Refreshing relationships in the Caribbean Construction Industry

The Caribbean construction industry
is constantly evolving.

For many years, throughout the islands, finding reliable and consistent tradespersons has been an ordeal.  

From certified to self taught, word of mouth was, and is the testimonial which divides the best from the rest.

Now with increasing alignment to international quality standards, it’s even more difficult to find those who have current knowledge of ever changing materials, sources and building codes.

Thanks to further education in building trades and drafting,
our new generations have infinitely more exposure to the right materials and tools, to vastly increase the quality of workmanship and project management.

However, the older generation and their considerable experience are still relevant.  At best, they mentor and adjust the up and coming, to understand age old systems which are as valid today as they were 40 years ago.

Exposure to larger, 'detail critical' buildings, in the more developed territories, have created some extremely advanced construction firms, able to bid and execute work in other islands as well as their own.  This leaves tradespeople in the small islands to travel if they want to grow, sadly becoming a permanent drain on local talent.

Construction is about understanding the outcome and the journey to it, knowing how to manage personnel, materials, tools and finishes, to successfully complete the work.

Contractors who understand this, are well on their way to watching their business blossom.

Your work should always speak for you.

But now there’s more.

As Covid took a hold of our lives in 2020, the construction industry adjusted, tooled up, aligned to protocols and got back on site, to kickstart their industry and economies, not knowing how the world would be post pandemic, or when it would end.

Two years on, the changes have come hard.  Bottlenecks and chronic increases in shipping and materials have inevitably changed the way that prospective contractors and clients view each other.  

No more waste or settling for poor workmanship, and no shoddy finishes and blurred deadlines.  
When money is tight, expect questions which require accurate answers.

The general public are now informed, often tooled up and YouTube savvy.  They want what they always wanted, but are willing to group and DIY, somewhat like the old days, but with cordless tools!

This is a reaction to covid, lockdown learning and contraction, mixed with pre covid construction industry frustration.

Customer expectation is at an all time high
and demands detail.

Poor estimates and costings, unmanned work sites, accumulated garbage, time and delivery problems, excuses, and above all, bad customer relations, have served at some point, to mar the reputation of an industry which largely works hard for its money.

Contractors big or small, now more than ever, must adjust their position to maintain good relations with the hand that essentially feeds them.  Not by marketing, but with delivery.

  • Transparency and clarity are the new order.
  • Make a plan, the order of business, and map it out.
  • Never offer what you can’t deliver.
  • Be precise with all work descriptions and costings.
  • Be prepared to explain the job, allow the client to understand what is required, where the money will be spent, how long the job will take and all the elements involved to successfully complete the work.
  • Make a firm agreement about the cost and how it should be paid.
  • If you make an agreement it should be supported by a written contract. 
    This may seem like overkill for small or medium sized jobs, but contracts protect both parties. 
    At the very least, if you uphold your side of the bargain, the contract is fully in your favour.
  • Develop a 'Terms and Conditions' for your company. 
    It creates a lasting framework of standards in which you operate.
  • Where possible, find cost effective savings within projects, which help the client. 
    Their recommendation will always garner new work.

Yes the world of construction is an often cut-throat business, driven by price and talk.

Those companies who are professional in every aspect of the process, will always be respected and often chosen over those who are cheaper, but enter into price wars, to get work they often can’t deliver.

It’s about new found and lasting trust.

At ECMIL we pride ourselves in being able to supply quality manufactured products at ex-factory prices, which allow for sensible savings on any project, to contractor and owner alike.

Wherever possible, we deliver on time, to stay on budget, and we keep our clients informed and forewarned of potential difficulties, always trying to resolve them, so the plan stays on track.

As an active supplier to the region’s construction industry, especially in these important and often difficult times,
ECMIL does not only supply steel.  We assist each and every construction which uses our products, to achieve a successful completion.

Being vigilant and embracing change are the keys to delivering a great service. We consistently listen to our customers, trade clients and partners, review new materials and techniques,
and freshen our approach and products.  As the industry evolves, we can only hope that policy becomes infectious!

Contact our knowledgeable sales staff today
and find out why we are
ECMIL - The Steel of The Region.

NB. This article is for general information purposes only and is meant as an incentive to the reader, who should then research and seek advice from their architectural and construction professionals to confirm that the ideas expressed are possible within the building codes of their territory or within the limitations of their home's architecture. ECMIL only recommends their own products and third party products which they supply, as part of their company's roofing solutions to customers.