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ARE YOU READY TO COMPETE FOR NEW INFRASTRUCTURE BUSINESS?

The American Society of Civil Engineers estimates it will take $4.6 trillion over the next 10 years to repair and replace the nation’s aging infrastructure. While nobody expects Congress to approve that level of spending, the Trump administration has talked about a $1 trillion plan. It’s hard to know exactly when a bill will be enacted or how large it will be, but in all likelihood, new infrastructure projects will soon be coming down the pike. Are you ready to compete for the business? Here are some things you can do to prepare.

Get registered. All potential government contractors and subcontractors must register at the System for Award Management (SAM), a free website managed by the U.S. government. If you’re not registered, do it now at https://www.sam.gov/portal/public/SAM/. And if you’re already on the list, check your information to be sure everything’s up to date.

Jump-start your professional network. The better you know the key players, the better your chances to participate in future projects. So don’t just gather contacts. Connect with them. Touch base with your current colleagues—and reach out to new ones by attending meet-ups, engaging in online communities and joining local service groups and professional organizations.

Take stock of your strengths and weaknesses. When’s the last time you got real about your capabilities? Can you state with certainty what your company does well and where you fall short? To be a valuable member of a project team, you need to be able to match your core strengths to what’s needed on any given job. You also need a clear understanding of your weaknesses so you don’t over-commit and under-deliver.

Strengthen your team. Do you have the right staff in place to take on new business? To keep great people you’ll need a safe, positive work environment, competitive compensation and opportunities for training and advancement. Quality equipment with comfortable cabs and newer technology can also help your company attract and retain skilled operators.

Use your data. Many machines are equipped with onboard systems that track production, fuel consumption and more. Now’s a good time to dig into that data. Hard facts about productivity and costs will help you optimize your operation and improve your competitiveness. You’ll also have the insights you need to bid more accurately.

Prep your fleet. Schedule inspections, do the maintenance, check your parts inventory and take care of the repairs you’ve been putting off. It’s all about making sure your equipment is as ready to work as you are.

Establish a rental connection. Sometimes opportunities emerge quickly. If you’ve built a relationship with a reliable rental organization, you’ll have a way to expand capacity fast without draining capital.

It can be frustrating to wait for public policymakers to move on infrastructure spending. The key is to prepare for change now so you’re in the best possible position when the RFPs roll out. Connect with your Cat® dealer to make sure you’re ready.