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Industry Game-Changers

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.

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Best PracticesMore Like This

With the construction industry slowly regaining momentum, joint ventures (JVs) are becoming an increasingly popular way for contractors to accelerate their recovery. Entering into a JV with another company can provide a contractor with access to a new market, new building techniques or technology, or additional financing or bonding capacity. In other instances, a JV partner might bring needed customer contacts, minority ownership qualification or other desirable attributes.

As advantageous as a JV might be, it also presents risks. In fact, entering into a JV is often compared to entering a marriage: The rewards can be great, but so can the heartaches if the partners are not well suited for each other. Continue »

Managing Your BusinessMore Like This

Large employers have some serious and potentially costly new obligations under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. For executives who aren’t yet sure whether their company qualifies as a large employer, it’s time to fire up a spreadsheet program and sit down with the accountant. Determining a company’s classification will take more than back-of-the-envelope figuring. Continue »

Best PracticesMore Like This

Construction projects often are subject to environmental permitting or approvals at multiple levels of federal, state and local jurisdiction, such as stormwater, wetlands and navigable waterways. While these regulatory programs have become more stringent and complex, regulatory authorities also often deal with staff shortages and shrinking budgets to handle review of applications. Contractors should be familiar with the environmental regulatory programs that may apply to a project and participate in the permitting process as much as necessary to help ensure that permit conditions, project budgets and timelines can be met. Continue »

Best PracticesMore Like This

When top-performing employees are promoted to management, it is usually because their exceptional individual performance has been recognized. But what it takes to succeed as a manager can be drastically different from what they did in their prior role.  As a result, many new managers end up having to learn how to manage on the fly—many times in addition to their other responsibilities—or end up failing completely.

Are the new managers just managing people? Or are they doing their old job in addition to managing a team? Do they have the tools to succeed at managing a team? Is the company providing the essential management development resources needed to ensure their success? Continue »

Labor ManagementMore Like This

The construction industry is recovering from one of the hardest-hitting recessions in recent history, and contractors of every type are looking for ways to do more with less. Many companies may have to cut down on labor and material supply costs to keep their business running when facing a slow but recovering industry. A GPS fleet tracking solution offers an additional way to mitigate costs. Justifying such an expenditure, however, requires a strong business case. Continue »

AccountingMore Like This

Ask any construction business owner why he started the company, and the response typically is about the love of construction.  It will never include the love of bookkeeping, tax compliance, answering phones, collections, or all the other things that also need to get done.

The tax compliance function is often overlooked, and sometimes dismissed, yet can bring a business (and its owner) to its knees. Tax returns must be timely filed, and taxes must be timely remitted.  The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) assesses stiff penalties for noncompliance, making it painfully clear that the IRS is not a bank and that tax compliance is serious business. Continue »

OutlookMore Like This

Architecture and engineering firms constantly look for market intelligence tools and resources to assist in developing their business objectives and strategies. Two major firms with expertise in construction accounting and construction law joined forces to conduct an Architecture & Engineering (A&E) Industry survey of companies based in the New York Metropolitan region to identify and examine current practices and trends that affect the industry. Continue »