Recent Articles

  • Ten Trends in A/E/C Business Development

    What are the hot trends for selling design and construction services?

    Original article written by Scott D. Butcher FSMPS CPSM

    I was recently asked to share my thoughts about current trends related to the way architecture, engineering, and construction firms are approaching business development. Marketing trends, high levels of client sophistication, changing buying models, and technology have all impacted design and construction firm thinking about the sales process. Here’s a macro view of some of the trends happening in the market space right now.

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  • Construction Labor Shortage Creates Increasingly Lucrative Career Paths

    Original article written by Jim Morrison on Forbes.com

    College isn’t for everyone and there are strong reasons to support students who decide to opt out of the college track and get jobs in the trades.

    Jobs

    A 2017 study from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce found between 1991-2015: “Good jobs in non-manufacturing blue-collar industries, such as construction and transportation, increased in 38 states. North Dakota, South Dakota, and Utah experienced the most robust job growth in non-manufacturing blue collar industries, as well as in the total number of blue-collar jobs.”

    The growth has been uneven, though. The study says 12 states -particularly in the Northeast- lost those kinds of good jobs. California, Texas and Florida have had the largest gains.

    Earnings

    The study says there are 3,477,000 people have good-paying construction jobs in the U.S. and earn a median salary of $59,000.

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  • Construction Adds 19,000 Jobs in July

    According to data released Friday by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national construction industry added 19,000 net new jobs in July, following 13,000 in June and 29,000 in May.

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

    Full release

    Construction Adds 19,000 Jobs as Unemployment Plummets in July, Says ABC

    WASHINGTON, Aug. 3—The U.S. construction industry added 19,000 net new jobs in July after adding 13,000 net new jobs in June, according to an Associated Builders and Contractors analysis of data supplied by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The industry has added 308,000 net new jobs since the first of the year, a robust increase of 4.4 percent.

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  • Nonresidential Construction Spending Dips in June

    Key Takeaways

    • Nonresidential construction spending, which totaled $742 billion on a seasonally adjusted annual rate for June, is down 1.6% from May.
    • Private nonresidential spending fell 0.3% in June, while public nonresidential spending contracted by 3.5%.
    • “Tax and regulatory reform are helping stimulate new demand for construction projects. But if contractors are forced to raise prices significantly to cope with rising labor and materials costs, many public and private sector clients may scale back investments in new construction projects.”
    • "Since monthly construction spending declines were apparent in both private and public segments, it is also possible that certain projects have been put on hold, with the hope that input prices will eventually decline to lower levels.”

    Press Release from Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc.

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  • Current News on Tariffs and the Impact on Construction

    In a new round of tariffs that began last week, Chinese imports targeted by the U.S. include:

    • Heavy equipment and machinery for mining, construction and farming
    • Industrial machinery
    • Steel products
    • Airplanes, aircraft tires and engine components
    • Nuclear reactor equipment and parts
    • Marine and boat components
    • Electrical and computer components
    • Electric motors and generators
    • Communications and radio equipment
    • Motor vehicles

    Trump's own tariffs make it harder to rebuild infrastructure

    By David A. Lieb, Associated Press

    June 30, 2018

    President Donald Trump wants to rebuild the nation's transportation infrastructure. He also wants to strengthen the U.S. steel industry through tariffs on imports.

    But that second goal could make it more costly to accomplish the first.

    Since Trump announced the tariffs in March, prices have been rising for the American steel used to build bridges, reinforce concrete highways and lay the rails for mass transit systems. Though many of this summer's big construction projects had locked in pre-tariff prices, concerns are mounting among contractors and some transportation officials that the tariffs could raise costs and delay work that is still in the planning stages.

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  • How a Badly Needed New Firehouse Proved the Danger of Low Bids

    Original article written by Thomas C. Schleifer PhD and appears on ENR.com

    A few years ago, a group of business and tradespeople in a small but growing midwestern U.S. town needed a bigger firehouse. They understood from personal experience how the world works, but because of pressure from the town they opened the project to all bidders and didn't use a prequalification process. The low bidder, $at 2.5 million, was a contractor with a reputation for being difficult to do business with. The business and tradespeople suspected the contractor was not qualified, but they had not required any prequalification process to screen bidders.

    They should have known better.

    I have been in construction almost 60 years and have had too much experience with low bidders to even let one near my property. Selecting based on a low bid practically guarantees you will end up with the least qualified contractor for your project and that it will cost you more in the long run in return for which you will get lower quality and more headaches.

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  • Construction Adds 13,000 Jobs in June

    According to data released Friday by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national construction industry added 13,000 net new jobs in June, following 29,000 net new jobs in May (revised from 25,000), and 21,000 in April.

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

    Full release

    Construction Employment Retains Momentum in June, Says ABC; Unemployment Rate Increases as Labor Force Grows

    WASHINGTON, July 6—The U.S. construction industry added 13,000 net new jobs in June after adding 29,000 net new jobs in May (revised upward from 25,000+), according to an analysis by the Associated Builders and Contractors of data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The industry has added 282,000 net new jobs during the past calendar year, a 4.1 percent increase.

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  • US construction spending rose 0.4 percent in May

    Key Takeaways

    • Construction spending, which totaled $749 billion on a seasonally adjusted annual rate for May, is up 3 percent from the same time last year.
    • Public nonresidential spending increased 0.6% for the month and 4.9% for the year, while the private sector contracted 0.3% for the month but increased 1.8% year-over-year.
    • "While private construction spending should remain sturdy during the months ahead given healthy backlog and current economic momentum, the outlook for construction spending may be rather different in a few quarters.”
    • Continued labor shortages and rising materials costs threaten future growth in demand.

    Press Release from Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc.

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  • 5 Ways to Prepare for New Revenue Recognition Standards

    And Why a Robust ERP Technology Solution is a Must

    More and more, contractors are facing increasingly complex projects and financials. It’s time for contractors to embrace and prepare for new GAAP revenue recognition standards developed by FASB. The new standards promise quicker payments and better cash flow—but only if contractors have the proper framework in place to capture and properly communicate the critical data.

    Is your organization ready? Download our eBook to discover the five steps contractors need to follow to properly adhere to new revenue recognition standards, the overriding principles behind them, and how an ERP technology solution can help.

     

    We’re thankful we made the transition to Viewpoint. With this solution, we can be more efficient and informed as well as more strategic for continued growth and increased revenue.

    -Gary Montgomery, CFO, Hill & Wilkinson

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  • Attracting and Growing Talent: What Contractors Need to Know

    Article written by Stacey Holsinger and Mark Drury for Constructor Magazine

    Across many industries in the U.S., there is a decline in educated, skilled and experienced personnel as the largest generation in history moves out of the workforce and into retirement. As a result, it’s become a war for talent, and construction companies are on the front line.

    This comes at a critically important time for the construction industry as the current volume of work already exceeds the human capital resource capacity. Furthermore, between natural disasters, a growing economy and a crumbling infrastructure, the demand for increasing the industry’s production capacity is at an all-time high.

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