Increase Your Margins - A Construction Manager's Guide to Selecting Right Skip Hire Firm

03 Jan 2017 by Paul Cox

Hiring the right skip hire firm can help construction companies improve their bottom line, but price should not be the only consideration.

What are you looking for from a skip hire firm? The obvious answer for many construction managers will be competitive pricing - but a focus on value, rather than simply how much you pay to hire a skip, will ultimately produce a better result for your project's bottom line.

Clearly, there are some basic principles your skip hire firm should meet. You’ll need a provider that operates in your area, though using a single national provider with local coverage can have advantages over the hiring of individual firms for each project. You should also check firms are compliant with construction-related waste management legislation – that they have the appropriate waste carriage licences and environmental permits, for example.

Site Waste Management Strategy - The Bigger Picture

The bigger picture, though, is how skip hire firms can help you implement your site waste management strategy. Successfully implemented waste management policies will ensure you manage waste more efficiently, boost re-use and recycling, limit your exposure to potential regulatory sanctions, and reduce the time you have to spend overseeing waste management. The combined worth of these benefits are likely to substantially outweigh the upfront saving that a cheaper skip hire firm might appear to offer. By improving your margins in several areas, the right skip hire firm can deliver real value.

The work begins at the planning stage of the project. You need a skip hire firm that is prepared to meet with you before work starts in order to offer advice on the best waste management options for the project. If you have a Site Waste Management Plan in place, the firm should be able to offer input on how it will deliver the plan’s goals. Even if you don’t have an SWMP is place, a good skip hire firm should evaluate the space available for waste management to identify the best and most efficient locations for its skips.

The Cost Efficiencies of Good Waste Management

Such firms are also a crucial ally as you seek to segregate waste. Without good segregation your projects will generate more landfill than is really necessary, adding to your disposal bills, and producing less recyclable and reusable material, which could have been used to reduce costs elsewhere.

The worst-case scenario is that your bargain basement skip hire firm isn’t sufficiently knowledgeable about the latest waste legislation – or doesn’t care. Since your firm is ultimately responsible for the waste its projects generate, that could end in fines running into millions of pounds. Good skip hire firms will understand the evolving regulatory responsibilities of the construction sector and provide you with detailed feedback on how they are discharging them on your behalf.

Also look for a skip hire firm that can reduce the burden of your performance monitoring work. An important part of your site waste management strategy should be to monitor results, with clear metrics in place around landfill, recycling and reuse, for example. This is important for delivering waste management savings, but also so that you have a demonstrable track record for future contract bids. However, the data for this monitoring work needs to come in the form of usable and trustworthy feedback from your contractors.

Skip hire firms that can demonstrate all of these attributes will play an important role in keeping your construction projects on time and within budget, reducing the time and money consumed by waste management.

If not, are you seeing any warning signs that might suggest your current skip hire firm is not right for you? Do waste costs keep rising, have you been hit with unexpected penalties or taxes, are you struggling to plan for waste management effectively because you’re not getting professional advice, or are your attempts to stay on top of performance monitoring dogged by poor data?

If any of these signs are flashing red, it may be time to reconsider your skip hire arrangements. Look for a provider that competes on value rather than price.


Takeaways:

  • The right skip hire firm may not be the one that offers the cheapest quote.
  • Concentrate on value rather than price in order to identify the skip hire firm likely to be of most help to your bottom line.
  • Skip hire firms that enhance waste management efficiency, reduce compliance risk and help you compete for future work will deliver improved margins.

Find out why waste management matters to your wallet as well as your company's bottom line. Download: How to Hit Your Bonus with Waste Management Best Practice.

Download: How to Hit Your Bonus with Waste Management Best Practice