Recent Articles

  • 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.

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  • 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

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  • 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.

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  • 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:

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  • Top 10 Strategic CIO Priorities Of 2019

    Article written by Rob Preston and appears on Forbes.com

    CIOs head into 2019 amid a relatively strong, though volatile, global economy. This volatility will only further unsettle their often-precarious position of having to take on new digital projects and innovate at an accelerating pace while also having to lock down costs. It all makes for a “schizophrenic” state of affairs, notes one CIO.

    As in past years, CIOs have to make hard choices. Principal among them: how to shift the investment balance from legacy systems to new, mostly cloud-based applications, capabilities, and technologies (artificial intelligence, blockchain, data analytics) while improving security, reliability, and scalability. Oy.

    In this, our seventh annual list of the 10 most important challenges CIOs face and opportunities they must grab in the year ahead, we shine a spotlight on several new priorities, but we also update certain ones from past years. As we noted in past years, real change doesn’t happen in discrete annual steps.

    Your priorities may vary—based on the size of your organization, your industry, and/or your management’s appetite for change and ability to invest. But consider these 10 a starting point.

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  • Construction Adds 52,000 Jobs in January

    According to data released last week by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national construction industry added 52,000 net new jobs in January. Industry employment is up by 338,000 net jobs year-over-year, a 4.7% increase.

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

    Construction Employment Surges to Start Year, Says ABC

    WASHINGTON, Feb. 1— Construction employment expanded by 52,000 net new jobs in January, according to an Associated Builders and Contractors analysis of data released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Industry employment is up by 338,000 net jobs on a yearly basis, which represents an increase of 4.7 percent. Nonresidential construction employment grew by 28,600 net new positions on a monthly basis, although the nonresidential building subsector lost 800 net positions.

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  • Nonresidential Construction Spending Dips in November

    Key Takeaways

    • Nonresidential construction spending, which totaled $751.5 billion on a seasonally adjusted annual rate for November, declined 0.1% and is a 5.5% increase over the same time last year.
    • Despite the annual increase, 12 of the 16 nonresidential subsectors experienced monthly declines.
    • “The dip in November spending should not be viewed as a leading indicator of coming decline.”

    Press Release from Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc.

    WASHINGTON, Feb. 1— National nonresidential construction spending declined 1 percent in November, according to an Associated Builders and Contractors analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data released today. The release of November data, originally scheduled for Jan. 3, was delayed by the partial government shutdown.

    Total nonresidential spending stood at $751.5 billion on a seasonally adjusted annualized rate, which represents a 5.5 percent increase over November 2017. However, 12 of the 16 nonresidential subsectors experienced monthly declines.

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  • Build Toward Construction Industry Success in 2019

    Article written by Gallit Itzhaki for the Viewpoint blog

    Welcome to 2019. It’s a new year. It can be new you. You’ve made a list and checked it twice…or not. Sometimes, that list gets messy or doesn’t exist at all. Either way, it’s OK! Make a list with a new set of goals that can take you to the next level!

    And, while you’re at it, there are things you can do to take your construction organization to new heights as well. Maybe one of your company’s goals is to utilize less paper, modernize your construction operations or build the largest bridge the world. No challenge should be too big or too small, but it’s important to create a set of realistic goals.

    Now is a great time to start taking steps toward your construction goals. And we’re here to help you do just that — stick to those resolutions like cement to a sidewalk by giving you a few (hopefully realistic) goals you can accomplish this year. With that in mind, here are five New Year’s resolutions for construction industry professionals:

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  • The 2019 Construction Hiring and Business Outlook Report

    Press release from AGC

    Seventy-nine percent of construction firms plan to expand their payrolls in 2019 but an almost equal percentage are worried about their ability to locate and hire qualified workers, according to survey results released today by the Associated General Contractors of America and Sage Construction and Real Estate. The findings are detailed in Contractors Remain Confident About Demand, Worried About Labor Supply: The 2019 Construction Hiring and Business Outlook Report.

    “Construction executives appear to remain confident about their market prospects for 2019 and plan to add headcount to cope with the added workload,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association's chief executive officer. “Even as they are optimistic about growing demand, contractors are concerned about finding qualified workers to execute projects.”

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  • Incentives for Contractors to Train and Modernize

    Article written by Andy Holtman for the Viewpoint blog

    Recently, we looked at some of the tax incentives that construction companies can take advantage of related to the types of work they do, including the R&D Tax Credit and the 179D Deduction. But as contractors continue to transform their operations through technology and train new generations of workers, they might not be aware that there are a number of tax incentives and credits to help offset these costs as well.

    A Renewed Focus on Training and Education

    The federal government already offers a number of individual incentive programs for educational credits or deductions through the Internal Revenue Service, including the American Opportunity Credit, the Lifetime Learning Credit and the Tuition and Fees Deduction. And a handful of states have their own incentive programs designed to help offset the costs of training and education, including learning new construction processes, software and other technologies (more below).

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