horse meat in the construction industry

You may be wondering what all the fuss in the papers recently really has to do with you. Apart from the odd bit of horse flesh which didn’t seem to do you a lot of harm: not a lot (you might think). However, the horsemeat scandal is the tip of the iceberg in how business is run in the UK, and so it seems, way beyond.

Putting horse meat into packets with cow meat on the label is done for one reason only: to cut costs. At a certain point in time in a certain place, horse meat was going for a cheaper rate than cow meat and so a cost-cutter somewhere put it in. More profit for the company, no real harm done to the consumer (100 million Frenchmen can’t be wrong), everybody wins.

However, the same thinking goes into many industries and construction is no exception. Particularly in times of recession, there is a race to the bottom for any contractor who wants to win a contract. The thing I hate most about tendering for work is being asked the inevitable question: “is that the best price you can offer?” Of course it is! If I could go lower without sacrificing quality then I would have!

For a responsible contractor (like Better Energy Control) this always presents a dilemma. Do we drop the quality of our materials and workmanship so as to win work? I am happy to say that the answer to this question so far has always been ‘no’. I know that we have missed out on contracts because others have undercut us. Obviously it does leave a bitter taste in the mouth but I hope that in the long-term we will reap the benefits.

So from my blog (which nobody reads!) I send out a message to the good people of Britain: ‘when it comes to construction, don’t fill your houses with dodgy lasagnes! Get a proper job done and pay the going rate!”