Unique regulations and safety considerations often pose special training challenges for construction employers. An online training program can be an ideal solution for contractors with large, geographically dispersed workforces and diverse training needs. 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.
Although the general economy shows signs of a slow recovery, construction spending remains below November 2006 levels. When the construction playing field changed drastically as a result of the 2008 financial crisis, contractors found themselves spending more money chasing projects with significantly more competition and lower profit margins. Many were not financially or operationally prepared for this shift. Some did not survive, but many did through careful planning, confident leadership and solid decision-making. A key to survival was a close partnership between contractors and their critical advisors, including accountants, banks, insurance agents and sureties.
Tim Hughes, Attorney – Bean, Kinney & Korman, PC, Arlington, Va.
What are the benefits of having a succession plan?
Failing to plan is planning to fail. That applies not just to establishing a business plan and implementing it over time, but also to providing for the sustainability of that business over time. We all face threats to our businesses, whether from the economy or life events, including death, disability and people at the top of the company moving on. Unless you think through the ramifications of these possibilities, you’re putting your business in a very precarious position. Every company needs to think about the long-term growth trajectory to develop leadership that will keep the ball moving down the field when current leadership moves on to other things. Smaller companies that rely on their founder will face a real challenge when that person is gone if they don’t prepare for it. Companies with a bigger, more established national presence that are much more corporate and have more stock ownership especially need strategic planning to develop future leadership. Continue »
Oddly enough, some of the most positive news emerging from the nonresidential construction industry involves one of the sectors that caused many local economies serious heartache in the not so distant past: multifamily construction. Continue »
At a construction site in suburban Houston, after all the workers have gone home, a pickup truck pulls up to the poorly lit back entrance. Someone enters the site through an unlocked gate, returns to the truck with a small load of wallboard and drives off. The next day, he’ll be back—to go to work. Continue »
The old adage “a good beginning makes a good end” proves true in the construction process. The goal of any scope of work is to create a detailed account of the tasks, procedures and specifications for each construction process. A good beginning—clear communication between all parties involved and accuracy in the detailed scope of work and price proposal—will lead to a good end product. One way to begin on the right foot is by using job order contracting (JOC), an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity procurement method that enables facility owners to complete a large number of repair, renovation and minor construction projects with a single, competitively bid contract. Continue »
As 2012 comes to a close, it is important for construction companies to step back and analyze where they stand, and determine where they need to be in the immediate future. Contractors must shift their focus from cutting costs and reducing overhead to strategically identifying and delivering value-added services for customers. They must look at their past successes, examine market and customer niches and identify what unique competencies they bring to owners and customers. Introspection is often easier than looking forward, but the latter is more important to implement a strategic market position and take advantage of the slowly improving economy. Continue »
Though Ted Benning is the third-generation owner of Benning Construction Company, Smyrna, Ga., he didn’t want his children to feel obligated to join the construction industry. So when his kids took professional paths outside the family company, he decided the best course of action would be to initiate an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP). Continue »
Given the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the controversial Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), one of the provisions scheduled to take effect in 2013 is the 3.8 percent Medicare Contribution Tax (MCT) on net investment income.
The tax will apply to everyone with net investment income and modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) above $250,000 if married and filing jointly or $200,000 if filing as a single taxpayer. Continue »
“A Resource Guide to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act,” a 130-page compilation of information about the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), was published jointly on Nov. 14 by the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Enforcement Division of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Continue »
As contractors and specialty subcontractors emerge from the recession, many face equity levels that have eroded during the last three to four years. General contractors and owners need to know more about who they are hiring; simply relying on reputation is no longer good business. Continue »