2017 Tech Predictions

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. Read The Full Story »

Best PracticesMore Like This

As business owners, managers and marketers struggle to figure out how to take advantage of the benefits social media touts, they are finding more questions than answers.  Many design and construction firms are just jumping in, as they did with the internet, CAD and BIM. Others, however, want more of an idea of how deep the water is, what rocks they are likely to encounter and how likely they are to make their feet bleed.

Despite having a lot of questions about social media, businesses are using it — and getting results. Continue »

Business ManagementMore Like This

At one time or another, most people have punched a clock or filled out a timesheet. In fact, many people still do, and those who have been in construction long enough most likely remember the old “checking brass” method used on many jobsites.

What construction companies often overlook is that time and attendance truly drive the profitability of the business. Over the years, the importance of tracking time and attendance has stayed the same, but the methods of doing so have changed. Continue »

Project ManagementMore Like This

The emergence of “smart cities” has rapidly captured the imagination of the mass market. But what does a smart city mean for construction firms? Smart cities is a term that defines the convergence of new government policies, emerging Information Communications Technology (ICT) and innovative design in an urban environment. The touch points of these three elements are creating meaningful, exciting and lucrative opportunities for the construction industry worldwide. Continue »

Project ManagementMore Like This

Technology is evolving constantly, with brand new software, gadgets and services being offered every day to those in the construction industry. Contractors and construction business owners need to stay on top of the most important IT trends for one reason beyond all others: efficiency. Not only will efficiency help businesses save money, but it will also help them stay ahead of the competition. Continue »

Safety & SecurityMore Like This

Being a successful manager in any industry involves striking a balance in maximizing productivity, increasing efficiency and limiting liability. For managers of large construction projects, the challenge is magnified by thousands of personnel, hundreds of thousands of square feet of property and billions of dollars in assets. Construction executives are applying more and more technology to help manage these complex engagements, as process improvement and the safety and security of personnel are their top priorities. Radio frequency identification (RFID) can be a valuable tool in these efforts. Continue »

WebMore Like This

When ABC World News anchor Diane Sawyer challenged individuals and companies to focus on buying things “made in America,” the Williams Co. took it seriously. The Orlando, Fla.-based construction company and its client Goodwill Industries of Central Florida challenged themselves to construct a building made of 100 percent American-made materials. While they didn’t really expect to reach 100 percent, they came very close (within 1 or 2 percent), and they made a YouTube video to promote the effort. Continue »

BIMMore Like This

Welcome to the new economy of the cloud-based world, where the combination of design, construction and connectivity creates a new high-contact sport. For starters, people cannot work offline in an online world. This new economy is about quickly delivering valuable intangibles from which contractors can build great buildings, highways, bridges, dams, etc.

Firms that harnesses the output of digital data to speed up their operations are going to outperform competitors, create new standards and be more successful. In the past, slowness protected market segments.  Today, the difference between those who use speed and those who don’t is no longer incremental; it is a quantum leap.

Following are five trends in design metrics and measurements that will help quantify and qualify speed as an integral element of design and construction. Continue »

Business ManagementMore Like This

Most contractors wouldn’t think Pinterest has anything to offer them as a vehicle for communicating with or marketing to their business audience. Many have never heard of Pinterest. There are new reasons to take a look at Pinterest for business and see how it can be a viable platform for communicating valuable information to existing and prospective clients.

“Rich pins” now offer businesses the ability to embed information into the photos they post—or “pin,” in Pinterest parlance—on their “boards” (or albums). It is roughly equivalent to BIM, which allows information to be incorporated into drawings. Creative use of the three earliest categories of rich pins can give AEC firms visibility and the ability to convey information in various formats. Continue »

HiringMore Like This

Businesses in the construction industry have been faced with some of the worst and most challenging issues in terms of staffing. While some years ago it seemed effortless to find a welder, machinist or electrician, now business owners will be hard pressed to not only find one that’s a good fit for the company, but to find one at all.

According to ManpowerGroup, skilled trades have been the most difficult segment of the workforce in terms of staffing. Most of these skilled trade workers are beginning to retire or have established careers or contracts with other construction companies. For example, according to EMSI, 18.6 percent of all skilled trade workers today are on the brink of retirement and 53 percent of skilled trade workers are 45 or older. That leaves a very small margin of younger workers in the skilled trades industries. Continue »