What to Look For in a Commercial Construction Contractor

The overall outcome of any build structure relies on a single, very important decision – choosing the right commercial construction contractor. A poorly selected commercial construction contractor is likely to build a poor quality commercial building that will end up costing more than what was budgeted for and may not be what was originally intended. Therefore, there are a number of important attributes individuals should look for in any prospective commercial construction contractor.A good commercial construction contractor must always present them self and operate their construction business in a business-like demeanor. A good contractor will respect the schedule of the business owner and always show up on time and ready to do whatever needs to be done that day. They will be competent, organized and able to deal directly with any questions or concerns the business owner may have. They will create a sense of confidence because they will not break any promises. Individuals should look at how a contractor deals with them before they sign the contract. It will say a lot about how that individual expects to be treated throughout the duration of the project.Communication is a key attribute in any commercial construction contractor. Construction is considered a “people business.” A good contractor is also a good listener and communicator. They will translate the ideas of the individual and their goals into a very workable plan and then provide insight on what can be expected. They will create a strong base for a good working relationship and build positive rapport. If an individual does not feel as though they are communicating with a contractor effectively during the interview process, chances are it will continue through the project.Commercial construction is a complex task. The contractor needs to demonstrate the experience and skills needed to get the job done. They need to have years of experience before they can manage a large project. There are different kinds of projects and it is important to find a contractor that has the experience in that type of commercial construction work. If they do, ask them to deliver proof in the form of referrals and recommendations.A good, well established commercial construction contractor will have a professional reputation. This can be determined through the use of references. Ask the contractor to provide references. Have them include not only references for themselves, but any other businesses they may work with, including material suppliers. It is important to know that all companies involved have a professional reputation.Lastly, look into the business practices of the commercial construction contractor. Ask for a certificate of insurance to ensure they have necessary coverage, including liability insurance and workers’ compensation coverage. Call the insurance company to ensure the coverage has not lapsed. Also check out their licenses and call the state licensing board to see if the license has ever been suspended or if there are any claims against the commercial construction contractor. Make certain they are able to get all necessary building permits and follow all zoning laws.

Construction Management Software Functionality – What Really Matters?

Construction companies of every size and shape can benefit tremendously from enhancing their business practices by way of initiating a properly designed, developed, implemented, and supported construction management software package. Correctly put to use, construction management software is capable of handling many tasks that might currently be bogging down important personnel resources that could spend their time and effort on some of the more important facets of operating a construction company business.What matters is that the software package selected must actually do what its advertising and promotions say it will do; and that your company employees will not need constant training or assistance with operation of the system itself.Of course, the size and shape of a particular company certainly dictates what size and shape, or level of functionality, is needed to help streamline and smooth out some of the common business processes, procedures, practices, and other operating factors. Careful planning is needed when the software selection process is underway; to ensure the necessary functionality for a particular business model is there.Most construction companies operate in a number of similar ways, at least to some level; thus, most reputable and recognized construction software companies quite readily and adequately cover those common denominators.Things like Project Tracking, Job Costing, Estimating, Scheduling, Planning, Change-order Management, Payroll, Accounting, Proposals, Vendor and Supplier interfaces, and a host of similar Construction company business operations are more or less ‘run of the mill’ functionality with many Construction Management Software packages, since just about every construction company needs them anyway.Some of the trickier functionality issues seem to come from things that are more one-of-a-kind business practices or procedures which are more germane to a specific company.For example, let’s say that ABC Construction Company, a small, but busy and widely spread company, developed a unique project change-order procedure that it just did not want to change, just to “fit” an off-the-shelf software package’s standard formatting or file control and management methods.ABC Construction Company would either have to find and select a higher priced, probably over-qualified, software package with more customizable functionality; which will have way more bells and whistles than the size of the company could ever put to use; or they will have to look for add-on and plug-in modules and other work-arounds to incorporate their home-grown procedures and processes into a reasonably invested construction software package.Even though proper selection of the right software solution for a given construction company is much like looking for a needle in a haystack; and functionality vs. actual practices might well be the stack of hay in some cases; there are many construction software companies who seem to know how to get it quite right.The process of designing, demonstrating, evaluating, customizing, integrating, interfacing, implementing, managing, and supporting a new construction management software package is certainly a daunting task, and some of the companies out there that put these software solutions together just don’t hang in there long enough to keep their commitments.It certainly pays to stick with a reputable and well-known brand for construction management software. While some of the wannabes’ products might provide a measure of usefulness and assistance with construction company operations at the outset, some of them are also known to be far less robust in overall stability and long-term adaptability. A system crash is not a welcome event for any company; avoid that by looking to the true professionals with the right credentials and customer support attitudes.

Things to Know Before Starting a Business

Although there certainly are a number of things that need to be kept in mind when you operate a business, one of the more important thing is the success of the business. As with many businesses, success is measured in the bottom line and there is nothing wrong in measuring it in this way. What you need to keep in mind, however, is the fact that it is not always your profits that are going to make a difference in the bottom line. There are also some ways for you to be able to save money, either continually or on a month by month basis which will help to improve the overall profitability of your company. What are some of those options that are available to you?One thing that you would want to consider is the amount of energy that you are using every month. This is not only the case when it comes to your electric or other utility bills, it is also important for you to consider the amount of fuel that is being used. As far as the utility bills are concerned, you can make a difference by adjusting the temperature in the workplace or by turning off the electronics when they are not in use. It is also a good idea for you to consider the smaller details, such as the use of ceiling fans when nobody is in the room. A ceiling fan can easily cost you $10 per month and in an office that has many fans, it can really add up.Your fuel expenditures are also something that is going to make a difference in the profitability of your company. If you operate a fleet of vehicles, try to offer some type of incentive to your employees for saving money on a daily basis. This is not always going to be possible, but it is possible if they run a very specific route. By changing the route to lower the amount that they drive, they can make a dent in your monthly fuel expenditures.How much money do you spend on equipment every year? If you purchased your equipment used, you are really leaving a lot of money on the table. One option that you may want to consider is using asset auctions so that you can purchase the equipment that you need used instead of purchasing it new. This is true of everything from auctions that cover electronics all the way to heavy equipment auctions which will cover large pieces of machinery. By purchasing quality equipment at an auction, you are taking a major bite out of your overall expenditures.One other thing that you would want to consider is the location of your office. If you have downsized in recent years, as many companies have, is it possible for you to move into a smaller office space? Discuss this with your landlord, as they will likely reduce the amount that you are paying every month to keep you in your location. If a move is in order, make sure that you are making the decisions which will help to save you money for the long-term.