Capitalism is a great thing, right? I still fondly remember a short Disney movie from 4th grade about a group of bored kids spotting a need to create a business providing sundries at the beach. Their business made the people happier, the beach a lot nicer and the kids more independent. Entrepreneurism is great – at least until some knucklehead pushes it too far. That’s what knuckleheads do.
Mylan and the EpiPen profiteering fiasco comes to mind.
You’d think Mylan would have carefully monitored demand and adjusted their price accordingly over the years instead of an inexplicable one-day increase of 461%. Had they been losing money before that? Were they ignoring demand for years and undercharging? Or did they have an epiphany to gouge their customers? When exactly does, capitalism become profiteering? A story like EpiPen’s always makes me curious.
At BuildPay we certainly make opportunistic profiteering very difficult to pull off. There’s no doubt the true profiteers will avoid projects requiring BuildPay and that feels satisfying to us. But intentional-profiteers only make up a small fraction of the total problem. So, how do we explain the BuildPay price improvements on every project? Someone honest must be getting hurt from BuildPay’s payment streamlining? That’s a question I get asked a lot by executives probing the deployment of our model. Profiteers aside, nobody gets hurt by efficient, controlled and transparent payment.
Construction has a flawed payment process. It rightly allows each buyer to use payment to control each seller’s performance, but it wrongly enables an opportunity for an unscrupulous or pinched buyer to take advantage of the seller by delaying or withholding payment for their own benefit. Those are the top-of-mind stories we hear about daily from general contractors, subcontractors and material providers. But there are so many more stories where payment is chronically slow and nobody is to blame; where the payment chain is operating as efficiently as it can for an industry with world-leading accounts receivable, credit deficiencies and working capital issues. These problems are factored into construction costs; simple as that.
By supplanting these problems with fast, assured payment you enable the project delivery supply chain to operate much more efficiently without sacrificing any needed controls. Promises become hard-wired. Cash flow issues disappear. Projects go faster. Costs go down.