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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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AccountingMore Like This

The American tax system allows for voluntary compliance and is regulated at all levels of government using the auditing process. Many state and local governments have tax discovery units that employ creative techniques to uncover businesses that are not filing specific tax returns (e.g., sales and use tax or gross receipts tax) in their jurisdictions. These businesses are then contacted and audited to determine if they have delinquent tax liabilities.

Being prepared for an unexpected call from the tax man can go a long way in reducing potential stress and helping the audit go smoothly. Most tax examinations are based on a random selection of tax filers. Recently, however, audits based on targeted industries or third-party information have been increasing, particularly at the state and local tax levels. Continue »

Jobsite SafetyMore Like This

Successful companies strive to use every tool possible to ensure their projects are safe, on schedule and within budget. New methods are developed and piloted each year in an effort to improve project execution and satisfy customer expectations. However, all too often safety programs are not updated regularly, and safety performance can result from luck rather than reproducible results. Continue »

OutlookMore Like This

During the next 10 years, coal-fired power plant operators will spend $80 billion to upgrade their existing power plants, according to the McIlvaine report “Fossil & Nuclear Power Generation: World Analysis & Forecast.”

The U.S. upgrade market will be driven by the following factors.

  • Coal will again become the low-cost power option.
  • Building new coal-fired power plants will be difficult.
  • Automation will reduce operating costs.
  • Environmental rules will require more air pollution control.
  • Water quality issues will require cooling and treatment investments. Continue »
Best PracticesMore Like This

How does it feel to be changing an entire industry? That was construction industry members’ lasting impression after three mentally grueling days of exploring the intricacies of world-class safety performance during Associated Builders and Contractors’ (ABC) inaugural STEP Plus Safety Excellence Academy held in April 2012.

“I learned more from this course than any other safety class I’ve taken,” says Skip Wolfford, president of David M. Wolfford & Son, Inc., an electrical contractor based in Culpeper, Va. “I’m a former EMT and instructor. With my credentials, I thought I knew it all about safety. This course proved me wrong—and thankfully so. Continue »

Best PracticesMore Like This

With the globalization of the construction industry, one area many companies can more effectively budget for is their import and export operations for materials and equipment. Companies can save millions of dollars by ensuring adherence to environmental regulations and taking advantage of fluctuating currency rates, which often are unpredictable and difficult to understand. The challenge is to stay up to date on these complex and dynamic issues. Continue »