OP COMMERCIAL 01By Guy Skillett

On a typical construction project, there is one resource that dominates all other costs: labor. Up to 50 percent of the cost of construction can be attributed to the cost of the craft workforce. Not only is labor a significant cost on many projects, it’s also the most variable and the least understood. Construction sites are complex and rapidly changing, where unforeseen events like weather, equipment delays and worker turnover are all levers that can seriously impact productivity.

The construction industry often considers labor as a fixed cost, where little can be done to optimize craft performance and productivity. There’s some obvious reasons why this is the case. Construction is largely executed by subcontractors, where jobsite conditions and project execution are defined by planning and sequencing of work by contractors. Subcontractors are often not in control of all the factors that define project success.

 OP CIVIL 01By Mark Wasilko

Providers of construction equipment, including OEMs and heavy machinery rental companies, are judged by their ability to provide continuous uptime, availability, and how quickly they can return an malfunctioning asset to service. That is why many companies offer guaranteed response times, same day repairs and proactive preventative maintenance programs. They understand that keeping their equipment running as much as possible is a critical differentiator in an industry where customers have a lot of choices.

That’s easier said than done, especially when one considers that, traditionally, repair and maintenance processes have been plagued by inefficiencies and a lack of useful, in-context, actionable information. For instance, when an asset malfunctions, construction teams may receive an alert that something is amiss, but that alert will often come without context or follow-up. There is no recommended plan of action. As such, everyone involved in the maintenance and operation of that equipment is left making educated guesses regarding the cause of the problem and how to execute the repairs required to get the asset up and running.

TRUMP IMPACT ON HOUSINGTrump’s presidency has impacted the housing industry.   

By Steven Cvitanovic

As a presidential candidate, Donald Trump promised he would eliminate excessive regulations, pull out of trade agreements that were “bad deals,” and slow or eliminate illegal immigration to protect American workers. Trump has been able to fulfill his promises through Executive Orders, at least temporarily, but has the flurry of Executive Orders had any impact?  Yes, but it is not all good.

RISK ARTICLERisk can work for and against you.   

By Heidi Pozzo

Risk. Just hearing it can send chills down your spine. After all, most people see it as a downside. But risk can be a competitive advantage. When you understand what can go wrong in your business, you also will find what you do well. That knowledge will allow you to minimize the impact of downside risks. By finding a point of distinction in managing risk better than your competitors, you have a decisive advantage.

HOLLINGSWORTHChanging the image of construction begins with technology innovation.   

By Chad Hollingsworth

Technological change is increasing exponentially, and along with it, the very way we do business.  With the rapid adoption of digital networks and the widespread use of connected devices, consumers have come to expect real-time, data-driven information at their fingertips. While most industries have embraced – and are able to deliver on – this digital transformation, construction remains among the least digitized industries in the United States, second only to agriculture and hunting. 

LEGAL ISSUES FRAUDHere’s how contractors can minimize fraud exposure.

By Scott Shaffer and Seth Snyder

Contractors face risks to their businesses – and risks even in simply completing a project – that are many and varied. Contractors are very familiar with the threat of damaged equipment, injuries, lending disputes, unexpected change orders, weather delays and jurisdictional interference, to name just a handful. Contractors survive and thrive in the construction industry because of their ability to navigate such challenges. However, there is another form of risk many tend to overlook — fraud.

LEGAL ISSUES ANTI INDEMNITY STATUTESDo anti-indemnity statutes always protect you?

By Jeremy P. Brummond

Construction contracts often include “indemnity” provisions where the “indemnitor” agrees to be responsible for losses incurred by the “indemnitee” or claims asserted against the indemnitee such as personal injury or property damage claims. 

Indemnity provisions come in all shapes and sizes. Some indemnity provisions are relatively narrow in scope with the indemnitor agreeing to be responsible only for damages or claims to the extent they are caused by the indemnitor’s errors. Others are broader and are often referred to as “intermediary” indemnity provisions – this is when the indemnitor’s error contributed to the damages and claims and the indemnitor claims full responsibility even if the damages were not entirely the indemnitor’s fault. To go a step further, there are “broad form” indemnity provisions where an indemnitor broadly agrees to be responsible for all damages and claims relating to the work, even if caused solely by the indemnitee.


According to the NOAA’s National Center for Environmental Information, the United States has suffered more than 200 weather-related disasters since 1980 that have cost more than $1 billion, totaling approximately $1.2 trillion. But even then, analysts predict that these numbers are too low. These staggering numbers provide a window into the monumental suffering those in a disaster experience. How can the construction industry play its part in aiding disaster relief?

We know purpose-built structures and raw materials take too much time and effort to be effective. They take too long to ship and assemble, are quickly outdated as needs change rapidly and ultimately end up part of the problem as they must be demolished and disposed of in landfills.
In a perfect world, disaster relief products would be easily shipped and assembled, fit the unique requirements of each shelter or venue, be able to adjust quickly to the emergency as needs change, then either become a permanent part of the solution, ship out or recycle as easily as they are delivered.

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