Did you know we have a 10 Year Target at Willmar Electric? Well, we do. Our 10 Year Target is to “Choose the jobs we want and make money doing them.” On the surface this sounds like a normal expectation from a contracting company. We choose projects to bid with the promise of making a profit when the project is complete. In reality, however, the concept is much more complicated than that. The truth is, we can get any project we want if we bid low enough. That’s the easy part.
The hard part is actually making money on the job to the point where revenue (money coming in) is more than expenses (money going out). The money that is left over after all the expenses are paid (labor, materials, subcontractors, etc.) is used to pay for things like building maintenance, equipment upgrades, computers, and labor for support personnel. Anything left over after those bills are paid is profit. That money is used for cash bonuses, profit-sharing, or carried over to the next year in the form of owner’s equity. That is how it works, but how do we get there?
We get there by being a quality contractor that focuses on things that drive us toward our 10 Year Target. Things like 2 Second Lean, employee training and development, and continuous improvement propel us forward so we can bid jobs with the reasonable expectation we are going to get the jobs we want while also making money in the process.
10 Year Targets are not supposed to be easily attainable. A classic example of a 10 Year Target is when President Kennedy said in 1962 that we would put a man on the moon and return safely to earth within the decade. That was a pie in the sky goal that even NASA didn’t know how it was to be accomplished. But that was the target. As we all know, the target was achieved in 1969 (great year by the way). Will we hit our target? Time will tell.
What I do know is if we continue on our Lean journey, continue to develop our co-workers, and continue to incrementally improve, I don’t see any reason we won’t hit it.