At the World of Concrete conference in Las Vegas earlier this year, I took a course called No Bad Jobs: Pre-Con That Every Contractor Must Embrace, by Brad Humphrey. He spoke at the conference for the past 16 years and has written several books including The 21st Century Supervisor. Continue »
Typically, disruption in the workplace is counterintuitive to productivity. But in terms of creating innovative ways to manage people, processes and technology, the concept of “disruption” isn’t such a bad thing for the construction industry. Change is stirring whether contractors are ready for it or not, and firms that have adopted new ways of managing scheduling and workflows are seeing stellar results—earning the accolades of repeat projects for key clients, as well as happy project partners.
The person in charge of preconstruction essentially sets up the project for either success or failure. First, the preconstruction manager has the daunting task of developing an accurate, realistic budget to win the construction project, while also making a fair profit. Then, the preconstruction manager functions as one of the most important members of the construction team.
Let’s face it, projects are a necessary evil that cause all sorts of headaches. No matter how much scheduling and budgeting goes into pre-project planning, projects always seem to last longer and cost more than anticipated. However, budgets and schedules are two sides of the same coin. What affects one, will almost certainly affect the other. By using the following tips, staying on-schedule and within budget will no longer be the headache it once was.
Construction industry professionals often focus on the technical details of projects and personnel. After all, they’re all technically trained, and those details must be properly coordinated and executed to complete a project successfully. However, there is another key driver to project success that the construction industry often doesn’t value highly enough: project culture.
The construction industry is coming around to the fact that age is not an indicator of job performance. It is no longer an aberration to see construction employers hire candidates who are in their late 60s, 70s and even 80s.
Hiring is a tricky thing. It is a mix of both art and science. Companies are looking to attract employees who have the requisite experience to fill a role and can propel an organization toward a specific vision. Identifying the right credentials on paper is easy, but critical factors such as culture fit, team fit and personality fit are often much more difficult to ascertain—and can make the difference between adequate and exemplary achievement by an employee.
Staying on budget and schedule is a front-and-center priority for any project team and ultimately how performance is evaluated. While there are many tools to control projects, having the best controls doesn’t matter if the job is destined, from its inception, to fall behind on schedule and cost more than expected. There are two reasons this occurs, each with its own cure.
It has taken some time, but the construction industry is finally experiencing the benefits of using e-commerce to buy, sell and rent used and surplus equipment and materials. The old days of a construction project manager working the phone with a broker or intermediary to source or dispose of supplies are over. E-commerce, and its use through mobile tablets and smartphones, has radically changed the process, thereby increasing the speed of transactions, lowering costs, reducing project timelines—and even improving the planet’s carbon footprint.
National construction employment remained largely unchanged for the second consecutive month, adding 5,000 net new jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis in April, according to analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data released by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC).
With activity in the multifamily housing market picking up steam across the nation, concern about how the construction sector will meet increasing demand for qualified labor is mounting.