The business of equipment maintenance seems to be changing just as fast as the technology around it. As workforce trends reveal that employees stay in positions for shorter time periods than previous generations (about three to four years in the same role as opposed to life-time equipment experts that stuck around for decades), new challenges have emerged around properly maintaining complex equipment in an efficient way with a more generalized talent pool. Continue »
A new drone increases the accuracy of aerial images. An innovative weather application combines weather and lightning observation metrics with data representation. “Cool Stuff” includes a partnership for research in 3-D, digital fabrication and sustainable built environment and a new material 100 times stronger than steel. Continue »
This week’s tech rundown features software to create 3-D digital maps, manage safety data, tame email and share project information in real time. Hot products include a telematics app for engaging and rewarding drivers, a waterproof phone and an equipment tracker that pairs with OneKey™. Continue »
Every new year brings resolutions, predictions, and anticipation of what lies ahead. Last year was a strong year for construction. The industry saw the largest increase in construction starts since the economic downturn. Companies began exploring how to grow with an unbalanced project opportunity and labor load. More work means more profit in 2017, right? Continue »
Looking to the year ahead, there is a lot to be excited about in the world of civil engineering and construction technology. Continue »
Here’s the rundown on a coffeemaker durable enough for the jobsite; a wireless equipment monitoring device; a wrist communicator; new software releases; a 3-D printer that build houses; and new reports on productivity, KPIs and GPS monitoring. Continue »
When Star Trek™ debuted 50 years ago, who would have thought the technology employed on the Starship Enterprise would one day be used on construction jobsites. Continue »
Most construction industry professionals acknowledge that increased adoption of technology is in their future. Yet many still resist committing their time or money, and others invest sporadically, hoping to see results by using tech for tech’s sake. Continue »
Trying to stay organized is a daunting task in of itself, but when you’re a construction project manager, organization is crucial to a project’s success. Picture your desk. To your right is small mountain of contracts. In front of you, you have a stack of RFIs. On your left, you have various project updates and invoices. In short, you are surrounded by documents waiting to be signed, scanned, or sent out to clients.
Sound familiar? You’re not alone. This is a common scenario faced by many construction project managers. Thankfully, there are quite a few construction management software companies offering document management. However, there’s only one perfect for you – the subcontractor – and that’s eSUB Construction Software.
Not only does eSUB’s award winning platform offer complete document control, it also boasts a robust suite of applications such as:
- The Field Works Mobile App connects the office and the field, eliminating miscommunication and information siloes.
- Email Integration tracks and manages all project correspondence.
- Daily Reports are created with a few clicks, in a few minutes, instead of a few hours at the end of your day.
- Corporate Management allows the executive team to access all projects from one location for quick access and reporting.
- Change orders are a cinch to manage by allowing you to send out and track your requests from one central location.
- And much more!
eSUB’s solution helps subcontractors keep a finger on the pulse of their construction projects, reduces the amount of time chasing down documents, eliminates information siloes between the office and the field, and standardizes business processes – freeing up time to work with customers and focus on construction jobs. Check out this quick 7-minute video showing a day in the life of a subcontractor using eSUB Construction Software.
Thousands of subcontractors worldwide use eSUB to manage their day to day business operations. Dan Tagliaferri, project manager at Above All Store Fronts, New York’s largest curtainwall / storefront contractor, sat down with eSUB to discuss why his firm chose their innovative platform.
“We have always tried to find ways to keep ourselves organized using programs such as Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Outlook with Emails, Calendars, and Tasks, said Tagliaferri. “These tools all help in limited ways, but eSUB was the best Project Management program and mobile app that met our needs.”
- Lacked organization within the team of Project Managers for tracking Purchase Orders, Job Costing, Change Request, Submittals, RFI’s, & Correspondence
- No central repository for all project documentation and correspondence
- No mobile application for field-to-office communications
- Limited visibility across all projects
Robust capabilities enhance business practices.
What has helped Above All Store Fronts most is being able to utilize eSUB features for handling Purchase Orders, Change Orders, Submittals, RFIs, and it’s Drawings in one format as a company standard.
Tagliaferri:The eSUB platform enables all our Project Managers to do everything the same way and allows for management to easily track each project’s progression. The construction industry in New York is extremely fast paced, so firms need a program like eSUB to help you handle projects efficiently and allow you to become more successful.
Better business results and return on investment (ROI).
Tagliaferri: I can honestly say that the features eSUB offer with document management, correspondence, and the mobile app has already paid for itself.
We are no longer second guessing ourselves on whether or not a document was sent in to the general contractor or architect. We no longer have to wait for our foreman to come back to the office to get new information. It makes life ten times easier and gives you the ability to take on more profitable work. The organization structure within eSUB has saved thousands of dollars in just time alone, we know where our information is at all times.
eSUB SOLUTION & BENEFITS
- Significant time savings for people and project activities
- No more disconnects between the office and field
- Easy-to-use, easy to adopt by all office and field users
- Consistent and best practice workflow for POs, COs, Submittals, RFIs and Drawings – enables faster and more accurate project delivery and accounting
- Increased visibility reduces lost revenue and increases productivity and forecasting of all projects
What made eSUB standout was its intuitive platform.
Tagliaferri: Having multiple project managers with differing levels of computer knowledge, we were trying to find a program that would work for all users on all levels. Having the mobile application was a huge plus that gave us the ability to help track office to field communications.
eSUB’s dedicated customer support team.
Tagliaferri: Working with all the knowledgeable employees at eSUB has been fantastic. Everybody from the sales and implementation team to tech support is truly top notch. Our primary support contact at eSUB has been extremely helpful and patient in working to get Above All Store Fronts users up and running.
Streamlining Office to Field Operations
Tagliaferri: Implementing the eSUB platform has helped tremendously with the office to field operations. Our foremen have real-time access to crucial information to help them get the project completed on time and under budget. Project Managers love having the foremen involved in the mobile app because it cuts out all the miscommunications. You’re getting everything you need right at your fingertips on the mobile app.
How to Stay on Top of Your Risk Mitigation Plan A Risk Mitigation Plan is Only the First Step. Monitor Risks from Start to Finish
“Is it on the floor or is on the table?” This is a phrase known to every project manager. Before a project even starts, a project manager identifies potential risks, and formulates a risk mitigation plan for it. As the project moves forward, these risks need to be closely monitored; are they still risks of have they become a reality?
Communication is key to be able to monitor and address risks as they unfold. It is not enough to identify risks before breaking ground in a construction project. Not only can risks become more imminent, but also new risks may emerge at a later point in time. So, to avoid confusion, misinterpretation or lack of communication among team members, here are a few factors to keep in mind when it comes to risk monitoring in a construction project:
Open communication policy
Malcolm Gladwell’s “Tipping Point” includes a chapter around communication problems caused by hierarchies. The chapter in question “The Ethnic Theory of Plane Crashes” describes how Korean Air suffered several plane crashes at the end of the 1990s not for a lack of trained pilots or state-of-the-art equipment, but for their respect for hierarchical order. In other words, crew members were afraid to tell the pilot something in his readings was wrong because he was their boss, and so he probably knew best. Korean air decided to train crew members to disregard hierarchy when it came to in-flight communication. The number of crashes lowered immediately thereafter.
Stakeholders and leadership should use this same mindset with construction workers, contractors and other team members. Although construction is not a flight, time, money, resources and even future lives can be saved if employees feel empowered to speak out when they see something wrong or identify a risk.
Project managers cannot monitor risks properly if they are not literally watching them. They have to make sure to have a real-time, high-level overview of construction project risks. This can be ensured by constantly updating MS project files and uploading them to a construction information management system.
Software is a great way to keep everyone informed of what goes on with the project. There are providers like BuildBinder, a lean cloud-based construction software solution. Users can request a demo to see how it works and how it can help their construction projects.
If there are several risks at hand and their potential effects are substantial, it’s wise to hire a risk manager. That person will make sure risks are continuously managed.
Collaboration is a winning strategy for architects, contractors, and engineers who are trying to earn big jobs. When firms combine their expertise to compete for a bid, the team they create becomes a more attractive option for owners of complex projects. The AIA’s pre-drafted C102™–2015, Standard Form of Teaming Agreement between Team Manager and Team Member for the Purpose of Responding to a Solicitation and Pursuing a Project, defines every party’s role on the proposal and their potential role on the project. The contract requires team members to negotiate project agreements up front. Continue »