March 2013
Breaking down the financial impact of providing a group health care plan for your employees
As we head into 2013 and the third year of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), construction business owners need to be aware of the additional fees that will be assessed on insurers and employers that provide self-insured plans. These fees will increase the cost of providing a...
Every government contractor should ask these four questions.
Contractors who work on publicly-funded projects are already subject to what can seem like a maze of regulations, including the Davis-Bacon Act, the Service Contract Act and local wage ordinance requirements. Now the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as healthcare reform or PPACA, is here to...
Focus on the preconstruction phase to save money throughout the life of your project.
Every construction project has a life of its own and starts with an idea, a need, a goal and a dream. The hardest part of any project is making it a reality. Without proper planning, nothing happens the way you envisioned it. This is one of the most important aspects of any successful project, so...
Understand the nuances of horizontal versus vertical exhaustion of insurance.
Like many things in this world, claims arising out of defective construction have become more contentious and complex. Specifically, one area in which this has occurred is with construction defect claims that involve property damage occurring over an extended period of time and stretching over the...
Maintaining strict project controls not only helps to instill ethics but improves your image and your bottom line.
Editor’s Note: This is the fifth in a six-part series titled “The Project Manager’s MBA,” which analyzes six key components of leading business practices and applies them to the construction industry. To read the other articles in the series, visit www.constructionbusinessowner.com.In the late...
A smooth transition from estimating to production requires purposeful planning.
When I started my commercial general contracting company more than 35 years ago, I acted as both the field superintendent and project manager. After finding a potential customer who needed a project built, I estimated and bid the job, negotiated with the owner, prepared the contract and supervised...
Keep customers happy and bids competitive.
The estimating and bidding process can be a tricky one, and sometimes customers want to see a specific type of itemization to protect their interests. One contractor in CBO’s LinkedIn group recently posed this question:I like to bid with lump sum pricing to include the intangibles of running a...
Follow these four steps to resolve conflicts and build constructive relationships.
The blame game is endemic in our industry. Here’s how it works: When something goes wrong, the first question that usually gets asked is, “Whose fault is it?” When the schedule slips, it’s the builder’s fault for not controlling their subs. When the budget spirals, it’s the owner’s fault for not...
Sundt Construction went from the brink of bankruptcy to profitable and progressive.
It is always possible to turn a poorly performing company away from bankruptcy. In the construction industry, few individuals know this better than Doug Pruitt, former CEO of Sundt Construction and co-author of “Level Headed: Inside the Walls of One of the Greatest Turnaround Stories of the 21st...
Be prepared to adopt the newest advancements in technology.
Imagine your project managers in their offices with a real-time dashboard of all jobsite progress and a 3-D graphic that updates every five minutes, rendering your structure as it advances floor by floor. They can click to see a live video feed through the eyes of an HVAC subcontractor with...
These mobile applications can streamline processes for construction professionals.
As we continue to investigate the ways in which contractors are utilizing mobile technology to be more efficient, CBO takes a second look at mobile apps—from collaboration tools targeted at contractors to simple practical tools that might come in handy on a jobsite. These 10 apps offer features...
Personal smartphones provide opportunities for increased productivity, but unsecured devices could put data at a costly risk.
Imagine trying to manage a construction project without a smartphone. You would have to visit each site to create field reports, and clients trying to reach you may become frustrated that you are out of the office. Additionally, sharing information for reports would require you to go back to the...
Training your operators to use hydraulic excavators to lift loads or materials properly requires a return to fundamentals.
The versatility of hydraulic excavators is virtually unmatched in the world of construction equipment. Whether you’re talking about compact, mid-range or large hydraulic excavators, these machines are ideal for lifting, moving and placing a wide range of materials. As a result, it is important that...
It’s easier than ever to take advantage of alternative fuels to reduce emissions and save money.
Alternative-fuel vehicle technologies and smarter driving habits can save money, improve fleet performance, support organizational environmental goals and contribute to the nation’s energy security. The growing selection of alternative-fuel vehicles and technologies, the expansion of the refueling...