Recent Articles

  • Redefining Construction Document Management

    Article written by Andy Holtmann for the Viewpoint blog

    Modern Technologies are Letting Contractors Manage Documents; Markup and Share Construction Drawings in Real Time

    The one constant on any construction project is change. The end result of a completed building, roadway or other structure is almost never exactly how it was drawn up in the beginning. Once building begins, plans, specs and drawings are tweaked as efficiencies are noted, errors are corrected or work gets completed throughout the process.

    That’s why effectively managing these changes is crucial to contractors’ success. When different team members are using different sets of drawings, mistakes or execution errors are likely to occur, and when these do happen the entire project could be delayed while the issues are sorted out or, worse yet, costly rework has to be done.

    These mistakes and delays can have a significant impact on your bottom line as a contractor — and leave your clients unimpressed with your teams’ abilities to manage projects.

  • The Construction Industry: Poised for Constructible Change

    Article written by Chris Moor on

    The construction industry is ripe for improvement and brimming with potential. It’s also expected to be a 10 trillion-dollar industry by 2020. Today, construction constitutes 13% of the global gross domestic product, yet it’s well documented that productivity growth remains dramatically low. In reality, construction is emerging from old ways of thinking and challenges that span people, processes and technology. 

  • Don’t Ignore Auto Insurance, Excess Liability and Cybersecurity Risks

    Article written by Mary Grandy and Trish Drew on

    Now that businesses are settled into the new year, it’s a good time to consider some of the top insurance and risk management challenges that contractors and other construction organizations should expect in 2019.

    Auto Premiums Continue Upward Trajectory

    Chances are good that businesses already have felt the impact of rising auto insurance premiums. Insurance carriers have been facing an increase in both frequency and severity of auto losses during the past several years, making commercial auto one of the worst performing property casualty insurance lines. As a result, underwriters have continued to increase rates and premiums to offset tighter margins, as well as reevaluate and often restrict their underwriting appetites. 

  • Nonresidential Spending Expands Again in February

    Key Takeaways

    • Nonresidential construction spending, which totaled $773.8 billion on a seasonally adjusted annual basis for February, was a 4.8% increase over the same time last year.
    • Private nonresidential spending fell 0.5 percent for the month and is only up 0.1 percent on a year-over-year basis.
    • Public nonresidential spending is up 3.7 percent for the month and an impressive 12.1 percent for the year.

    Press Release from Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc.

    WASHINGTON, April 1—According to an Associated Builders and Contractors analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data released today, national nonresidential construction spending rose 1.2 percent in February. Seasonally adjusted nonresidential spending totaled $773.8 billion, a 4.8 percent increase over the same time last year.

  • Construction Adds 16,000 Net New Jobs in March

    According to data released today by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national construction industry added 16,000 net new jobs in March.

    Key Takeaways

    • On a year-over-year basis, industry employment is up 246,000 jobs, representing a 3.4% increase.
    • The construction industry unemployment rate fell to 5.2%, down a full percentage point from February.
    • "The expectation is that construction employment will continue to expand into the summer given normal seasonal factors and the level of backlog as measured by ABC’s Construction Backlog Indicator."
    • "Today’s readings suggest that February employment data represented an aberration and that the economic and employment expansion remains in place."

    Press Release from Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc (ABC)

    Construction Sees Minor Job Growth in March, Says ABC

  • Construction Lost 31,000 Jobs in February

    According to data released today by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national construction industry lost 31,000 jobs in February, the biggest drop since December 2013. This follows adding 53,000 in January.

    The losses were seen in all major sectors:

    • Residential Building - lost 1,600 jobs in February, but up 43,900 jobs over February 2018
    • Nonresidential Building - lost 3,000 jobs in February, but up 9,900 jobs over February 2018
    • Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction - lost 13,200 jobs in February, but up 40,600 jobs over February 2018
    • Specialty Trade Contractors - lost 13,500 jobs in February, but up 129,000 jobs over February 2018

    Press Release from Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc (ABC)

    Jobs Decline in Construction Sector for the First Time in More Than Two Years, Says ABC

  • 3 Cash Flow Forecasting Tips for Your Next Big Construction Project

    Article written by Natalie Ritchie on the Viewpoint blog

    Managing cash flow for a large construction project is tricky — not just because you don’t get paid immediately, but also because you’re dealing with progress claim preparation, submission deadlines, varying substantiation requirements and variation and claim negotiations — all of which distract you from actually doing the work and finally getting payment.

    Adding to the complexity are project durations (which can go from days to years), the broad scope of work, the logistical sequencing of tasks and any conditions tacked onto the contract.

    Considering these complexities, it’s easy to understand why, throughout the life of a project, a variety of things can change — directly impacting the original cash flow forecast.

    But when underlying project revenue and cost forecasts are inaccurate, even the largest company can tap out its cash reserves, resulting in a failure to meet payroll payments, supplier payments, subcontractor commitments and service payment obligations.

  • Anirban Basu, chairman and CEO at the Sage Policy Group, Inc., joins the podcast and discusses the economic trends and leading indicators that contractors need to watch in order to be successful. Basu, who serves as the chief economist for the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) and the Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA) notes that while the short-term outlook for the construction industry remains solid, overall indicators point to a potential slowdown over the next couple of years. Effective cash flow management is critical to enduring a recession, and Basu points to new technologies that maximize efficiencies, boost productivity and replace traditional processes. Hear why he doesn’t see a traditional way out of the skilled labor shortage and why a technological revolution is necessary to fill the gaps and keep contractors productive.

    Podcast originally appeared on the Viewpoint blog

  • Nonresidential Construction Spending Flat in December

    Key Takeaways

    • Nonresidential construction spending, which totaled $750.5 billion on a seasonally adjusted annual rate for December, remained flat when compared to the previous month and is a 4% increase over the same time last year.
    • Public sector nonresidential spending declined 0.6% for the month
    • In 2019, “there are many variables to watch, including interest rates, worsening skilled worker shortages, rapidly rising construction compensation costs and the U.S. economy’s broader trajectory in the context of a slowing global economy."

    Press Release from Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc.

    WASHINGTON, March 4 — National nonresidential construction spending remained virtually unchanged in December, according to Associated Builders and Contractors’ analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data released today. Nonresidential spending totaled $750.5 billion on a seasonally adjusted annualized basis in December, up 4 percent year over year.

  • 2018 Construction Technology Report

    Survey Says: Contractors Committed to Tech, Industry Still Faces Hurdles

    Highlights from JBKnowledge’s 2018 Construction Technology Report

    Article written by Andy Holtmann on the Viewpoint blog.

    Now in its seventh year, the annual Construction Technology Report compiled by JBKnowledge is one of the most impressive surveys in the industry, providing the latest trends on everything from construction software, IT budgets and workflows, mobile apps, emerging technologies and more. The 2018 Construction Technology Report is now available and we recommend checking it out.

    Here are some of the key highlights and themes we saw throughout: