Let’s pretend that ‘The Budget’ is a person. Few will argue against the fact that The Budget ultimately rules every project. While it may be the owner who carries the vision, the architect who crafts the design, and the contractors who execute the plan, ‘The Budget’ ultimately dictates the size, scope, and success of a project. The Budget even ultimately determines if the project will ever be built. The Budget is more than just a number. The Budget is King, and this king influences the actions of every participant. No one moves unless the King says so. The Budget is also the reason why the market today is flooded with software companies that specialize in helping determine the size and scope of The Budget. Continue »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »