Construction Workforce Management: Digitization

Construction Workforce Management

There’s no company in any industry that has succeeded without spreadsheets. Let’s briefly pause to say, “Bless you, Excel. You’ve served us well.” But spreadsheets are not the answer to construction workforce management. As working-at-home and the need for social distancing continues into 4Q 2020, digitizing construction workforce management is even more necessary.

Say goodbye to your monthly/weekly spreadsheets. You need up-to-date information when and where it’s needed.

Stop Supervising and Start Managing

Technology has become a bridge for overcoming the distance
of a team working remotely.
Ben Schultz

Spreadsheets encourage us to work alone. Digitization forces us to collaborate, share, and communicate. And that’s the best way to manage your business. About 90% of all spreadsheets have errors serious enough to trigger:

  • Faulty forecasting
  • Labor shortages
  • Overruns

Because your team is mobile, you need to be able to access information from anywhere, anytime. Your project site personnel should be able to quickly access the same analytics available to your accounts payable/receivable professional working from their home office. And you don’t want statistics that apply to your construction workforce management situation 10 days ago.

You can manage the following using shareable, intuitive, cloud-based construction workforce management software in real-time:

  • Accounting
  • Employees
    • Availability
    • Certification
    • Current wage
    • Location
  • Time-tracking

Ask other successful companies what kind of cloud-based software they recommend. But remember – what works for their organization may not be a good fit for your team.

Getting Started: How To ‘Digitize’

Review and prioritize your organization’s pain points, which may include:

  • Information-sharing delays between the project site and office
  • Inefficient performance measurements/management
  • Insufficient risk management
  • Paper documents – who has what/where
  • Project planning getting more complex

Whatever paper forms you use most often should be the first you digitize.

If employee retention is among your construction workforce management goals, digitization increases mobile workforce efficiency. “Mobile” forms work on mobile devices – like cellphones – which make it convenient for workforce management teams.

We Digitize; You Analyze

Construction Monitor has only one digitization goal: To provide profit-generating information relevant to your organization. We will breakdown the data to the location, sector, and industry-specific area(s) your business wants to develop.

Call 800.925.6085 (International/435.586.1205) or contact us today.

Construction Contractors and Business Relationship-Building

Construction Contractors

There are exceptions to every rule but many believe there are innate differences between most men and most women. One pandemic-quarantined man bemoaned, “If I have to talk about my feelings with my wife one more time, I may kill myself.”

Construction contractors are diverse men and women of every cultural and educational background but there’s one thing they all need to do: Construction contractors should build relationships in the construction industry.

When construction contractors focus on relationship-building, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re sharing their feelings. It means they’re creating a positive customer experience. Engaged, satisfied customers can lead to more work, more business connections, and more money.

Successful Construction Contractors Build Positive Customer Experiences With Every Touch

Relationship-building is just as important as building houses and infrastructure. Your website, project sites, cellphone conversations, even your leave-a-message message “touch” potential clients.

Here are some relationship-building tips for construction contractors that strategize for industry success:

Open, Responsive Lines of Communication

How many lines of communication do you have? Does someone have to blow dust off a laptop to discover you have online requests for information? Is your cellphone mailbox full?

There shouldn’t be any dead-ends in your lines of communication. Lines of communication include:

  1. Cellphone calling
  2. Cellphone texting/messaging
  3. Email
  4. Snail mail
  5. Your business website

And every line of communication should be open and responsive.

Say What You Mean; Mean What You Say

Probably the best advertisement for your business is a reputation for honesty. It’s sometimes called “transparency.” If you can’t answer a client’s questions now, let them know when you will respond. And do it.

Construction contractors that lowball bids and then try to make it up mid-project get the kind of reputation you don’t want. The same goes for promising quality and delivering shoddy work.

Being honest – transparent – should be the easiest thing to be for most companies. If not, they won’t survive beyond this generation of buyers and builders.

Customer Satisfaction Is Key

If you’re about to enter a relationship with a customer you are 99% sure isn’t going to be happy no matter what you do, walk away. Just one disappointed client can put some big chips in the goodwill you’ve worked so hard to build.

Put Technology to Work for You

You can work faster and smarter when you use technology. Construction Monitor has business development technology for relationship building and lead generation. Don’t delay. Communicate with us today.

Exoskeletons Address 4 Construction Industry Pain Points

Construction Industry Pain Points

One in every 10 construction workers is injured annually…construction sees non-fatal injury rates that are 71% higher than any other industry. How Powered Exoskeletons Can Alleviate…

Labor shortages and injuries have hit our industry hard in 2020. While many companies are just getting powered-up using software solutions that save time and money, others are looking at hardware possibilities.

In the animal kingdom, an exoskeleton is a type of shell that protects an animal’s body. Snails and shrimp are good examples of species with exoskeletons. In the construction industry, exoskeletons are wearable technology. They may become – in reality – lifesavers for construction companies.

4 Construction Industry Challenges

Ten years ago, the concept was material for science fiction. But the exoskeleton market for the construction industry is expected to exceed $11.5 billion 10 years from now.

Mechanical and electrical exoskeletons support:

  • Arm/shoulder
  • Back
  • Hands/gloves
  • Standing/crouching
  • Whole-body

Here are four main areas exoskeletons can bolster the construction industry:

1. Enhance Productivity

Worker fatigue equals lost production and the more exhausted we are, the more injury-prone we become. Manufacturing and agriculture have increased productivity 10-15 times since the 1950s. The construction industry productivity numbers are the same as 80 years ago. Exoskeletons streamline the process and lessen transport delays. They also reduce downtime spent waiting for last-minute deliveries.

2. Provide Labor Shortage Solutions

Labor-saving exoskeletons can help one worker do the heavy lifting of a team. This optimizes social distancing but increases employment opportunities. Physical strength will play a less important role. Older, experienced employees can work longer. Smaller/underweight workers are no longer at a physical disadvantage.

3. Reduce Injury Risks

When cranes/hoists are too big, lifting heavy objects and materials in tight spaces requires people-power. Exoskeletons won’t give construction industry workers “superpowers,” but they can reduce fatigue, increase productivity, and lower injury risks.

4. Save Money

The numbers are impressive: An exoskeleton can increase per-worker productivity 4-8 times. And with injuries averaging $32,000 per incident, construction industry profit margins are often – to put it bluntly – a crapshoot.

What You Need To Know

All you need to know is everything. And it can be overwhelming. Construction Monitor’s support team ensures your data analytics are current and pertinent. Let us provide the lead-generation data that gives you an information edge in the construction industry. Contact Construction Monitor today.

Modern Construction Projects and Futuristic Materials

Modern Construction Projects

We have more materials choices for modern construction projects. And we’re developing better options for strength and longevity. It’s an exciting time!

Durability is the ability to last a long time without significant deterioration. A durable material helps the environment by conserving resources and reducing wastes and the environmental impacts of repair and replacement. –Portland Cement Association

Modern construction projects are already using technology to make better business choices. As the focus on more durable buildings and roadways increases, here are some of the materials we’ll see trending:

1. Cigarette-Butt Bricks

If you’re like many, seeing cigarette butts on the ground is disgusting. It pollutes the view and the ingredients (arsenic, cadmium, chromium, and nickel) contaminate the soil. Researchers are developing energy-efficient bricks using cigarette butts. The bricks are lighter and use less energy in the manufacturing process.

2. Concrete Admixtures

“A holistic view needs to be taken about concrete durability,” says NBM&CW magazine. Mineral admixtures are providing strength-driven solutions for HPC (high-performance concretes) and SCC (self-compacting concretes). Today’s typical concrete can have six or more ingredients.

3. Light-Generating Cement

This newly developed cement can absorb and generate light. The potential for this invention is huge.

4. Martian Concrete

Northwestern University is researching construction projects on Mars using available materials. And they’ve come up with a Martian concrete mixture using sulfur.

5. Pollution-Absorbing Bricks

It’s called the Breathe Brick and it sucks-in pollutants and releases filtered air. You’ll see these bricks incorporated into buildings’ ventilation systems.

6. Translucent Wood

This low-cost resource can be used for windows and solar panels. There will be many application ideas for translucent wood in modern construction projects.

Construction Monitor for Modern Construction Projects Leads

Technological solutions are driving business development for modern construction projects. Construction Monitor’s analytics are the most efficient, easy-to-use technological resource for thousands of companies nationwide. Contact Construction Monitor to learn why.

Construction Cost Management: The Challenges are Real

Construction Cost Management

In 2015, KPMG revealed only 31% of construction projects came within 10 percent of the budget. Five years ago may seem like another lifetime, but it’s not. With pandemic-related cutbacks, the challenges of construction cost management loom larger than life.

Post-Pandemic Construction Cost Management

Rather than cut back, consider how to move forward.
Steve Coughran, business strategy professional

Some of us weren’t managing our businesses that well before the pandemic, so it didn’t take much to topple an already shaky tower. Among the construction cost management challenges we face are:

  • Documentation – Multiple change orders and complex approval process
    • Minimize mistakes with a connected platform (see: “software”). Teams enter costs in real-time and the change orders’ approval processes are easily tracked.
  • Financial health – Lack of real-time view and/or inability to see historical construction cost management changes
    • Implement an integrated cost management solution (see: “software”) that gives everyone real-time views of project costs. Online paper trails are easier to track.
  • Multiple projects/contracts – Tracking ways every expense impacts the overall financial structure of each project
    • Manage subcontractors on a cloud platform (see: “software”). Teams can view real-time entries, edits, and contracts in one location for effective construction cost management.

Cutting Costs

Categorize every expense as “avoidable” or “unavoidable.” Avoidable expenses will not directly impact your customer and are not fundamental to operations.

When you can cut specific expenses that will save money now, those are opportunity costs. But beware: Canceling employee training now will save money but can have negative consequences later.

It could impact employee retention; something that is a factor in quality-of-work deliverables. Companies showing current training and certification documentation can have an edge over lower-bidding companies.

Construction Monitor: Software Analytics for Real-Time Leads

Construction cost management begins before the bid. Post-pandemic business managers are working smarter and using technology to save time and money.

That’s what we do for you. We provide customized data analytics – sorted – to meet your business needs. The basic information is free if you know where to look. But you can spend a lot of time breaking down that “free” information. By the time you’ve figured out what you need, an opportunity may be history.

Your time is better spent making money. You can make profitable business decisions faster with weekly datasorts that target your specific U.S. region and your market. Ask us how it works. Contact Construction Monitor today.

The Future of Commercial Construction Materials

Commercial Construction Materials

Commercial construction roadwork on I-35 in Texas began in 1960.

In 2020, when a newspaper printed an article: “Construction nears completion on I-35,” it became the latest of a long history of jokes among Texans about the I-35 commercial construction project.

Considering most concrete and asphalt roads begin needing repair after 20 years of use, I-35 construction crews may have jobs for life. But what if those materials – concrete, asphalt, and others – could self-repair?

It’s not a sci-fi movie plot; it’s happening now. Scientists are “cooking up” asphalt, concrete, and metals that “heal themselves,” reports CityLab. Its potential is mind-boggling.

5 Commercial Construction Materials That May Change Our World

You hear a lot about “sustainability,” but it’s much more than a buzzword. The future of the commercial construction industry may be re-shaped with some of these materials:

  1. Air-cleaning bricks – Most air-cleaning methods emit pollutants, which is defeating the purpose. CalPoly invented a passive system: concrete bricks filter air particles.
  2. Laminated mass timber – Wood is a weaker material. But cross- and glue-laminated timber is able to support a lot more weight and is “surprisingly fire-resistant,” says one study. Another study says as much as 31% of global emissions could be reduced by using wood in buildings and bridges.
  3. Passive-cooling ceramics – California students have designed a building material of clay composite and hydrogel. As the building heats up, the heat is transferred to hydrogel droplets. The effect cools buildings.
  4. Recycled trash – Recycled water bottles, cardboard, and possibly aluminum cans may be used for insulation and commercial construction materials.
  5. Strand rods – Japan released a CABKOMA Strand Rod that can save lives during an earthquake. The seismic reinforcement system uses fibers and thermoplastic resin and the rods are five times lighter than metal wire.

Construction Monitor for the Future of Your Business

The costs for most of those materials are prohibitive for now. But you can expect to see more sustainable materials used in commercial construction when they become financially viable.

The future of your business depends on your ability to make informed decisions that drive profit. Construction Monitor has the data analytics you can use. If you need to know more about how to use building permit statistics for leads, please contact us today.