Just A Few Friends

I was signing subcontractor and supplier checks today. There is something about sitting down with a pen and going through the checks and putting pen to paper. I’m sure there are a dozen ways to pay our subs electronically but signing is one of the few not automated things I still do. Aside from that, I just like signing their checks.

And as I was signing this morning, I was listening to the Laid Back station on Pandora (good one!) and Paul’s favorite Jimmy Buffett song, A Pirate Looks At Forty, came on. Only it was the Dave Matthews/Jack Johnson version. Have you heard it? I usually don’t like remakes but this one is SO GOOD!

And as I was listening, I was struck by the lyrics, “just a few friends” because it reminded me of our awesome subcontractors and suppliers. So many have been with us for so long that they’ve become friends. And it some cases, like family. It reminded me of their loyalty and dedication to what we do every day. It also reminded me how long it took to build our sub base and why it’s so important.

This is another piece of Dad’s legacy. From the day he opened the doors to NDI, Dad vowed that every subcontractor and every employee would always get paid. Not only get paid but get paid on time. Dad has been in the industry for a long time and he has been on the other side of things – not only as an employee but also as a subcontractor. And he knows what it’s like to not get paid.

Since 1988, NDI has paid our subs on time, twice a month and within 30 days (unheard of in the building industry). Dad knew then this would be the best way to secure the best subs and get the best results. It’s why so many of our subcontractors have worked for us since the beginning.

The other thing we do is we use the same base of subs on every job. We don’t bid out every job trying to get the lowest price. This means the same subcontractors are building our homes over and over again. They know what we expect and because of that, the excellent quality of our homes is consistent. They know we expect the best.

So I’m pretty proud of the subcontractors and suppliers we have. Are they perfect? No, but they are some of the best in the business and they equip their people to deliver the highest quality. And don’t get me started on the generosity we’ve seen so far on the wounded vet project. More on that later!

We don’t have a huge base of subs (nor do we need one). Just a few friends…

Dream Big. Build Smart.

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