Building Relationships with Rodriguez Construction
Although they had partnered with some Buffalo Purchasing Initiative (BPI) members before, Rodriguez Construction reports an increase in work with BPI since their “reintroduction” in 2019 – this has helped to reinforce the relationships with the BPI members they knew, plus lend the credibility to help them get hired by other members.
Rodriguez Construction, an $18M company, has worked as a prime contractor with five BPI members since 2019. All its growth has been reinvested in the company, which allowed Luis to expand their dumpster division. According to Rodriguez Construction, some of the biggest challenges in working with large institutions include:
- “Breaking in” to a Tier 1 role (even if you have subbed for a company) when there are long-standing relationships with other general contractors
- Getting beyond procurement staff to get to know the day-to-day project managers in order to demonstrate your qualifications
- Turnaround time for complicated RFPs (e.g., 10 days from RFP release)
- Contract labor requirements that aren’t realistic for smaller, younger businesses (e.g., requiring superintendents with 10+ years of experience rather than specific project experience, or requiring apprenticeship programs)
- Not receiving clear feedback on proposals submitted (i.e. 10-20 percent off the low bid). A consideration should be given to MWBE firms that they start out with higher General Liability and Workers’ Compensation insurance premiums from firms that have been established. These premiums are typically the difference in the price and why they are not awarded the project.
Luis expressed that repeat work is important for sustainability, and that the biggest benefit of repeated work with a client is getting to know the specific “ins and outs” of the organization and its facilities. He thinks repeated work is facilitated by structures like “term contracts” that keep the company on call for small projects allowing for consistent revenue.
To learn more about Rodriquez Construction click here or the Buffalo Purchasing Initiative, click here.