January 2016
Ask The Experts
How will Tier 4 Final regulations play out for construction business owners in 2016? Where is clean diesel technology headed? John Fischer Engine Consultant Palatine, Illinois Business owners investigating new equipment purchases will see higher prices, but also some new features, which...
6 resources to streamline & enhance in-house operations
Before the Internet, the main way brands reached consumers was through advertising in newspapers, magazines, television commercials, billboards and on the radio. While traditional marketing channels are still prevalent, they are not always an option for most businesses because of high costs....
Find the best equipment to avoid downtime & maximize ROI
Contractors put a ton of faith into their equipment, tools and crews to complete projects on time and below budget. Whether purchasing or renting, contractors expect that the equipment will perform as promised and come with a relatively simple maintenance schedule. It just makes sense to find the...
A present & future solution for workforce management
In recent years, numerous software and app companies have joined the game of trying to solve construction business owners' mobile workforce management problems. Contractors still using a paper-based time tracking system grapple with questions like, "How do I know when an employee or crew actually...
Determine your company's training needs with a job task analysis
It is a constant struggle to provide training for employees. To address this, managers must place training in the proper perspective. The old adage is appropriate here: "What if we train them and they leave?" Worse yet, what if you don't train them, and they stay? Another thought to consider: If...
Address common issues early to avoid costly litigation down the road
Both you and your business partner bring different skills and contacts to your working relationship, and you seem well suited for each other. But, before you move forward, consider some key aspects of the relationship to ensure you have a common understanding of any issues that may arise. And,...
Learn the importance of incorporating self-rescue into your fall protection plan
The first thing fall-protection trainers ask when they go to a jobsite is, "What will you do if someone falls and is left suspended in their harness at height?" The immediate response is almost always, "Call 911." This answer is okay if the fire department has the equipment and the training, but...
8 questions to consider when preparing for your company's valuation
There comes a time when every business owner needs to know the value of their company. Most business owners perform a business appraisal only once or twice in the tenure of ownership of their company. So, with limited experience, business owners need to know how to select a business appraisal firm...
Key statistics about residential & nonresidential building growth in 2016
The United States construction industry is viewed as a key indicator of the strength of the American economy, consumer confidence and unemployment trends. As the unemployment rate declines, investment in both residential and commercial U.S. construction tends to increase, signaling improved...
4 key solutions to prevent construction contract exposures
Construction companies constantly seek insurance solutions that can provide material financial impact, limit their contractual exposures and provide coverage enhancements. The following are four strategic solutions which can provide substantial financial protection for construction companies....
Moving beyond buckets can help you lower operating costs and increase productivity
Heavy equipment may be more versatile than you think, especially when paired with the right attachments. If you are just using buckets, you may be losing out on revenue growth opportunities by not considering attachments as a way to increase equipment versatility. Instead of only owning basic...
Put the right tools in your belt to gain a competitive edge
Construction business owners aren’t always on the top of the list for the most tech-savvy entrepreneurs. Many people still believe that if you equip a construction worker with a hardhat, a set of tools and blueprints, they have everything they need to get the job done. But times have changed and so...
Getting ready for the big shift from talent training to people engagement
Labor shortages are becoming more prevalent in today's construction industry, and companies need to focus on corporate culture, engagement and work-life quality to attract and retain good people. It has been a long and arduous stretch, but it's now safe to say the Great Recession is a thing of the...
Positive industry growth and new technology will drive attendance & engagement at this year’s trade show
With a construction market that is forecasted by FMI to grow 7 percent in 2016, the annual World of Concrete (WOC) trade show is shaping up to be one of the biggest yet. Held in Las Vegas, Nevada, the trade show will take place Feb. 2-5. Jackie James, show director, said the event is the largest in...
Start an builders' university within your firm to retain and develop future leaders
The best construction businesses are now focusing on building the next generation of stars in their firm. For the last 20 years, the industry has lamented about not having enough great people in the office and in the field. Rather than fall victim to the numbers game, many firms enacted a strategic...
Don’t let your company pay for the costly consequences of neglect
A contractor’s list of maintenance tips ranges from checking fluids daily and properly lubricating components to contacting your local dealer for support. Learn about what you might be missing from the following compilation of the five most commonly ignored wheel loader and excavator maintenance...
Expert insights on construction finance & equipment trends in the coming year
On the heels of last month's congressional final passage of a much-needed $305 billion measure to fund infrastructure, the construction industry continues to climb toward recovery and is more than prepared to literally hit the road. The 5-year surface transportation act, dubbed the Fixing...
A guide to creating a bonus plan that improves project outcomes
Construction business owners always strive to find the perfect incentive program to reward managers and employees. Without a clear bonus plan, many owners struggle to decide how much extra pay employees deserve for their hard work. Frustrated, owners arbitrarily determine a year-end bonus amount to...
Avoid these bad ideas to protect your company in good times
Now that the economy finally appears to be headed in the right direction, many contractors are thinking about hiring talent, acquiring bonding and raising capital to help complete their growing backlogs. Many of those business owners with large backlogs are taking an optimistic view that the new...