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How your construction business can cut costs without cutting corners

  • 22 Aug 2017

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Chris Matenaers from Cromwell reveals how you can cut costs without cutting corners in your construction business. 

Whether you’re a veteran with decades of experience in the industry under your belt or a newcomer to the sector, the reality is the same for everyone: the construction industry is set for some tough times ahead. 

In fact, the Construction Products Association (CPA) has downgraded the sector’s growth prospects to just 0.7% in 2018 in its latest forecast — the slowest in six years. According to the CPA, this is down to a slowing economy, falling real wages, and rising costs associated with Britain’s exit from the EU. 

With the prospect of fewer contracts on the horizon, it’s important that you take a look at your business’s expenses before the downturn hits the sector. 

Review your fleet

Every construction business relies on its fleet. Because it’s so central to your operations, it’s the perfect place to start when you’re looking to reduce your expenses. 

Start by looking at the size of your fleet. If you discover you’re paying to maintain vehicles that aren’t getting used, you’ve found an easy way to cut down your outgoings. You’ll even be able to make a bit of money selling them on. 

On the other hand, you might find that work is being held up because your fleet isn’t big enough. If this is the case it might be well worth spending money to save money by investing in more vehicles for your staff.

Lastly, do the maths on how much money you could save each month by upgrading the older vehicles in your fleet. Newer vans and trucks can get significantly more miles per gallon than their counterparts, potentially making them well worth the upfront cost in the long run. 

Go green

Next on the list of money-saving measures is making your business more eco-friendly. This will not only help combat the effects of climate change, but also reduce the outgoings in your business.  

In an editorial on Northern Ireland Business Info, Marriott Construction reveals that it’s saved over £50,000 and counting by incorporating eco-friendly measures into its business. 

These simple solutions, which include reusing demolition material, improving waste management practices, and reducing water consumption on site, are easy to implement but often incredibly effective. Think about how you could go green in your business to make similar savings.

Focus on health and safety

Most of us don’t get out of bed on a morning excited to implement correct health and safety procedure. However, these much-maligned regulations could help save your business thousands of pounds every year, so you’d be well advised to make them a priority.

The UK construction industry is one of the hardest hit by work-related illness and injury, with the number of people working in the sector reporting to have developed an illness caused or made worse by their work rising to 84,000 in the last year, according to the HSE’s latest report

Follow the guidance in the HSE’s comprehensive guide to managing construction health risks to ensure your business is affected by work-related illness and injury as little as possible. This might just be the biggest saving you make this year, so be sure to make this a priority if you’re serious about cutting back on your expenses.

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