Resolve to Stop Doing These 5 Things

Looking for opportunities to save time and money? The solution isn’t always about starting something new. Sometimes, it’s about stopping something wasteful.

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Caterpillar Inc.

This blog was updated on 6/6/2023.

Sometimes, taking on new tasks or employing new strategies is a good idea. Committing to improve your bids is smart. So is vowing to keep planned maintenance on track. But don’t overlook the benefits of STOPPING certain activities instead — the ones that are eating up your time and money. Here are five you might want to consider:

1. Stop Holding Onto Equipment That Isn’t Productive

Just because you own a piece of equipment doesn’t mean it makes sense to keep it. Check the utilization data for each machine in your fleet to see how many hours it works versus how many hours it’s available to work. The basic rule of thumb is this: If overall fleet utilization is less than 80% or certain machines are below 50%, you could do the same amount of work with less equipment. Why not sell, reduce your total cost structure and improve your overall competitiveness?

2. Stop Relying On Paper Recordkeeping

Are you still keeping track of maintenance in an Excel spreadsheet, jotting down fuel use in a notebook or scribbling the change date on the filter? These outdated techniques don’t just waste time. They’re also rife with potential for errors. Almost every piece of equipment today comes with telematics software that tracks this information for you, with free apps and websites available 24/7 for viewing and analyzing it. Put this easy-to-use technology to work for your business to save time and money.

3. Stop Bidding On Every Job That Comes Along

The Wayne Gretzky approach — “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” — may work in hockey, but it’s a mistake in construction. A scattershot approach wastes time and effort because your operation simply isn’t a fit for every project. Plus, you risk winning jobs you don’t have the resources to handle or can’t complete profitably. Instead of jumping on every RFP, go after projects where you excel or bring something to the table the competition does not.

4. Stop Selling Yourself Short

Are you undervaluing your work, lowering your price to win bids or only doing business with repeat customers? It’s time to change your mindset. Use fuel, material, equipment and labor costs along with productivity data from past jobs to create accurate estimates with a built-in profit margin. Make sure your bids emphasize how you’ll keep projects on budget and on schedule — you don’t have to be the cheapest if you can prove you’re the most valuable. And seek out new customers who are willing to pay for what you’re worth. Online bidding sites like, and are great places to start.

5. Stop Avoiding Technology Adoption

Is your company still performing construction tasks the old-fashioned way? Assess the construction activities your organization performs, then research the available Grade, Payload, Compact, Telematics and Productivity technologies best fit to improve the safety, productivity, efficiency and profitability of your business. Each of these technology solutions will make tasks easier for your crews and bring opportunities for company growth and expansion.

This blog was updated on 6/6/2023.