Recent Articles

  • Top 5 Trends for 2020

    Summary written by Andy Holtmann and appeared on the Viewpoint blog.

    Construction Dive Looks at Top 5 Trends for 2020

    Construction Dive, which over the past few years has become a significant industry source for news and trends in the AEC industries, gave its take on five key ways construction will evolve in the year ahead. The article points to more scrutiny of structural design and safety processes by government agencies, insurance companies and others in the wake of several high-profile accidents and structural flows; increased adoption of more efficient building methods like modulization and prefabrication; more diversity among future generations of construction professionals; and continued automation of processes through technology — without negatively impacting jobs. “Contractors seem primed to welcome more automation, because it seems increasingly inevitable that jobsite and back-office technologies will integrate,” the article noted.

  • Top 10 Strategic CIO Priorities For 2020

    Article written by Rob Preston and appears on

    Speed. Security. Agility. Innovation. Automation. Insight. These are the words leading CIOs keep coming back to when explaining their technology, business, and organizational priorities.

    For example, listen to how Sally Gilligan, CIO of clothing retailer Gap Inc., thinks about how the company’s major cloud migration, started about a year ago, has accelerated its innovation process (priority #1 on my list). Provisioning IT infrastructure to code new products used to take Gap about eight weeks; now that infrastructure can be online in less than an hour.

    “If you think about it, I just took eight weeks out of my lead time to develop,” Gilligan says. “So our teams are truly thinking about how to code the solution and less about which building blocks are needed. It’s a subtle shift, but it’s incredibly empowering—and, actually, quite fun for the engineering team.”

  • Nonresidential Construction Added 44,000 New Jobs in January

    According to data released Friday by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national construction industry added 44,000 net new jobs in January.

    Key Takeaways

    • The construction industry added 44,000 net new jobs in January 2020. On a year-over-year basis, industry employment has expanded by 142,000 jobs, an increase of 1.9%.
    • The construction unemployment rate was 5.4% in January, down 1 percentage point from the same time last year. Unemployment across all industries inched up to 3.6% last month.
    • Nonresidential construction employment increased by 23,800 jobs on net in January and is up by 97,700 net jobs during the last 12 months, a year-over-year increase of 2.1%.

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

    Nonresidential Construction Employment Rises in January, Says ABC

  • Nonresidential Construction Falls Again in December

    Key Takeaways

    • Nonresidential construction spending, which totaled $779.6 billion on a seasonally adjusted annual basis in December, declined 1.2% but is up 4.4% on a year-ago basis.
    • Private nonresidential spending fell 1.8% on a monthly basis and is down by 0.1% compared to December 2018. Public nonresidential construction spending also slipped in December, falling 0.4% for the month. On a year-over-year basis, public nonresidential spending is up 11.2%.
    • "The transition from a private construction-led recovery to a public construction-led recovery is complete. During the years after the Great Recession, public construction waned as state and local governments struggled fiscally in the wake of diminished assessed property values, cautious consumers and slow income growth. Meanwhile, private construction was fueled by steady economic growth and a low cost of capital."

    Press Release from Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc.

  • Nonresidential Construction Employment Up in December

    According to data released today by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national construction industry added 20,000 net new jobs in December.

    Key Takeaways

    • The construction industry added 20,000 net new jobs in December 2019. On a year-over-year basis, industry employment has expanded by 151,000 jobs, an increase of 2.0%.
    • The construction unemployment rate was 5.0% in December, down 0.1 percentage points from the same time last year.
    • Nonresidential construction employment increased by 16,700 jobs on net in December and is up by 100,600 net jobs during the last 12 months.
    • “Recent data indicate that nonresidential construction spending is no longer expanding rapidly, and this may be due in part to the fact that the industry is approaching its output ceiling due to a shortage of available workers.”

  • Under Attack: Hackers Find Construction Data Attractive Target

    Article written by Steven H. Miller and appears on Constructor

    There is an old adage concerning timely action about the uselessness of locking the stable after the horse is gone. It is, unfortunately, the story of many construction companies confronting the issue of cybersecurity. They never considered themselves a target until it was too late.

    Many are surprised by how fast the future has arrived, but it is here now. From payroll and tool-tracking to 3D building models and as-built laser scans, a construction company’s network is the conduit for increasing portions of its activities and is hosting an increasing number of outsiders and their devices. That is an attractive target for thieves, especially since the number of vulnerabilities in the network is growing. If the ‘stable’ in the old adage is your computer network with 250 doors instead of one and strangers going in and out, locking it up is not a simple task. To avoid becoming a victim, cybersecurity must be considered a top issue.

  • Press Release from Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc.

    WASHINGTON, Dec. 4—Associated Builders and Contractors Chief Economist Anirban Basu forecasts continued momentum for the construction sector next year but advised an overall “wait-and-see” approach based on leading and lagging indicators and economic uncertainties, according to a 2020 economic outlook published in Construction Executive magazine.

    Although ABC’s Construction Backlog Indicator—a leading indicator that reflects projects under contract yet to be executed—climbed to nine months in August 2019, construction spending and employment—lagging indicators—have started to soften. Yet, while spending in private nonresidential categories such as office and logging has decreased, public spending categories remain a bright spot.

  • Nonresidential Construction Spending Declines in November

    Key Takeaways

    • Nonresidential construction spending, which totaled $781.1 billion on a seasonally adjusted annual basis in November, declined .3% from October but increased 5.1% year over year.
    • Private nonresidential spending fell 1.2% on a monthly basis and is up by a slight 0.2% compared to the same time last year. Public nonresidential construction spending increased 0.9% in November and is up 12.4% year over year.
    • "After sending out recessionary signals during mid-2019, the economy has rebounded despite lingering uncertainty emanating from many sources, including the Middle East. Through it all, the U.S. economy has remained robust, positioning office and other lagging segments to improve during the months ahead.”

    Press Release from Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc.

  • 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.

  • 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).