Construction Monkey

Construction Blog

For subcontractors, the best way to control and increase profit is by managing labor productivity. Too often, project managers, foreman, and executives focus on material buyouts, squeezing subcontractors, and cutting back on overhead to make gains on profits, but these actions pale in comparison to what can be accomplished by having highly productive labor. There is no doubt money to be made by being ......

For those of us in the construction industry, we know the Estimators that are more cynical than the average Joe. They appear to be more prevalent than the fun loving young estimator. The duties of an Estimator change that fun loving young kid into the cynic through years of performing one of the most difficult jobs in construction. So what makes it such a difficult job? The most difficult part of ......

Construction is a massive industry and has promoted innovations in tools, equipment, products, and of course the structures that are built. With all of that said it is not hard to state that Construction is a science. Of course to those of us in the industry we would argue that it is also an art form. What I would really like to focus on the is the science part of construction and see if we really ......

So what does it take to be a good estimator? Being great with numbers? Having a desire to color on drawings all day? There are a few key traits I have found in my career that really separate the great estimators from the rest of them. Let's recall how I defined an estimator's job as: finding the lowest cost solution to the project as would be acceptable to the client while identifying the potential ......

Measurements are critical to good construction. Not just in constructing walls, placing tiles, and balancing mechanical systems, but also in tracking contractor's performance on the project. A minute cannot go by where workers are not measuring boards, conduits, walls, concrete volumes, and hundreds of other things on a construction site, but are contractors measuring things for their own betterment? ......

If you have been involved in bidding work you have probably at one point in time been apart of the Best and Final Offer (BAFO) routine. In private work it is typically called "scoping out" the sub numbers. It is a process where you are expected to give your best and final proposal for the work after you have turned in your actual bid number. It may be preceded with a list of questions or changes in ......

Business management for years has taken the advice of statisticians: that if you don’t or can’t measure something, then you can't manage it. In construction, this simple truth is the key to being successful. Management of bidding, projects, labor, or profits is not just a group of tasks that you must perform, it is taking in facts, analyzing those facts, coming to conclusions, taking action, and then ......

We have recently decided to introduce an incentive program for our superintendents in order to improve productivity and ensure that the schedule is met and customer satisfaction is attained. Here is a synopses of the program... Bonuses are to be awarded and evaluated on a project by project basis. In order to qualify for a bonus the projectmust have a contract amount of $30,000 or greater and pass ......

Revit: An Asset or a Cool Cartoon? According to Wikipedia, Autodesk Revit is architectural building information management (BIM) software for Microsoft Windows, developed by Autodesk. It allows a user to design with parametric modeling and drafting elements. BIM is a revolutionary new Computer Aided Design (CAD) paradigm that allows for intelligent, 3D virtual rendering and parametric object-based ......

Recently Ted Garrison from NCS Radio interviewed Terry Kramer with Kramer Management Consulting regarding acquiring more profitable business. In the interview the theme was repeated over and over that construction companies need to focus more attention on the Work Acquisition Efforts from the personnel they us to the systems utilized. It really struck a chord with me since the past 20 years of my ......

By now most of us have seen the change order and contract boat image that has been circulating around the internet over the past several years. The big boat is rightly called the change order and the small dingy is called "Original Contract". This brings forward a very interesting question about how people think. When you view the image it enters into your mind that this must be Contractor's set-up ......

The most frustrating experience for a project management team and the owners of a construction company is project fade. The process of margin disappearing as the project becomes more complete deteriorates moral, the balance sheet, and may threaten the ability for an organization to continue as a viable concern. Fade comes from many causes: optimistic estimates, poor team performance, work outside ......

When managers in construction start beating the drum of more production, the message that is typically received from the crews is “you need to be working harder”. While this may be true in some instances, most of the time this is not what is being said. In construction, especially for subcontractors that are performing the labor, money is made or lost in the amount of work being put in per hour charged ......

Measurements are critical to good construction. Not just in constructing walls, placing tiles, and balancing mechanical systems, but also in tracking contractor's performance on the project. A minute cannot go by where workers are not measuring boards, conduits, walls, concrete volumes, and hundreds of other things on a construction site, but are contractors measuring things for their own betterment? ......

So what does weight loss and construction productivity have in common? If you track the inputs you are much more likely to get better results. In 2008, a study was published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine that shows that keeping a “food diary” may double your weight loss. What they actually found was that the more participants recorded what they ate, the more weight they lost in the ......

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