Posts Tagged ‘Paul Sanneman Blog’

Driving Me Crazy: By Paul Sanneman

I know a general contractor who has a big time management problem. He has more to do than he can possibly get done. In a perfect world he would simply clone himself, unfortunately that’s not a practical solution. A real world solution is to hire somebody with his exact skill set. But since he’s been in the construction industry for 20 years, knows all the ins-and-outs of his business, and is literally irreplaceable, that person is impossible to find. Furthermore, an individual who could do even half of those tasks would cost a fortune. A reasonable solution was found by breaking down his typical day in the office/field. Bam! There it was. He was spending three hours out of the workday in a car. Problem solved, do his work while he drives, right? No. Not without killing himself and/or someone else. I suggested they hire a personal assistant that could serve as a driver, as well as assisting in other tasks. At first he thought the idea of the driver was absurd. I told him that I had a personal assistant who drove, as well as perform tasks that do not require my expertise. I have been using a driver for 10 years, and it’s worked out very well. I hook up a Wi-Fi hotspot to the car, bring along my laptop, and presto! I have a mobile office. This allows me to see more clients, as well as bettering the service for those clients. I suggested he try the same thing. This would give him three hours a day to do work he cannot do now. He should be able to do any work from his laptop in the car that he could do in the office.
Another technological innovation that is ready to aide his new mobile office is a cloud based storage and retrieval application. These types of applications would put all the files on his computer in the cloud. This allows him access to any file at any time, from his computer or cell phone. Cloud based storage is very inexpensive; it also provides a backup for all your data and information. The types of time saving tasks that my client could perform in the car while the driver is driving include: making important phone calls he needs to concentrate on, sending/receiving emails on his computer, and even doing estimates by looking at the plans on his laptop.
Sometimes the construction industry is slow to adopt new technology. But usually, if it’s used effectively, technology can be your friend and it saves a lot of time/money. There also happens to be a huge rate of return on investment if you hire a driver. By paying a driver $10-$15 an hour, you are able to buy back your time. This, as a business owner, is worth hundreds of dollars an hour. So for the small investment of a personal assistant’s salary, and the technology to go with it, you can actually buy that extra day or week that everybody is looking for.