Letter from the President, August 14, 2018

How lucky are we that we get to do something we love for work?  Helping others is a core value that every CPM employee possesses and is something that drives us all to better serve our Small Contractor community.  Like many other Small Businesses, we started CPM not because of money, but to develop and maintain a better quality of life for ourselves and our families.

 

In July, we hosted several industry events to better inform Small Contractors about available contracting opportunities with both primes andagencies.  One such event with Granite-Teichert, JV, was so well attended by potential subcontractors that there was standing room only. Not only do we listen to you, we put together action plans and events based on your feedback to improve small businesses odds of contracting on large programs. 

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This past June and July, we sent out a Small Contracting survey asking for feedback on what obstacles your company encounters when searching for relevant, public works projects. Not surprisingly, out of the 254 respondents, 24% reported that bonding was the single most challenging issue faced as a Small Contractor; 22.5% said prompt payment; and 11% responded that estimating assistance and competitive pricing were prohibitive for winning contracts.

Our response to the survey feedback is to schedule time to connect you, the Small Business contractor, with those that want to provide both technical assistance as well as potential contract opportunities. In addition, we will be hosting an Estimating Workshop with Teichert on August 24; a Labor Compliance Workshop on September 27; and a Prompt Payment Workshop with Ferrovial on October 12.  We are also currently working with the LAOC Building Trades on coordinating these workshops in Southern California, so make sure to check our events page for more information!

Small Business Spotlight: Rupert Construction Supply

 Karen Wonneberg, owner

Karen Wonneberg, owner

Karen Wonnenberg started Rupert Construction Supply in 2002 – providing material supplies to contractors building bridge, highway and other civil engineering transportation projects. Rupert Construction Supply is a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE), a Woman-Owned Business Enterprise (WBE), and a Small Business Enterprise (SBE). 

Rupert Construction Supply has concentrated on bridges for much of the business, but Karen reports that she wanted to find a stronger niche, taking bridge concepts and finding more business in highway and rail, and water/wastewater treatment projects.

Karen believes her success comes for the following mindset: As a DBE, be prepared to do the work. Don’t wait to be handed something by the contract. You need to be successful with or without the DBE certification, so operate as a business, not as a DBE business. The certification is just an added incentive to the contractor. 

For more information about Rupert Construction Supply, visit their website at www.rupertsupply.com

Letter from the President, July 13, 2018

June was a hectic month for our small staff at CPM.  

We hosted 9 Small Contractor events; nominated not 1, but 2, well deserving industry friends for service awards; attended countless meetings and conference calls in support of Small Business; continued our quest for data supporting Senate Bill 1 (SB-1 aka, the Gas Tax); all while running a business and addressing our everyday duties. 

We recently sent out a short, non-political 5-minute survey asking for information about your knowledge of SB-1 and the bill’s provisions.  We have been monitoring the hundreds of responses.  Not surprising, many Californians feel stretched thin by how much they pay in taxes to our federal, state and local governments; many are offended by not being offered the choice to vote on SB-1; most, if not all, would like to have open dialogue with those administering how the funds are managed.  

This survey will remain open until July 31 and the results will be made available to anyone that is interested in reviewing the data collected. All who have completed the survey to date have been respectful and civil – dialogue that we appreciate and encourage to help us all better understand how to move forward with supporting the repair of our highways, bridges and infrastructure. 

 June 20, 2018 BART Mechanical Outreach Event in San Francisco

June 20, 2018 BART Mechanical Outreach Event in San Francisco

We will also begin hosting monthly educational workshops for Small Businesses that want to increase their capacity through industry best practices.  Our response to this need is to engage agencies and primes to help us provide that knowledge to these companies on a regular basis.  Keep an eye out on our events page.

We hope that you are having a great summer!

Letter from the President, June 13, 2018

 The Electrical Work event was held May 24th at Zero Net Energy Center in San Leandro and highlighted upcoming opportunities for SB to bid on Electrical Work contracts. Much of the upcoming work being discussed is funded as a result of Measure RR which was passed by the taxpayers in 2016 to help to repair and replace much of the aging BART system.

The Electrical Work event was held May 24th at Zero Net Energy Center in San Leandro and highlighted upcoming opportunities for SB to bid on Electrical Work contracts. Much of the upcoming work being discussed is funded as a result of Measure RR which was passed by the taxpayers in 2016 to help to repair and replace much of the aging BART system.

May was a great month for us.  Through mentoring and on-going communication, we were able to assist several small contractors in becoming DBE (Disadvantaged Business Enterprise) certified. Through this process and many business planning strategy sessions, we were able to support these companies by aligning their approach with tangible goals that support industry needs.  We are showing small contractors how to build viable businesses through best practices.

We have also spent quite a bit of time working on supporting and providing the public factual information about Proposition 69/SB-1. This has been an uphill battle as there are many perception issues surrounding both the increased revenue’s oversight as well as how much money drivers will actually pay at the pump and DMV.  Please reach out to any of our staff or visit www.rebuildingca.ca.gov for more information on this.

There are many misconceptions about the level of effort it takes to run a profitable small business. Mainly, the notion that at some point everything will fall into place and that your job as an owner will somehow become easier while you make more money.  That you have to stop trying to stay ahead of industry change. Time and time again over the past several years, unfortunately, we have seen many businesses fail because they become overly confident and begin to rely heavily on longstanding professional relationships without continuing to provide value for their clients.

Lastly, our company’s mission statement includes the language that both supports the company’s values as well as our staff’s values.  We support the right for all business owners to be heard and validated.  We will continue to remain responsive to our industry’s needs and support all partners who are working towards bringing us all up together.