Pictured here: Bill Craft (back row, left) is pictured with his Service Team. The family-owned and operated mechanical subcontractor is an inaugural member of CLN.
Bill Craft is Senior Vice President of Service at James Craft & Son, a 100+ year old family-run HVAC and Mechanical Contractor based in York, Pennsylvania. Bill is an inaugural CLN member, was a long-time Jack Miller Network member and serves on the CLN steering committee. We sat down with Bill to ask him about the benefits of his CLN membership as a subcontractor.
CLN: You are an inaugural member of the CLN and you serve on the Steering Committee. Prior to that, how long were you associated with the Jack Miller Network?Bill: Our company was involved with the Jack Miller Network since the 1990s. I personally began attending conferences in 1995. My first exposure to the organization was attending Jack’s marketing course. I very quickly understood the benefits of collaborating with like-minded individuals in the construction industry.
CLN: What keeps you coming back to the conference every year?
Bill: I find a lot of value in sharing with my colleagues. I’ve had the opportunity to present focus groups at the annual conference. Not only have my leadership and communication skills grown by presenting, but I also believe I learn more about a topic by teaching it. It’s an opportunity to share with others and learn more myself.
CLN: Many CLN members are general contractors, construction managers and design-builders. As a subcontractor, how has CLN helped James Craft & Son?
Bill: CLN has helped our company by gaining a better understanding of how general contractors and construction managers operate. We learn about their goals, pain points and challenges. Our membership in CLN has allowed us to position our company at the top level. We’re not just a subcontractor – we’re a trusted partner, in part because of the knowledge gained as a CLN member.
CLN: Can you give us an example of something you learned at CLN that you have put into use in your company?
Bill: A GC from Arizona introduced the idea of establishing and maintaining a “job tree” of electronic project files on your company network server. We were able to implement that concept, initiate consistency and even turn it into a mobile component to share job files with field employees more efficiently.
Another take-away that comes to mind is something I learned from one of our keynote speakers. When critiquing or providing constructive criticism to someone about an idea, concept, job plan, etc., using the phrase “have you considered” is a great tool. It may seem like a small thing, but I have found it’s an important dynamic to healthy relationships and good team building.
CLN: As a subcontractor, what would you say are the top three benefits of being a CLN member?
Bill: 1) Being around other like-minded CLN members betters my personal life and my career by providing more opportunities, encouragement, knowledge and information. 2) Not only are the conferences valuable, but access to other members—and mentors—throughout the year. We are connected by an online forum, and other tools that make it easy to collaborate. 3) Other contractors have been there and done that. I can learn from their successes as well as their failures. There is a level of honesty at CLN that you just can’t get anywhere else.
Are you a subcontractor looking to learn from other GC’s and sub’s successes and failures? Become a better leader today.