Tell us about CAET Construction
We are a project management / owners representative company turned general contractor. We have combined our experience and relationships to expand our service offerings to large corporations. We continue to offer collaborative, accountable, excellence, and trusted project management services for construction projects, but now we are also a builder for remodels and new construction. The company has expanded to two WBE businesses but currently all business is under the project management firm.
How has WBE certification benefited your business?
The WBE certification has provided a lot of support for both Molly and CAET. We are a proud sponsor, volunteer, mentor, and soon to be past board member. These experiences have helped to grow the business relationships with partners and clients alike. With our sponsorship, we share these opportunities with potential WBE members so that they have the opportunity to see what WBCS has to offer. I am still surprised when people say they haven’t heard of the organization and I take that as a reason to help promote WBCS. My relationships with other WBEs are so valuable. Women who have owned businesses longer than me offer support, guidance, and to be a sounding board as I navigate the changes of business ownership and the ups and downs we have experienced, especially through Covid. I don’t know where we would have been without this organization and the people in it. The events and opportunities I have had through the organization have helped me to grow both personally and professionally. I am a better speaker in public, I have implemented HR screening tools that help us hire better, and made business deals thanks to the support and relationships from this organization. I love paying it forward and helping to connect people with others that I know. There isn’t much more satisfaction than to watch a business deal come to light from a seed that you helped to plant. That’s what the organization is about and I can’t wait to watch what happens next.
What do you intend to use the Lillie Knox Funds for?
We have expanded in to the role of a general contractor and I am spending a ton of time estimating and managing the jobs. We have to be cost competitive to win and we need to be efficient. Sometimes bids are lost by just a couple hundred or thousands of dollars. I need to reduce the amount of time I am coordinating quote requests and tighten up my dollars on general requirements. We have talked extensively about purchasing equipment so that we aren't paying high dollar rental fees and having to spend hours requesting and coordinating rental quotes, drop offs and then pick ups to avoid paying even more rental money! The equipment we would like to purchase are for our general requirements and they are traffic control barricades and a forklift bucket for trash.
For our renovation projects, we have to get the trash and demo items from the site into the dumpster. It's heavy, messy, and there is a ton of it. For each job, it is $495 to rent the bucket. It's less if you only need it for a day but the delivery fee $75 and pick up is $75. You can get it with the forklift delivery but then you end up with it longer and pay $495, plus tax and damage insurance. We have the opportunity to win over 50 customer service remodel projects in the next 20 months. Our client takes low bid so we are trying to shave off money from the general requirements costs. If we had two buckets to bring to the sites when we deliver the other materials and supplies from the shop, we can save $25,000 over those 50 jobs. The buckets cost $2700 each brand new. We could use them for other projects as well since they would belong to us. We have considered purchasing the lift but that isn't as easy for us to transport from site to site. This is true for the traffic control and barricades. We are finding that we need this more and more. Other GCs already have these materials so they don't have to add in the cost on their bids and end up with a cost advantage or if they still put an allowance in, they get that as straight profit. We want to gain that advantage to have some income producing assets and we feel these items will do that for us.