Wednesday, June 3, 2020

"Pissing Off the Set Crew" for Dummies

I received this email from one of the set crew companies that serve the modular housing industry. There are quite a few set crews out there but what this person shared with me is happening to every one of them. The following is directly from his email. 

Enjoy:
Pissing Off Your Set Crew

Being in the Modular set up business for many years, I find it frustrating that we continue to suffer from the same issues year after year and no matter how hard we work with Manufactures, Developers and Modular builders to be recognized and gain respect for what we do we continue to get pounded in 3 areas.


Premium Service
In order to give a premium service and remain a Professional company with high quality experienced employees and follow the OSHA safety mandates we need to charge accordingly and yet we are always pounded to give the cheapest price for the set when we are going up against a pickup truck carpenter who does not give a damn about his employees because of illegal cheap labor, safety details or undercutting the quality set company just so they can stay in business and in the end the only  parties effected is the set company for loss of work and the end consumer because they get stuck with a house that is set subpar, there needs to be an industry wide revamp of this attitude so the Great companies can continue to do great and the other pest companies can get lost already, I think we need a MSA (Modular set association). This could be under the MHBA umbrella.


No Warning
Without explanation, Builders will call and cancel set the last minute or they just simply forget to call and when I call them to confirm they are like “OH I'M SORRY, I FORGOT TO INFORM YOU”.  If we ran our schedule the way they do and cancel on our builders like that, they would jump ship quickly and move on to another set company, and when they want to reschedule a date they always insist that we accommodate them even if we are booked and then we end up losing not only the days they canceled but the set entirely which is so frustrating, I don’t know about other set companies but I know how hard we work on a daily bases to keep our schedule on track and to be there on the scheduled set date without ever having to cancel, I believe these behaviors are driven by lack of caring for their sub set crew or they blame the manufacture or transportation, Bank, REM program grant moneys, etc. I do understand  that sometimes these issue are true but that give ZERO excuse to canceling last minute without take responsibility and continued working together so the we can re-schedule the set back on our schedule  (RESPECT FOR EACH OTHER GOES A LONG WAY)

GREED
Let’s see how much we can get out of a set crew and not have to pay, for example, when we arrive on site and the sill plate is not installed, site is a mess and we need to prep it in order to do our job because the crane is on the way and we drove 3 hours and stayed in a motel just to be able to do the set and if we choose to walk away without covering the un finished work we get nailed with no compensation for our losses just because of Builder neglect. Also manufacturers sometimes screw up big time and we need to do whatever it takes on site to get the house dried in ASAP. Then when we try and get the manufactures service department to compensate us for the work they drag their feet and stall around as if we are guilty of trying to rip them off (should never have to do that to legitimate set company) and when the do finally agree it can take months of barking at them to get paid, the biggest frustration we have is “manufactures that collect set up fee on their invoices”. So why is it that when we get the sign off paperwork from the builder and send to the manufacturer that they cannot release the money within 7 days, after all that is not their money it’s the end consumers money to be used to pay for our work. More than a few manufacturers do this. They should hold those funds in escrow and when they receive our paper work, process it immediately. We have manufacturers that take as much as a month or more to release those funds , I suggest that they use other folks money as free bank money as part of their operating expenses and this crap needs to stop.
NOTE: Recently I had several house sets cancel by builders and after researching it I discovered that they could have left me know a long time ago and did not, now I am the one trying to dig up work next week for a crew of professional, very experienced guys. As a company we do not deserve this nor do my men who sacrifice a lot to be on the road working hard for our clients
Also, I know what I wrote seems like I am painting with an extremely wide brush and I don’t want to make it seem as if all Builders and Manufactures are this way because that is just not the case, we do however need consolidation in our industry for the Good Builders and Manufactures to swallow up all the subpar entities so the Modular Industry can provide the market with quality product and service, not just for the end consumers but also for the transport agencies, crane companies and of course to all the Premium set companies as well.

It’s time we start working together to root out theses problem once and for all for the betterment of our industry and I believe that this would have a direct effect on increasing our market share of the residential and commercial Modular industries across the Northeast and the Greater USA

4 comments:

  1. At the MHBA we created a reduced price membership to get the set crews to join. We want to get set crew members to become part of he organization to help deal with issues like this. It all starts when enough crews join to start to have a voice in larger industry. It won't get any cheaper or easier than it is now! I hope a bunch of set crews will join and engage to change the status quo!

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  2. You will get a hearty amen from the crane companies on all these points. case in point, just because someone can drive a pickup up to the house doesn't mean we can get a 5-axle 120000 lb crane up there. Let alone the counterweight truck. Unfortunately, there are simply some builders that are not worth working for, a common voice could certainly be a benefit regardless.

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  3. Set crews and the like MUST start using written contracts with the buildings. Until then, nothing will improve.

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  4. Picking up from Ken, JOIN MHBA. Visit here: http://modularhousing.com/HtmlPage.aspx?name=member_benefits, then email Dave Sikora dave@modularhome.org

    NOTE: we on the Board absolutely recognize the importance and value of good Set Crews. They are the critical connection between open foundation and waterproof building.

    TOOLS: we need Set Up companies to tell us what MHBA can do for them - contract paperwork, "MHBA Prime Erector" certification, online scheduling portal that syncs work between member-only Builders and Set Crews, etc.

    This resource is here for you. But you need to join. Help us help you.

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