Recent Articles

  • Streamlining Construction Submittals

    Article written by Andy Holtmann and appears on the Viewpoint blog

    Submittals are one of the most vital parts of the processes and workflows around construction projects. The submittal process assures owners that their plans and specs are clearly understood by both contractors and subcontractors building the project. This process ensures both quality control and contractual compliance per the plans and specifications.

    A typical construction project, though, can feature hundreds, if not thousands of submittals and workflows around them. Delays in processing or last-minute submittals can lead to problems — including requests for information (RFIs) and change orders — which can cause significant project delays, impacting both productivity and deliverability.

    Contractors have long sought for ways to improve their submittal processes to streamline their projects’ productivity and mitigate risk of errors due to late or incomplete information.

    Stuck in the Manual Process Mud

    Making matters worse, many contractors are still relying on manual approaches to submittals.

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  • Using Viewpoint Field Management to Integrate and Share Real-Time Information

    Everyone knows the jobsite is where the magic happens. It’s where all of those construction project concepts and drawings get realized in physical form and where different teams with different specialties come together to work collaboratively toward a common goal.

    In today’s modern operating environment, contractors need new ways to realize efficiencies, mitigate risks and streamline work to compete. Relying on manual processes or outdated, stand-alone technology to collect and share project data leaves projects more vulnerable to costly mistakes and rework, conflicts or work stoppages that can delay projects, upset clients and shrink profits.

    More and more contractors are turning to powerful, cloud-based construction management solutions like Viewpoint Vista, which provides a complete platform of integrated functionality. Delivered in the cloud, that functionality extends to real time data, collaboration and automated workflows from the back office to the field (and vice versa).

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  • Nonresidential Construction Spending Falls in October

    Key Takeaways

    • Nonresidential construction spending, which totaled $776.5 billion on a seasonally adjusted annual basis October, fell 0.7% from September but is up 1.4% compared to the same time last year.
    • Private nonresidential spending fell 1.2% on a monthly basis and is down 4.3% compared to the same time last year. Public nonresidential construction spending also declined, falling 0.1% from September. On an annual basis, however, public nonresidential spending is up 10.4%.
    • "Commercial construction is down more than 16% over the past year, which coincides with the fact that 2019 will set a record for store closings in the U.S. as e-commerce continues to gobble up market share. Lodging and office-related construction has also slowed of late, likely because developers have already exhausted many of the best investment opportunities.”

    Press Release from Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc.

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  • Nonresidential Construction Employment Rises in November

    According to data released Friday by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national construction industry added 1,000 net new jobs in November.

    Key Takeaways

    • The construction industry added 1,000 net new jobs in November and, on a year-over-year basis, has expanded by 146,000 jobs, an increase of 2%.
    • The construction unemployment rate rose to 4.4% in October, up from 4.0% in September and up .5 percentage points from October 2018.
    • Nonresidential construction employment increased by 1,600 jobs on net in November and is up by 98,600 net jobs over the last 12 months.
    • “Any near-term recessionary fears during the summer have been neatly extinguished. While labor market data tend to be lagging indicators, it is clear that the U.S. economy retains plentiful momentum as it heads toward 2020. Today’s release also suggests that construction firms will continue to wrestle with profound skilled labor shortages as other industries offer plentiful employment opportunities and more construction workers retire.”

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  • Optimize a Workforce with Millennial, Gen X and Baby Boomer Employees

    Article written by By John Fish and appears on ConstructionExec.com.

    Solving for X. Most probably recall that simple algebra equation from back in their early school days. But solving for X isn’t about math anymore. It’s about placemaking for Generation X and Millennials—two very different generations that hold the key for businesses to achieve true greatness.

    Suffolk Construction expends a lot of time and resources handpicking the “best and brightest” young people to work for the organization—and for good reason. Its leadership has found Millennial employees, born between 1981 and 2000, to be optimistic, confident, social and diverse. They are also adept at change and technologically savvy, an ideal combination for any organization on a quest to innovate, create and challenge the status quo.

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  • Year-End Tax Planning Strategies for Contractors

    Article written by By Jacquelyn Himes and appears on ConstructionExec.com.

    There are many tax planning strategies a construction contractor can implement to reduce the company’s tax liability. Now is a good time to review the company’s financial goals, operations and results over the past year. Discuss what was done and how to qualify for tax deductions or credits with a construction accounting specialist.

    Accelerating certain expenses and postponing others may help to decrease, or even eliminate, a contractor’s tax liability. It is important to consider the timing of all expenditures at this time of year, including bonus payments, as well as the reporting of income. It might be beneficial to postpone certain expenses and delay receiving income until the new year.

    The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017 significantly changed the tax law. Contractors need to be aware of these changes and plan accordingly. Here are several tax planning opportunities that contractors may qualify for under TCJA.

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  • Nonresidential Construction Adds 10,000 Jobs in October

    According to data released Friday by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national construction industry added 10,000 net new jobs in October.

    Key Takeaways

    • The construction industry added 10,000 net new jobs in October and, on a year-over-year basis, has expanded by 148,000 jobs, an increase of 2%.
    • The construction unemployment rate rose to 4% in October, up from 3.2% in September.
    • Nonresidential construction employment increased by 4,000 jobs on net in October and is up 2.1% over the past year.
    • “The expected depletion of the Highway Trust Fund in 2021, however, represents a looming threat to public construction momentum. The implication is that the overall nonresidential construction spending cycle may experience greater turbulence over the next 12 to 18 months, but for now, the data indicate overall positive momentum.”

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  • What’s Your Company’s Crisis Plan?

    Article written by Andy Holtmann on the Viewpoint blog

    When disaster strikes, having the right technology and a solid plan in place can ensure limited business disruption

    Hurricane Dorian, like so many before it, left a swath of destruction from the Bahamas to the east coast of the United States. Whether a hurricane, fire, flood or other disaster of any type, the communities impacted often rely on construction companies to quickly get things moving in a positive direction. To ensure your construction firm can immediately get to the business of helping its community it’s vital to have a meticulous crisis plan — and the right technology — in place.

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  • Project Managers Driving Demand for Better, Faster Construction Data

    Article written by Kati Viscaino on the Viewpoint blog

    Construction projects today produce a mountain of data. From job costs to materials quantities to equipment usage to labor and production stats, data drives how successful a project will be. The most successful projects — and contractors — are able to accurately collect all available data and analytically dig deep into it to better understand projects. But that’s easier said than done.

    Ask virtually any project manager, for instance, and they’ll tell you they’re consistently behind — swamped with work and buried in a mountain of paperwork. Their body of work is judged by four words: “on time” and “on budget.” But if getting there means using a mix of manual processes and outdated, non-connected software systems, then they’re not working as efficiently as they could be.

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