This subcontractor purchase order (created by a veteran Texas builder using CHS, a software management tool for custom builders) has notes that tell the framers how to stage and install materials, including specific details addressing questions that might arise when their supervisor is not on site. Distributing copies of the purchase order - with pricing deleted - provides an excellent opportunity to get this information into the hands of the people who are actually doing the work.
This subcontractor purchase order (created by a veteran Texas builder using CHS, a software management tool for custom builders) has notes that tell the framers how to stage and install materials, including specific details addressing questions that might arise when their supervisor is not on site. Distributing copies of the purchase order - with pricing deleted - provides an excellent opportunity to get this information into the hands of the people who are actually doing the work.

For the past several columns we've been talking about the importance of gross profit and contribution margin, or the amount that each job "contributes" toward overcoming your annual fixed overhead expenses and reaching your profit target. Using a purchasing system is probably the single best way you can improve these numbers for your company.

First, let's consider how a typical project proceeds without a purchasing system. After going out and "looking at the job," you're expected to conjure up a price that will get you the sale, hopefully at the markup and margin you've budgeted. Armed with sketches, photos, "bids" from subs and suppliers, cost books, a historical...

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