealth derived from the failed company, lose any titles they have been granted and be put on minimum wage.

I would also suggest community payback, with no prospect of a return to their previous status. However, it seems that there is no stigma or disgrace associated with their actions.”

Quote ends

The above is taken from a letter by Carillion employee, Michael Fell, to the Daily Mail newspaper. It appeared on Wednesday 7th February 2018.

As ever, it is PEOPLE AND FAMILIES, not businesses, which carry the cost of mismanagement and failure. Carillion’s debt to 30,000 suppliers (specialist contractors and others) is said to be one billion pounds.

As StreetwiseSubbie managing director, Barry Ashmore said in yesterday’s ‘Wise up Wednesday’ e-mail:

  • Carillion has impacted over 400,000 lives!
  • That’s 40,000 employees x (1 partner + 1.5 children) = 100,000
  • 30,000 businesses x say 4 people x (1 partner + 1.8 children) = 336,000

The actual number may never be known, but whatever it is, it’s a national disgrace!

There have been dozens of inquiries and reports into the state of Construction in the UK. It’s now time to have a full Public Inquiry, to learn from its findings and change the industry for the better.

Please sign up to our call for a Public Inquiry here:  https://goo.gl/qk6osw

 

 

#Wise up Wednesday Protect Your Business From The Next Carillion!

Carillion has impacted over 400,000 lives!

 

That’s 40,000 employees x (1 partner + 1.5 children) = 100,000

 

30,000 businesses x say 4 people x (1 partner + 1.8 children) = 336,000

 

The actual number may never be known, but whatever it is, it’s a national disgrace!

 

This Can Happen Again

 

There is no doubt that more businesses will fail. You should protect your business now…

 

As an ex Specialist Contractor turned professionally qualified consultant I have been fixing Subcontractors problems, and protecting Subcontractors cost effectively for the last 27 years!

 

And here are some great way to protect your business;

 

1. Who Are You Actually Contracting With?

  

Check the financial status of those that want you to work for them in 2018

  

Watch out for contracts that allow the Contractor not to pay you if the Employer becomes insolvent.

  

2. Scope of the Works/Variations

  

Check carefully that the scope of works in the contract matches what you have priced.

  

At best Contractors don’t care if you get it wrong – their terms will protect them. At worst some Contractors will deliberately manipulate this.

  

3. Time/Programme

  

Make sure the contract period is agreed and properly documented before you start the works.

    

Don’t agree to work “in accordance with the Contractor’s programme” and if you get delayed you must send notices – don’t be persuaded otherwise.

  

4. Price and Discount

  

If you have made important qualifications in your tender make sure they are not lost when the contract is formed.

  

Don’t allow one off discounts to be applied to variations.

  

5. Payment Terms

  

Make sure the payment terms are clear and unambiguous.

  

If the payment process is linked to valuation dates make sure these are agreed and recorded and go beyond the end of the anticipated contract period.

  

6. Design Liability

  

If you choose anything (e.g. the screws to put in the door hinges), you have design liability even if you think you have no responsibility for design.

  

Fitness for purpose obligations will void your professional indemnity or product liability insurance cover! You must exclude it in contracts and warranties.

  

7. Dispute Resolution!

  

Being able to suspend performance for non-payment is a very effective remedy.

  

Adjudication (used correctly) is a very effective legal solution.

  

Neither remedy is automatically available, check the contract.

  

8. Take Action

  

Remember, if you do run into any kind of contractual or payment problem, it will not get better with time!

  

Come  and discover the Secret Keys To Minimise Risk and Maximise Profit, that we have been putting into practice on behalf of Specialist Subcontractors for the last 27 years.

 

And they’re are being revealed at our March events;

 

“Understand Your Contract to Minimise Risk and Maximise Profit”

  

“Introduction To Contractual Awareness and Using JCT Subcontracts”

   

  

WHEN/WHERE IS IT? The dates and fast access venues are as follows;

   

  

15 March – Oulton HallLeeds close to M1 and M62

   

  

22 March – The Nottingham BelfryNottingham close to M1 J26

   

  

29 March – The Village HotelCoventry close to M6 and M40

   

  

WHAT DOES IT COVER? We will be unlocking the Secrets To Getting Paid on time every time in a straightforward down to earth easy to follow style using real life examples.

 

Here’s what your fellow Subcontractors said about our last event; 

  

“Easily digestible information delivered in an interesting and easy to understand format”

  

“Very detailed and informative”

  

“Very informative and well delivered”

  

“We were struggling to get paid; not any longer!”   

  

THE HEADLINES Session 1 – Contract Formation Session 2 – Introduction to JCT Contracts and Construction Act Session 3 – Time, Notices and Delay and Disruption Session 4 – Instructions, Variations and Maximising Return Session 5 – Getting Paid On Time and the Right Amount Session 6 – Resolving Conflicts and Disputes Session 7 – Putting It All Together   

  

WHO SHOULD ATTEND? This is exclusively for Specialist Contractors and is designed specifically to provide a broad appeal for Specialist Contractors staff who work with contracts; which includes; Estimators, Contracts Managers; Project Managers; Commercial Managers, Quantity Surveyors, Credit Controllers and Directors.   

  

WHAT WILL WE GET OUT OF IT? The Secrets To Getting Paid! Specialist Contractors don’t get paid because they don’t understand the contract or don’t apply it when they should. We will reveal all you need to know to enable you to understand the fundamentals of those subcontracts, and how to get paid.   

  

WHAT DOES IT COST? If you book now you receive preferential discounts and rates – but be quick to ensure you receive your Early Booking Discount!   

  

Book within the next few days and instead of paying £350, you can pay just £315.00 saving you 10% off the standard price.   

  

Book two or more places and you can pay just £280 each saving you 20% off the standard price.

 

Special rates apply for our Buddies (members) – please ask Tanya for details.  

  

All rates are subject to VAT  

  

Booking couldn’t be simpler, just contact Tanya directly on 01773 712116 or tanya@streetwisesubbie.com to confirm your places and she will take care of the rest. She is brilliant!

 

But hurry our last round of seminars sold out very quickly.

 

Barry Ashmore’s Radio Derby call for a full Public Inquiry following Carillion apology to MPs

“Carillion’s apology does not cut the ice really. Carillion have impacted on at least 30,000 businesses. …we need to have a full and public inquiry into the Construction industry. Construction is in its worst place yet!”

Hear Barry Ashmore’s comments in full on Martyn Williams’ afternoon show on BBC Radio Derby at the ‘Listen again’ link:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p05thptr  Go forward to 1:42:19 secs to hear more.

Help change the industry now – support the call for a Public inquiry at https://goo.gl/qk6osw

Tuesday: 6th February 2018

StreetwiseSubbie’s Barry Ashmore on BBC Radio Derby today

Following Carillion’s “apology” today (06.02.18) to MP’s, I recorded an interview for Radio Derby’s Martyn Williams show which has been on air from 4pm today. (It will be available on i-player and I will post/share the link when it is available.)

Apart from telling Martyn that I didn’t think Carillion’s apology would count for much among the 30,000 businesses affected, I also said that what is needed is a full scale Public Inquiry into construction.

So please if you get chance listen in and please give us your support and sign our petition. And if you are in a Trade Association ask them if they have seen our open letter to all Trade and Professional Bodies in the UK construction industry.

You may also wish to ask your Trade Association whether or not they will be supporting our campaign for a Public Inquiry to Improve The Procurement and Payment Culture In Construction.

If you support our calls for action please ensure that you and your team have signed our petition (1186 people already have as at 6 February 2018).

And please share it as widely as you can with other subcontractors and suppliers. You can find it here: https://goo.gl/qk6osw

The text of our open letter is as follows;

An Open Letter To All Trade And Professional Bodies In The UK Construction Industry

Dear Sirs

What Next For Your Members In The Aftermath Of Carillion?

The pain and suffering of all those caught up in the liquidation of Carillion must not be for nothing.

We must come together at every level to bring about real and lasting change.

What has gone before is simply not working, and if we carry on as we are, the industry as we know it will destroy itself, as surely as its own flawed business model eventually destroyed Carillion.

Strong words I know, but if you doubt what I say please consider these facts;

  • Since 2008 thousands of SME construction related businesses have failed
  • The image of construction is at an all-time low
  • Men working in the construction industry are at the highest risk of suicide
  • There is a massive skills shortage
  • The industry is not attracting the most talented people

In 2016 a YouGov poll of 2,000 members of the public measured perceptions of a number of industries and found that the vast majority would never consider a career in the construction industry, with just 17% saying that they would give it thought.

What a sad indictment of what should be a fantastic industry!

The future is in our hands, we must act decisively, we must act now.

Every right-thinking person in construction knows what a dire state of affairs we have, but the government and others turn a blind eye to what is going on right under their nose.

Those that have the power to change things are choosing to ignore the shameful way that professionals, sub-contractors, and suppliers go unpaid or under paid, not to mention the falling standards and the very real but unseen human cost.

Enough’s enough, let’s all work together for real truth and real change. So, please;

  • Support our call for a Public Inquiry into construction at; https://goo.gl/qk6osw
  • Share this message across all social media using #enoughsenough and #buildfair4all
  • Share your thoughts and ideas

Please feel free to give us a call on 01773 712116 or email us on info@streetwisesubbie.com, and let’s see what we can all do together to bring about positive change.

Yours faithfully

B J Ashmore

Managing Director

Please Help Us To Build A Better Future For Construction

We are not interested in the politics of procurement. Enough’s enough, let’s all work together for real truth and real change.

Please feel free to give us a call on 01773 712116 or email us on info@streetwisesubbie.com for more information, and let’s see what we can all do together to bring about positive change.

He who alleges must prove! Keeping good records helps you avoid payment problems.

Whether it’s getting paid for variations, or stopping the contractor blaming you for delaying the job, you need to be able to prove that your version of events is correct, writes Barry Ashmore, managing director of Streetwisesubbie.com Limited.

Both these situations have arisen for Client’s this last week or so, and with our help, both Clients won – because they had good records!

“He Who Alleges Must Prove” and “Evidence Wins Cases”

Please understand this, neither Client got as far as a formal process, they didn’t need to, they had the evidence and could therefore show the Contractor, prove to him, that they would win.

Proof = Is best in the form of records in one form or another.

Please don’t tell me it’s difficult, or too expensive, to keep good records.There was a total of around £250,000 at stake in just these two cases, so how expensive would it have been if my Clients hadn’t got the records?

Keeping good written and photographic records is a fundamental necessity, the importance of which cannot be overstated.

Regardless of the size and value of the work, good records are essential in order to protect yourself. The scale and complexity of the work may dictate how much time and effort you need to put in, but even the most basic records can offer you protection.

Capture It – Because You Can’t Recreate It

Almost all construction disputes deal with events that occurred weeks, months or even years in the past. Your works may even be covered up, so cannot easily to be inspected at a later date.

Any records that you make at the time will be far more valuable as evidence than your memory of what happened, particularly if you can show that they have been issued to the other party at the time the events took place.

Check what the contract says about records and make sure you comply. It is not uncommon for a failure to submit records to be used as an excuse to reduce or withhold payment or blame you for delays that are not of your making.

In one of the two cases mentioned above my Client faced a claim of £150,000 for alleged delays – he’s very glad he had the records!

Payment Abuse

Payment abuse is destroying the UK construction industry, and over 95% of respondents to our recent survey think that neither the trade associations nor the government are doing enough to solve the problem.

So we are taking action.

Our very popular training seminars start again in March.

We want to share “The Secret Keys To Unlocking Subcontract Payment” that we have been putting into practice on behalf of Specialist Subcontractors for the last 27 years.

And they’re are being revealed at our March events;

“Understand Your Contract to Minimise Risk and Maximise Profit”

“Introduction To Contractual Awareness and Using JCT Subcontracts”

WHEN/WHERE IS IT? The dates and easy access free parking venues venues are as follows;

Thursday 15 March Leeds

Thursday 22 March Nottingham

Thursday 29 March Coventry

WHAT DOES IT COVER? We will be unlocking the Secrets To Getting Paid on time every time in a straightforward down to earth easy to follow style using real life examples.

Training is designed to give you the inside track on subcontract law and procedures, with emphasis on the JCT subcontracts. And we show you the the practical steps you can take to get paid properly.

Full details will be released soon but if you are interested please email info@streetwisesubbie.com for more details.

Update On Our Petition

As you may have seen we are calling for a Public Inquiry into construction in the wake of the Carillion liquidation which is going to impact 30,000 firms just like yours.

We are not interested in the politics of procurement, we are interested in protecting Specialist Sub-Contractors.

As of today, 1,170 people have signed our petition. So, here is how you can help;

And please feel free to give us a call on 01773 712116 or email us on info@streetwisesubbie.com, and let’s see what we can all do together to bring about positive change.

#enoughsenough #buildfair4all

 I sincerely hope to speak with you soon.

 Best regards

Barry

P.S. Please remember if you need any support please take action sooner rather than later. If you’re not sure what you need, or just want a second opinion, please give us a call on 01773 712116, or email info@streetwisesubbie.com