And that's (almost) a wrap! 2016 saw the birth of our Jobsite, and we brought to you our very best each week. Here's the lowdown of everybody's favorites from this year:
Up-and-coming technological innovations are always a good way for entire industries to improve daily operations and boost performance rates for employees. This is especially true for the construction industry, where companies must rely on cutting edge technology to ensure both long-term success and the safety of workers.
Construction has many opportunities to make customers angry. Changes, budget issues, and on-time issues rank as the top three, but there are plenty of other reasons clients get upset. The best way to deal with angry or unhappy customers is not to have situations that cause them in the first place. When that doesn't work out though, here are some tips for smoothing things out.
It takes an incredible amount of paper to create a full set of architectural drawings. These documents are long, complex, and extremely detailed. Further, these drawings must be distributed to each relevant team member. However, as project managers and general contractors redline change orders and post RFIs to the drawings, it requires printing new copies of the drawings and redistributing the latest versions of these drafts once again to all team members.
With innovation happening at the speed of light, we’re entering the modern age of construction. Technology is transforming construction, bringing forth a whole new realm of invention aimed at making the industry safer, more efficient, and increasingly profitable, all while reducing our carbon footprint.
Recent international news highlights the increasing global interest in construction robotics. Skanska UK snagged a grant from the UK government to develop robots for onsite and offsite construction activities. Going a step farther, MX3D, a 3D printing and robotics company, set plans in motion to marry robotics with 3D printing by printing a bridge over a canal in the Netherlands.
For many construction firms, there's simply no way to avoid rework. Projects are immense, with scores of workers involved, specification books as thick as bricks, and aspects of the job that can take months to complete. Maintaining a streamlined and efficient workflow is one of the primary goals of any construction firm. However, whether due to a lack of skilled labor, miscommunication, or poor project management, countless jobs are extended beyond their scheduled deadline due to a significant amount of rework required to fulfill contractually obligated specifications.
Imagine designing a car by sculpting and manipulating a car-sized image in the middle of the room in which you’re standing. Not sealed into a helmeted VR environment, but looking out at your world and seeing an actionable 3D image floating in the air there––amid the furniture and family dog––an image you can manipulate with your hands. It’s soon to be [augmented] reality.
If you are new to supervising construction, and you really want to get an idea of what’s required to excel at construction management, you should talk to a superintendent. They occupy a unique place in the construction hierarchy because they are the ones who blend project management with project execution. If there is one person who has their fingers on the pulse of the jobsite, it's the superintendent.
There is a “massive storm of innovation” coming from Software as a Service (SaaS), cloud computing, mobile devices, and connected devices. All the new insights coming from the data are going to streamline your work, provide early warnings of problems, and give you amazing new perspectives on building. But these aren't the only ones making moves in the industry. Find out what tech is bringing you in the decade ahead...
In construction, an estimate, bid, quote, and proposal can take on different meanings depending on who is using the term. Some construction professionals use the words “estimate” and “quote” interchangeably, while a bid or proposal may turn into a contract if a customer signs it. It’s a lot like the difference between Coke, cola, soda, and pop––it all depends on where you are and who you’re talking to, but we can all agree that you won’t get a glass of milk when you order one.
The old saying goes, “insurance covers everything except what happens.” It’s a tongue-in-cheek way to express the frustration policyholders often feel when they find out insurance won’t cover their recent loss. However, in many instances the policyholder doesn’t make an accurate assessment of risks. This leads to some risks not getting covered at the expense of others. On the bright side, forecasters say that contractors with good loss profiles should easily find affordable policies in 2016 because competition is strong among insurers.
Since its inception, the construction industry has been a fragmented enterprise, as firm executives try to organize and guide project managers, general contractors, architects, engineers, and a host of vendors in a complicated supply chain. Due to the diversity of job sites, the comings and goings of a variety of subcontractors, and the need to delegate duties to a cross-spectrum of employees and laborers, maintaining strong collaboration between the various interested parties during a construction project can be a minefield of miscommunication, unheard requests, and misinformed decisions. Without adequate and effective collaboration, projects can become bogged down in complicated workflows that lead to considerable waste, lost revenue, and even lawsuits.
Siri has met her match! Amazon's voice-activated smart home speaker, Alexa, is Siri on steroids. While many consumers are raving about her ability to hail a ride from Uber, order a pizza from Domino's, or stream music straight from Spotify, construction professionals and Procore have other––more constructive––plans for her.
Following the financial turmoil and industry turbulence that rippled through the construction sector during the Great Recession, firms have been steadily crawling up from this low to reach new heights of economic prosperity. As construction spending continues to improve each year, it's absolutely crucial that executives, general contractors, and project managers have the right tools for tracking and measuring capital inflows and outflows for each particular job across the entire enterprise.
If you ask any risk management consultant, they’ll tell you the truth: the real silent killers aren’t nightmarish doomsday risks but the poor processes that plague your team every day. In a study called “Identifying Key Risks in Construction Projects: Life Cycle and Stakeholder Perspectives”, researchers analyzed the top 10 risks that are most likely to occur and have a significant impact on your project objectives. Here they are in order of importance and some tips to actively mitigate their risk of becoming a pain in your bottom line.
The second you sign a contract, your company is bound to its’ terms. If your estimates are incorrect or unrealistic, you could increase your risk of facing litigation. One of the biggest culprits behind poor estimates is lack of pertinent information and background. Since project estimates can often act as a self fulfilling prophecy, best practices have changed to reflect a symbiotic relationship between reliable information and project management feedback. Here are some things to keep in mind when preparing your estimate.