The construction industry is at a point where performance improvements and productivity gains are required to stay ahead of the competition. Without the right data in your pocket, it’s nearly impossible to see where improvements can be made. And with disconnected systems—or, even worse, pen and paper—capturing the data you need is nearly impossible. Continue »
The tech rundown takes flight with a new type of drone, a drone data processing platform and a service for wind forecasts. New software monitors jobsite tasks, streamlines data and creates digital forms. View images of areas in Florida and Texas hit by hurricanes. Continue »
Let’s face it, when it comes to bidding, there is nothing more important than obtaining accurate project estimating numbers. Right? OK, forget for a minute the square foot price of drywall ceiling. What you should be concentrating on is how all construction costs—from direct and indirect costs to labor rates and overhead and profit—are calculated. If your estimators, accounting department, project managers and office staff are still ball-parking numbers, they should take a step back and examine how they arrived at these figures. Continue »
“Winning is not a sometime thing…it’s an all the time thing. You don’t win once in a while…you don’t do the right thing once in a while…you do them right all the time. Winning is a habit.” ~ Vince Lombardi
The tough-minded approach of what it takes to be successful as quoted by Coach Lombardi easily translates to building a winning bid. Getting the estimate right isn’t something you should do once in a while. It is something you should do all the time. The results of this type of focused effort and consistency should pay off on bid day. Unfortunately, for many companies, winning on bid day is a sometime thing.
When it comes to bid day, here are some tips to improve your chances of winning. Following these simple guidelines will result in a stronger relationship between you and your client (general contractor, construction manager, owner, or trade contractor).
- Be intentional with your documentation. Make your attachments clear and relatable, meaning add a snippet of a drawing to show specific things you have covered in your bid, specifically those hidden items others might have missed.
- Show your real scope. Don’t hold back. This is the time to make sure you are telling the client about how your work will be complete against what they asked for.
- Disclaim with care. Don’t emphasize the “Disclaimers” or “Not Included;” sure they need to be there, but the point is to sell your strengths and specialties first and disclaim after establishing value.
- Remember your mistakes. What did this client berate you on last time? Did they complain that you didn’t include cleanup, layout or some other unique item this client needs? If you can’t think of any mistakes made, you’re probably not getting the critical feedback that you need.
- Show your real details. Yes, show your quantities! Do you really think that you are the only one who knows how to take off concrete curbs, door frames, volume of rebar or whatever your scope is? How many times does your client call you back to ask, “Hey, did you include XYZ?” Pro tip: When you over communicate to your client as to what you include, it will overshadow your exclusions.
- Show the project schedule. Submitting number of days to complete isn’t the end. They want to know what to expect by seeing an itemized project schedule and check scope for efficiency. Such level of detail is not easy to produce, but that’s how you win. Imagine giving your client not only the number of person hours but also the sequencing of when you expect them to be ready for your crews.
- Show that you read the specs. Demonstrate your respect and knowledge of the project’s goals by referencing the specs as part of your decision-making process. Of course, this means that you actually have to read the specs.
- Don’t just go through the motions. Respond promptly to the RFI, RFQ or ITB request by fully completing the form. You should have already asked them prior to bid day why they need the information they’ve requested. That way, if there’s any issue with the information they ask for, you can respond with a note reminding the client how you already resolved this issue.
- Check in on bid day. Call them earlier in the day, advise them you are completing your bid and you will have it to them by a certain time. Ask once again if other things have changed with the bid, due date, time of bid, duration of the project or other questions that show them you are not only interested in but also knowledgeable of the project.
- Anticipate the other trades needs. If you really want to get out there, think how your trade/scope of work interrelates with another contractor’s trade/scope of work and show the client some specifics of how you will accommodate their interactions with your work. For example, you could say, “We have included a plan for the electrician to deal with their significant main conduits in the hallway and we will frame and rock the hallway side immediately so they can have access.” Though it may seem premature for the project, it makes you look like a better fit. Not only are you concerned with completing your work on time, you’re a team player interested in seeing the work of others succeed.
Now that you’re prepared to win a spot on the team, learn how to improve your game.
You know the old saying, “He can’t see the forest for the trees.” It’s easy to get sidetracked by the responsibilities, projects and people that need tending to every day and ignore the bigger picture. Executives and business owners can sometimes miss out on where and how they can improve output and efficiency, simply by being too close to the project. We know that we need to pay attention to processes and stay on top of the latest tools coming out of the tech industry, but it’s not always feasible in the fast-paced world of construction. That’s why getting a pair of experienced, fresh eyes to take a look at how things are being delegated is the best way to save money while increasing productivity and morale. Continue »
Innovators in the UK have unveiled a ground-breaking technology using the Ethereum blockchain for paying workers in real time. Apps are now available for safe lifting practices and accessing 3-D project data. Learn more about the low recovery rates of the $1 billion in construction equipment theft. Continue »
Don’t miss the video on hyper-positioning software and sensor-based platforms that transform vehicles into autonomous vehicles on the jobsite. New software includes a product that combines 3-D BIM models with project scheduling data for a 4-D time sequence and a visual management tool for applying lean principles via Kanban boards. Also featured are a security system to authorize and track people and two electronic logging devices. Continue »
In every industry, technological advancements are helping companies to be more efficient and save money. Construction is no exception. According to the 2016 report on the results of a global PwC survey, Industry 4.0: Building the Digital Enterprise, respondents anticipate a return on their investment in technology over the next five years. Continue »
It is a challenging time for the construction industry with the potential for great rewards for those businesses that can adapt to a changing world. Continue »
Check out the cool construction technologies this week, including an IoT smart car platform, VR for AEC, a cloud-based system for tracking employee training and a 3-D robotic construction printer. Workers will appreciate the wearable tablet belt and construction interns can apply for a $10,000 college scholarship. Continue »
This week’s Tech Rundown features two new wearables – one to verify workers’ training qualifications and one wearable sensor that alerts safety personnel to slip, trip and fall incidents. Software releases focus on project management collaboration and linking 2-D drawings and 3-D models. Check out a cool new video on the Archicad 21 Stair Tool. Continue »