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Don't Be Greedy

Investing in long-term partnerships


I finally made it! I did something this last week so many people can only dream of. I went to the Masters golf championship! I was so fortunate to go and check out the Mecca of golf and it didn’t disappoint. Plus, I was with three great friends. 

Augusta National was gorgeous and not a blade of grass uneven, nor a weed to be seen. The venue could have taken advantage and charged two, three or even four times as much, and people would have paid it. They had a captive audience that didn’t know when they would be back. Did I mention parking was free?

Before you just surmise that I am bragging I got to attend and you didn’t there is more to my story (although I am bragging). I’m also trying to make a point about being fair and not taking advantage of a situation.

Invest in your vendors

I think we all have been in situations where a client says, “I need this, and I don’t care what it costs.” To some suppliers, that means they will be paying for their kids’ tuition on this project. I once saw a boat in the marina that was named Change Order. Funny, but also not funny at the same time.

What it should mean is, how can I help my client out while also making sure my company is financially protected? You can make sure you cover overtime and extra work, but you don’t have to hit a home run. Remember, you can be on the other side of this conversation, and you want others to treat you the same way when you are.

Pay it forward with partners

I know we have been in situations where we needed some extra work done and instead of charging us, our vendor said they will handle it no charge. That’s what a partner is all about. Not that they wouldn’t have been in the right to charge me, but they knew in the end it was a gesture we would remember and that we have.

Any time throughout a job there is horse trading between project managers. Perhaps our client needs an earlier shipment, or some extra pieces made that they ordered wrong. Often, we just handle this and move on. Perhaps once the material arrives there is a something that needs to be done and the hope is the PM remembers our assistance and returns the favor. Obviously, this can only be done with smaller issues, but you get the point. Don’t be so quick to issue a change order or a back charge.

In the end we are in a very stressful business so if we can take some of that pain and burden off someone’s plate from time to time, try and do it! You will make someone’s day!


tom o'malley

Tom O'Malley

Tom O’Malley is a founding partner at Clover Architectural Products and is vice president of sales. He has been in the aluminum and glass industry for 23 years. Currently he focuses his time on working with architects, helping to bring their ideas to fruition.