July 2019
AIA Architectural Billings Index, Annual Value Update & more
The Construction Business Owner team compiles statistics each month from several sources, including the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the United States Census Bureau, to give you a better understanding of the current state of affairs for the construction industry. The statistics...
The digital strategies, tactics & transformations revolutionizing how contractors bring in business
Without question, digital transformation is a mega business trend. The hallmark of the digital transformation movement is the adoption or use of technology to change processes to scale faster, beat competition and ultimately achieve greater results. The process may also require organizational...
The industry trends leaving contractors with no choice but to advance
It’s an interesting time for construction. The market is strong: demand is still high; transportation funding is feeding new government contracts into the pipeline; and natural disasters are increasingly creating rebuilding needs in more cities and counties. To an outsider, construction...
And the truth about how this alternative fuel can be a benefit
Propane has long been used as a reliable, efficient fuel for jobsite heaters, lights and portable generators. The fuel is widely available across the United States and is often used by equipment dealers and rental companies. However, despite propane’s established reputation, a few misconceptions...
Why knowledge is power when it comes to culture, communication, compliance & planning
In legally representing employers with large Hispanic workforces, many of the errors I have seen have been perpetrated by good-hearted employers who did not acknowledge the unique background features, social norms and histories of their Latino workers. The right knowledge helps construction...
Using mentorship & training to provide the truest return on investment
When I ask my clients if anyone in their company could potentially move up from foreman or superintendent to estimator or project manager, the typical answer is an emphatic, “No!” I usually receive the same answer when I ask if they have a jobsite worker with the potential to become a foreman or...
Exploring the role of the materials planner
Today, contractors are faced with scheduling constraints from end users, a shortage of skilled workers, issues with jobsite workflow and organization, and low productivity. But could adding a dedicated materials planner alleviate these jobsite problems?  Materials management focuses on the...
How to work smarter & avoid undue contractual obligations
Most, if not all, construction projects begin with a contract, which usually includes a critical provision—the indemnity provision (aka the hold harmless clause). The indemnity provision is a promise by the indemnifying party (the contractor) to cover the other party’s (owner’s) losses if the...
How to better foster creativity & reap the benefits
The odds of a new product idea reaching full commercialization are less than 4%. And that’s the best-case scenario, which probably explains why most companies don’t even attempt it. In fact, those that do often do so half-heartedly; just to check a box and move on to the next project. Or their...
The fall protection you need when your workers’ lives are on the line
One of the most challenging aspects of building a robust fall-protection solution is installing enough anchorage tie-off points to provide sufficient access to all required work areas. Further complicating matters is the fact that, as work progresses, available structural members are covered or can...
How these major shifts are making today’s equipment more efficient
It’s likely no surprise that the diesel engine in your construction equipment today is a far cry from the ones used 30 years ago. Even significant updates within the past 10 years have changed diesel engines dramatically. What is under or behind a machine panel today is a sophisticated and...
How small, strategic changes can bring in bigger business
The thought of a rebrand can spark terror in even the most seasoned business owner. For the uninitiated, the process seems shrouded in mystery, the end result uncertain. Cautionary tales abound from across the corporate world—Uber’s much-maligned 2016 rebrand, the Sci-Fi Channel’s 2009 rebrand to...
How to make sure you're secure
The construction industry is crossing the bridge from outdated processes into digitization. Firms everywhere are now embracing software throughout their organizations. The upside is that work can be done more productively. The downside—as is the case with adopting connected technology anywhere...
How to step up your management performance
Stand-up comedy can make you a better presenter. After all, it’s one of the hardest forms of public speaking you’ll ever try. So it’s likely that if you do even remotely well at stand-up, all other types of business presentations will seem easier. But, stand-up comedy can also make you a better...