Converting from one unit of measure to another is critical for any position of management in a construction company. Using the internet is one way of doing it but knowing the simple process of fraction multiplication and the value of the number “1” gets it done too. Unit conversion is nothing more than taking a unit and multiplying it by “1” as many times as it takes to get a result in units you desire.
BI stands for business intelligence. It is the process by which information from all of your company’s different computer systems (estimating, job costing, accounting, operations, et cetera) is displayed on one screen. You may not need it, but you better understand it – it’s coming.
There are several trucking freight terms that a buyer should know. They’re important to know when contracting the transportation of your goods as well as when it’s time to pay the bill.
One of the most basic properties of a beam is its section modulus. How does the section modulus, S, come into play in structural design? And, why should I care?
Many construction companies run their operations with too little specificity; costs ought to be reviewed on an activity-by-activity basis. Learn what, why and how to set up a good cost code structure.
I’m proud to say that I am an engineer. You should be proud of your kid if (s)he is going to school for engineering too. You should be proud of yourself if you’re an engineer.
Contractors usually are mandated to attend a pre-construction meeting with the Owner. There’s no reason not to also have an internal pre-construction meeting.
The importance of the daily report cannot be overstated. Knowing why to write them and what to put in the report is critical for defense of yourself, and offense against another party.
One of contractors' most reliable defenses, the Spearin Doctrine, has been upheld in a Missouri Court. Certainly, for Missourians, this is a good thing, and to the extent, others may be able to reference this case or use a similar approach in claims, is a win for the construction industry.
Training is an investment in your company. In your people. And anyone who has had a business knows that the fanciest equipment and tools are still only as good at the workers who use them. Invest in making better workers.
Once the decision is made to engage a consultant, choosing the firm to assist you can be one of the biggest challenges. Consider asking key questions to flush out the quality and value of the service.
Construction claims are an unfortunate part of the construction process in today’s world. When you have a claim, know the order of hierarchy in your presentation of the data for maximum remuneration from the client.
There are no perfect software solutions out there for many industries. Many companies must settle for “close enough” to achieve their control goals. If you have relatively simple needs, considering a custom program may vastly improve your efficiency for less cost than you think.
A claim is made because a contractor has lost money and/or time on a project. The method chosen by the contractor to substantiate these costs can vary. Some popular methods of calculating cost are presented.
Construction equipment is a necessary tool to perform many types of construction work. How to acquire the equipment has a significant effect on the financial aspect of a company. There are many options which should be considered when temporarily or permanently acquiring a piece of gear.
Construction companies have inventories that should be managed to improve efficiency and, in turn, improve the bottom line. Consider a mobile solution or at least one that gets away from the clipboard.
Landing the work has enough challenges in meeting the scope, schedule, and cost requirements of the client. You’re defeating yourself if you can’t be polite and practice simple business etiquette.
The purpose of a change order is to add work to an existing contract. Ideally, this work is added with mutually agreeable terms in scope, time, and cost. These terms often cannot be agreed upon and contractors feel coerced into signing the document.
Consider not signing the change order.
There’s an adage, fast/cheap/good, pick any two. This relates to the Project Management Triple Constraint. It also has other names like Iron Triangle, and Project Triangle.
Cost and price are two different measures of money in a construction bid. Knowing the difference is fundamental and can improve profit.
Do two things today to improve your company: (1) check to make sure you are current on your 940 and 941 taxes and (2) make sure you’re reviewing your fuel bill.
DEF stands for Diesel Exhaust Fluid. It’s a liquid. The liquid is injected in the exhaust stream after the engine and before the catalytic converter. A thermodynamic reaction occurs and what comes out of the tail pipe is “clean”.
A constructability review of a plan set can greatly benefit the project. On the surface, it looks like it benefits primarily the Owner, but the benefits to the design team and contractor can also be significant. All project parties should encourage this service on their projects.
Length in the United States is still primarily measured using inches and feet – inches add up to feet add up to yards add up to miles. These are called Imperial units. The vastly more common way on the planet of measuring distance is by using the metric system – millimeters add up to centimeters add up to meters add up to kilometers.
Possibly the leading cause of contractor claim denials – lack of proper notice – just got a little bit easier for contractors thanks to the U.S. Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals’ conclusion that a request for information (RFI) can satisfy a notice requirement under F.A.R.
The balance sheet says a great deal about a company. If you’re a business owner you better know how to read your own, as well as that of your clients and subcontractors. This week we discuss the Liabilities section.
It’s great that your estimators just landed a new project, but your competitive advantage can be lost without a synchronized handoff to the field team. Make sure to have a formal meeting between the estimating and project management teams before the project starts. Estimator knows best.
Whether you use a functional cost coding system to track the cost of your original scope or not, it is imperative that you accurately account for costs outside of your base scope. Learn why, and how, to account for these extra costs outside of your original scope.
A key component of job cost reporting is accurate posting of accounts payable (A/P). The time between receiving the invoice in the mail and posting it to your job cost reports can be fatal to a job, or a company. The answer is to not let the invoice out of the main office until it’s been posted to the project. Use the “all zeroes one” code to capture this cost in a job immediately.
Many estimators do not understand how workers’ compensation, general liability, and bond costs are calculated. This article discusses these calculations and how to properly include them in your bid.
With all of today’s fancy and complex tools available in the marketplace, nothing is more important than simple calculations (and common sense). Rely on simplicity and basic math to check your work.
If you have a discrete thing that you want to know about or report about now, use QR codes. Don’t be wary of the technology or think it’s a hassle to use. It’s simple and powerful technology. You can use it today. You need it. One email or phone call to us and you’ll have it – we know construction, period.
Contractors for as long as I can remember have been taking on risk that is not theirs to take. Engineers and architects can do a much better job of protecting projects by improving design and management of the construction process.
Submitting a clear and concise proposal is an important step in getting the project off on the right foot. An ambiguous proposal welcomes dispute. Be complete in the listing of terms and conditions in your proposals.
Construction is a litigious business. Often times the signs were right in front of you from day one. Pay attention and look for the behaviors of the parties that often indicate inevitable dispute and possibly a claim at the end of the job.
Consultants sometimes carry a bad rap for what they do. They’re expensive and actual or perceived value is not recognized in their effort. Consider what they do bring to the table that your firm cannot.
Written communication is a skill every good project manager must have. Knowing how to write a letter is critical during the project, and afterward in the case of a claim. Basic pointers for writing good construction letters are presented here.
Standardized contracts provide tremendous benefit to the construction industry – they benefit the owner and the contractor. ConsensusDocs is the leading standardized contracts provider utilizing plain speak and fair risk allocation.
Construction projects are becoming more and more litigious. The cost of outside counsel is practically its own line item in a contractor’s estimate these days. Hiring a junior attorney today for pennies may later save you dollars.