Heavy Construction Equipment Leasing – The Best Alternative to Buy Construction Equipment

Thinking of heavy construction equipment leasing as business start-up. This is the most sorts after option in the leasing business for starters. The reason being the investment is low and there is no need for the big monthly equipment fees whenever something goes good or bad with the business. Moreover in the present economic scenario, leasing is the best way to do business rather than but new equipments. There are vital different areas of construction businesses. Before plunging into it, decide what to include in the fleet and what to rent, and equipment after checking construction prices, one need to decide whether to buy new or used equipment. Regardless of financing and equipment option one chooses, one get to know about the equipment first and quality second that is required by the company. It requires experience and training to operate heavy equipment. The requirements for equipment operator normally include a commercial driver’s license and an approved training on the equipment itself. The skills of the operator differ from equipment to equipment. For example, large tractor-trailers require a commercial driver’s license and driving experience of over sized vehicles. Similarly, loader operation demands knowledge of the loader’s basic functions as well as how to properly weight and fill the bucket. Some very skilled operators can run more than one piece of equipment, although it takes years to learn multiple machines and dangerous profession too. The leasing will bring the wining business for you as it offers benefits ranging from easy equipment upgrades, stable cash flow, flexible terms, assets management, custom payment structure and superiority over bank loans or cash purchases. Along with this it also brings the tax ramification i.e. in certain instances one can deduct the entire expense of leasing as a business deduction. The equipment is not regarded as a long term liability nor as assets, instead as an operating expense which is 100% deductible. Heavy construction equipment leasing provides the replacement policy. In case if the equipment becomes obsolete, one can request it to be replaced with a new one. That is the reason one doesn’t suffer from the consequences of obsolescence. In addition, disposing of the equipment becomes the lenders problem and not yours. Heavy equipment leasing will help you get the equipment you need in order to see your business expand and grow. The leasing will bring the wining business for you as it offers benefits ranging from easy equipment upgrades, stable cash flow, flexible terms, assets management, custom payment structure and superiority over bank loans or cash purchases. Along with this it also brings the tax ramification i.e. in certain instances one can deduct the entire expense of leasing as a business deduction. The equipment is not regarded as a long term liability nor as assets, instead as an operating expense which is 100% deductible. Heavy construction equipment leasing provides the replacement policy. In case if the equipment becomes obsolete, one can request it to be replaced with a new one. That is the reason one doesn’t suffer from the consequences of obsolescence. In addition, disposing of the equipment becomes the lenders problem and not yours. Heavy equipment leasing will help you get the equipment you need in order to see your business expand and grow. Published at: https://www.isnare.com/?aid=401574&ca=Business

Finding Construction Jobs in Fields Other Than New Construction

If you are considering a career in construction you may want to think twice construction jobs are in very short supply. The unemployment for construction related jobs is very high and many of this jobs have gone down in value, because many of these jobs were and are going to undocumented workers. If you still want to pursue a career in the construction industry, you should consider formal training at a trade school and preferably in a trade that requires substantial time to learn. Some skills are in demand regardless of the state of the economy for example, air condition, heating and plumbing are not dependant on new construction. These are construction jobs, but they are also service jobs. A couple of years of training in air conditioning and heating is often enough to start a new job with an air conditioning and heating company. The time spent in these programs also means, that you take a break from a weak economy and when you are done will come back ready to work in a better economic climate. Two year programs are not necessary, but programs that necessarily require two years of training are likely to pay off in the long run. The harder it is to enter a particular trade or profession, the less likely the demand for these positions will be met. Associations and unions after make it more difficult for new people to enter their particular field and set up high standards that will in fact improve the quality of the services, but also increase the cost of entry and the cost to consumers. This in turn benefits those who can stick it out and those that are in the profession. If you have the skill and experience, then a service oriented job would be an alternative to finding jobs in new construction. There are many opportunities to become self employed as a handyman or for small home improvement projects. Many states allow contracting for repairs for projects that can be done in 2 days or less without any type of a construction license. Home improvement and home renovation as well as home repairs are not depending on new construction. Major expenses such as additions are more likely to be affected by a weak economy, but many home improvement projects as well as home repair projects are not affected much. If home owner has windows needing to be replaced, chances are they will replace them. A weak economy and poor lending practices have led to a significant increase in foreclosures. As result homes are often abandoned and thieves often gut these homes out of copper wiring and plumbing, doing significant damage in the process. Some are vandalized while vacant and some are occupied and destroyed by teens and young adults using them as party houses. Banks, lenders, and real estate investors are also likely to do home renovations prior to selling a house, or renting a house. This increased number of foreclosures often means opportunities for skilled construction workers. These are not new construction jobs, but they still require the same skill and know how to renovate these homes and in fact present a lot of opportunity in home improvement and repair for skilled construction workers. Construction jobs are available, but are small in number and only a few can and have obtained these jobs, but most are struggling to keep their jobs, but nontraditional construction jobs in service oriented business are presenting opportunities for those with skills. Published at: https://www.isnare.com/?aid=297610&ca=Jobs

Construction Cake Ideas For a Construction Birthday Party

Construction cake ideas to help make your construction birthday party fun and fabulous. Quick and easy construction theme cakes that are made in lickety split time. If you’re planning a construction birthday party or a Bob The Builder birthday party, and are in need of some quick and easy ideas for creating a fun and fabulous construction cake, here’s a few possibilites to get your creative juices flowing: CONSTRUCTION CAKE #1 Make or buy a sheet cake and frost it with chocolate and green frostings. Create mounds of “dirt” by placing blops of chocolate frosting onto the cake and sprinkle with cookie crumbs or brown sugar. Add plastic dump trucks, bulldozers, excavators, trees, shrubs, signs, etc. to finish your site. CONSTRUCTION CAKE #2 Make or buy a white cake and tint frosting appropriate colors to make roadways, dirt, sky, and grass. In the alternative, you can use brown sugar to create your roadways, and airbrush blue onto the cake for your sky and green airbrushing for your grass. Also, you could tint some coconut green and add it to your airbrushed grass area to enhance the look of grass. Top with plastic trucks and construction workers. Write “Happy Birthday Foreman (Child’s Name) in cake gel. DUMP TRUCK DIRT CAKE 1 pkg. Oreo cookies 1/2 c butter, softened 1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened 1 c powdered sugar 1 tsp. vanilla extract 2 (3 1/2 oz.) pkg. instant chocolate pudding 3 c milk 1 (12 oz.) tub Cool Whip, thawed Gummi worms (one for each child) Crush Oreos. Put 1/3 of the Oreos into a new or clean, foil-lined dump truck. Beat the butter, cream cheese, sugar and vanilla together. Set aside. Combine the milk and pudding mix. Fold the Cool Whip into the pudding. Fold together pudding mixture and cream cheese mixture. Alternately, layer the pudding mixture and the cookie crumbs in the dump truck. Put worms in “soil” so they are seen emerging. Chill 3-4 hours and serve with plastic shovel. EDIBLE DUMP TRUCK CAKE Fill a new or clean foil-lined dump truck with chunks of chocolate pound cake. Right before serving, add scoops of ice cream and top with whip cream or whipped topping and sprinkles. DUMP TRUCK BROWNIES If you are looking for a cake alternative, you could fill a clean, foil-lined dump truck with brownies. They will look like your truck is filled with dirt. You can have ice cream and/or whip cream available for topping the individual servings. CONSTRUCTION HARD HAT CAKE Bake your cakes in a Pyrex bowl and a small single layer cake pan. After cakes have cooled, place the small cake slightly underneath the hard hat to create the hard hat rim. Frost them both bright yellow and write the birthday child’s name and “BOSS” on front of the “hard hat.” CONSTRUCTION CAKE QUICKIES Buy a frosted sheet cake and top it with an edible sugar art image of a construction scene or a construction cake topper. Add your Happy Birthday message and you’re good to go. Published at: https://www.isnare.com/?aid=487488&ca=Food+and+Drinks

Cash Shortage During Construction! Avail Construction Loan

A construction loan is the loan that is given to people to meet their cash crisis during the construction of a house. Many a time, people face shortage of cash while the construction is in full swing. In such cases, they need cash within a short notice. A construction loan is the perfect option to handle this situation. These loans are also known as story loans, as lenders offer the loans after being aware of the story behind the construction. As a construction loan, a borrower can borrow the amount, ranging from £50,000- £2,000,000. These loans are mainly short term loans. The amount is repayable as early as borrowers complete the construction and the house is prepared to be dwelt in. Based on the few factors, the interest rate of a construction loans is decided. These factors are as follows: • The stage of construction works • The agreement among all the parties, involved in this construction, like, borrowers, lenders and contractors. But, in this context, one thing is necessary to mention. Since, these loans are offered for a short period of time, hence, the interest rate of this loan is a bit higher. Usually, the interest rate is available with adjustable and variable rates options. At the same time, the repayment option of a construction loan needs to be mentioned. Borrowers can pay off the amount with small interest only repayment. Due to this reason, borrowers can enjoy the benefit of lower installment option. While opting for a construction loan, many borrowers can opt for construction to permanent loan program. In this program, the construction loan is transformed into mortgage loan after issuing the certificate of possession. But by availing this option, borrowers need not pay for two loans. If your construction loan is transformed in mortgage loan, there will be one application and one closing. Like secured loan, in case of construction loan, there is a possibility of collateral repossession. Since, borrowers need to use their residence as collateral, hence if the amount is not repaid, their collateral will be at risk. So, a sound decision is required before applying for this loan. In such cases, experts’ advice can be advantageous, which will guide you to choose the right option. For assisting people financially in their construction work, the construction loan is customized. This loan is available for a short period of time. But in future, borrowers can convert this loan into mortgage. In case of coping up with sudden cash needs during construction work, the importance of this loan is unavoidable. Published at: https://www.isnare.com/?aid=105031&ca=Finances

Construction Loans- Good As An Interim Measure Of Financing Construction Activity

Construction of your house is going on at a normal pace when the depleting finances threaten to disrupt the process. The derailment in the construction activity will significantly increase the cost of construction. If arranging finance within such a short notice is turning out to be a difficult proposition for you, then a construction loan will be helpful. Construction loan is a short-term loan unlike mortgages and home loans that have a protracted repayment. The loan provider in this case will offer the loan until the borrower regains the occupancy rights to the home. This means that as soon as the borrower completes construction and makes the home as a primary residence or a second home, the loan is due for repayment. There are no standardized guidelines to state the terms of the construction loan as in case of mortgages, which are governed by the rules made in Financial Standards Association (FSA). Depending on the individual case specifications and the degree of consideration that a borrower receives from the lender, a borrower may be able to get construction loans at differing terms. The rate of interest for instance will be derived depending on the stage at which the construction is, and with all parties to the agreement, i.e. lender, borrower, and contractor (if any) consenting to the rate found. Since it is a short-term loan, construction loan borrowers must be prepared to shell out a greater amount as the rate of interest. Mostly the rate of interest is charged on the basis of adjustable/ variable rates. Another distinguishing feature of construction loan is that it is generally repayable through small interest-only repayments. This makes them more convenient for borrowers since the repayable instalment further lessens. However, this may be taxing for people who will find it difficult to arrange the entire amount immediately after completing the construction of home, which in itself is an expensive affair. For long-term financing needs, the construction loan has to be converted into a permanent loan known as a take-out loan. The conversion gives additional finance to the borrower along with an extended term of repayment. Till the borrower finishes construction, it is a construction loan. As soon as the construction is over, the loan is converted into a mortgage. However, this has its drawbacks. Borrower is locked in the deal at the terms of the lenders. The options available are limited. Either accept the terms of the lender or make an immediate repayment. And a majority of the borrowers go for the former, i.e. accept the deal being offered by the loan provider. Rate lock is an important method by which borrowers can escape the vagaries of the interest rate. The method of rate lock does not allow the rate of interest from rising beyond a certain level. The number of days that the borrower wants the rate lock to be in effect will decide its price. Rate locks are typically for a period ranging from 30 to 60 days. Rate locks become a limitation when the rate outside fall further. In construction loans, as in case of mortgages and secured loans, home is in equal danger of being repossessed for non-payment of the amount due. As per the rule, the borrower has to put his primary residence as collateral. Expert advice thus holds a place of prominence in the process of decision-making. There are a number of sources from where advice may be had easily. These include an attorney, certified public accountant, or realtor unrelated with the loan providing organisation. Individual prudence also needs to be applied because it is the individual who is better aware of his financial circumstances and thus the best decision maker. Published at: https://www.isnare.com/?aid=12721&ca=Finances

Local Construction Company Websites: A Complete Guide

Grow Your Local Construction Company With The Right Website

The simple fact of the matter is that most people search online before making local small business purchases. If you aren’t online, you aren’t an option. Even if you are online, if you aren’t on the front page of Google for the keywords consumers use to find products and services just like the ones you sell, you’ll likely never be found.

So what can you do to grow your local construction company online?

Read below to see why you need a construction website, how it will help your local construction company grow and the best solution for your construction website needs.

9 Reasons You Need A Construction Website – Why You Need A Construction Website

Good construction websites promote you and your company to your largest source of prospects – internet users – 24 hours a day. Without a website, you are recklessly ignoring up to 75% of your potential customers.

Better construction websites make it easy for prospects to contact your company, whether by email, contact form and/or preferably, social media. Your construction website should act as the hub for your social media and email marketing, two of the best (and cheapest!) ways to market your company. In fact, more and more small businesses are pouring more and more money into social media marketing, and email marketing returns an astounding $44 for every $1 invested!

By using a combination of publishing your own content, social media and email marketing, costs per lead are reduced by 60%!

But the BEST Construction Websites should do all this and more. Your website should help you grow your business, include features that benefit you and your prospects and act as your most efficient, profitable and valuable salesperson.

While we think there are at least 27 good reasons for you to choose us, here is a list of things our construction websites are designed to do for you:

Showcase Your Products & Services – Your website showcases your products and services for everyone to see, through photos, videos and more. Explain benefits, compare with other products/services, and show testimonials from happy customers. The more you show the more new customers you’ll make.

Save Costs – By integrating systems and automating certain tasks relevant to your business, your website will actually save you money. How it saves you money is up to you, but here are 11 ways to get your mind working.

Reach a Larger Market – Our commitment is in helping small, local businesses grow, but that doesn’t mean your target market has to remain limited to your backyard. In fact, your website can help you build relationships with strategic alliances, referral partners and affiliates and establish your construction company as a thought leader regionally, nationally and even internationally, opening up opportunities you’ve never dared to think of.

Generate (Free) Leads – The overall success of your website is limited only by the amount of time, smarts and effort you put into it. The name of the game is content, and the more of it you have, the more leads your construction website will generate. Think of the internet as television and each website as its own TV show. Without continuous, new “episodes” (content), the search engines (TV guide) stop broadcasting your show on channels related to your show (search engine result pages related to your site). But if you have a smart content strategy, your show will be a hit. Check out our website packages to see how we help you have the most popular show in town.

Educate – The more popular your show, the more traffic your site is going to get. Unfortunately, too many small business websites have poorly written sales copy, are focused on what they do, not what they can do for the prospect, and don’t engage, entertain and educate the prospect in any way. As a rule, education = conversion. Best construction websites come with professionally-written sales copy focused on customer benefits and establishing you as the expert in your local market.

Update Information Quickly – If you haven’t noticed, the world and the marketplace are moving faster than ever. Printing materials has almost become a hazard, not to mention very expensive, and forget about it if they include a typo. Having a website that is easy to edit and update on your own is vital in today’s information economy. Prospects cannot get enough information about the companies they are thinking about doing business with. Give it to them or lose out to competitors who do!

24/7 Sales Tool – In addition to the amount of information they expect, consumers also demand information to be available to them 24/7, 365. Gone are the days of requesting more information. Make a database of the things your prospects and clients ask most and develop a continually updated frequently asked questions page. Create or suggest additional online resources for your products and services and by all means, include testimonials, reviews, recommendations and media mentions of your company to sell your company while you sleep.

Control Your Content – Content makes the internet world go round and brings in free leads. The best construction websites act as a hub for all your content and transform your construction company into a virtual media outlet. Once your content is published, it can then be spread around the internet – to social media sites, bookmarking sites, article directories, local and regional media, and other strategic outlets – all leading back to your website.

Improve Branding – Branding helps your construction company stand out from the competition, but it can cost a fortune branding through traditional means. With your website, it’s free. Your logo, your sales pitch and your content combine online to build your brand and scale with your business. Without a website, you may not even exist in the mind of your prospect. But with BEST Construction Websites, you even the playing field and can even the stack the deck heavily in your favor.

Who Needs A Construction Website?

So now that you have an idea of why you need a website, you may be asking yourself whether a website will help your local construction company. The answer is YES!

Regardless of what type of construction you do, Best Construction Websites will get you to the top of your local search results and become your most valuable marketing tool.

Besides good search engine rankings, your new construction website:

automatically captures prospect email addresses keeps track of traffic information easily publishes new
content showcases your work in pictures and videos allows prospects to connect with you

And if you think of something else you want your construction website to do, ask us and we’ll show you how it can be done with one of our video tutorials.

Not sure if you need a website for your construction business?

Look at some of these numbers:

Construction companies – 368,000 monthly searches
General contracting – 165,000 monthly searches
General contractors – 164,000 monthly searches
General contractor – 135,000 monthly searches
Building contractors – 74,000 monthly searches
New home construction companies – 74,000 monthly searches
Residential construction – 49,500 monthly searches
Commercial construction – 49,500 monthly searches

That’s just on Google.

Each and every month.

Sure these terms are generic, but it proves that your local prospects are searching for the services you offer online – and if you aren’t online, you aren’t an option.

But if you are an option, the leads you get are red hot and ready to buy. And the higher your construction website ranks for your targeted keywords, the more of these red hot leads you’re going to get.

Imagine ranking on the front page of Google for terms like these in your area:

Your City Construction contractor
Your City Construction company
Your City Residential construction company
Your City Commercial construction company
Your City Independent contractor
Your City Building contractor
Your City Building construction

If you reached the front page of Google for just 5 of those terms, with an average of 50 searches a month, you’d get no fewer than 5 of those red hot prospects every month. The sample above is for the 10th position. Those numbers increase dramatically as your rankings increase.

For example:

9th position = 7.5 hot prospects a month (150% increase) 7th position = 9.5 hot prospects a month (190% increase) 5th position = 15.25 hot prospects a month (305% increase) 3rd position = 23.75 hot prospects a month (475% increase) 1st position = 91 hot prospects a month (1820% increase)

Again, this is just an example, but a very realistic one. Depending on the amount of searches in your area, the amount of hot prospects will go up or down, but the ratios remain the same1.

Are you starting to see the importance of creating the content needed to secure these top positions? Can you see how many leads you are throwing away (and worse, they are going straight to one of your competitors) every month?

Consumers are not using the Yellow Pages any longer. They find businesses in one of two very specific ways:

They are referred by a friend, family or professional
They search online

And even when they are referred, there is a high likelihood they still do some research online before making a phone call. When they can’t find you, it sets off alarm bells.

At the very minimum, you need a website just because your competitors do. Sadly, that’s enough to dictate who gets the sale these days. But we’re offering you something much better.

A chance to have the Best Construction Website in your local market.

Do some research.

There are construction websites for just about any niche you can think of in your area:

Residential contractors
Residential construction
Building contractors
Building construction
Civil contractors
Industrial contractors

Regardless of what kind of construction you do, consumers are searching online for products and services just like the ones you offer.

How Many Construction Searches Are You Missing Out On?

There Are 368,000 Monthly Searches For “Construction Company”

How Many Construction Searches Are You Missing Out On?

In Los Angeles, this number is 2,180.

In Dallas, 1,990.

In Atlanta, 2,450.

And that’s just for one keyword.

No matter where you are, consumers are searching online for local construction services just like the ones you offer. And despite the fact there are thousands, and more likely tens or even hundreds of thousands of competitor websites, only those savvy enough to reach the front two pages of Google are really ever found.

“Ranking below page 2 has almost no business value.” – Optify, “The Changing Face Of SERPs”.

Think about it.

When was the last time you searched past page 2 on Google for anything? If you aren’t in the top 20 results, you may as well not even exist.

The good news is that if you can secure one of these results, you’ll immediately begin to see an increase in leads, sales and revenue (not to mention wonder why it took you so long to get online in the first place).

It’s also fair to say that despite the fact the majority of your local competitors have a several year head start on you, they also have some embarrassing and glaring weaknesses. Their websites are generally:

outdated,
ineffective,
difficult or expensive to update and
prone to being overtaken in the search engine results.

This means with a little effort, your new construction website will start getting leads that used to choose your competitors without giving you so much as a thought.

Do a little research on your competition and you’ll see that very few of them actually publish new content and even fewer are doing it with any sound search engine or marketing strategy. Doing competitive research, we typically find the following about the websites for our client’s competitors:

They have not been updated in several years
They don’t have more than a handful of pages total
They are built with ineffective software like Flash
They don’t include social media integration
They are susceptible to newer, better websites surpassing them in the search engine result pages

However, doing so will take some planning and effort because the sites making up the top 20 results for your construction-related keywords have two major advantages over you:

Older domain names have more authority
They also tend to have more inbound links

But even older domains can be overtaken by publishing relevant content, built around 1-2 well-researched keywords per page, on a regular basis.

With Best Construction Websites, you’ll probably reach the top 50 within a week of being online; the top 20 within a month. And with one of our content packages, the top 10 is right around the corner. With each additional spot you move up, your traffic and leads will increase exponentially.

The top position gets more than 3.5 times more clicks than the third spot, which gets 317% more clicks than the 9th position!

8 Ways Construction Websites Save You Money

Think getting a website for your business is a cost? Think again.

Best Construction Websites are one of the best investments you will ever make for your small business.

Why?

When you choose Best Construction Websites for your web development needs, you’re not only guaranteed to get the exact website you’ve always wanted (more on that later), but you also get a dedicated partner that takes the time to understand your business and the needs of your customers so we can design your site right to convert visitors into real-life sales.

You also get a partner that’s dedicated to helping you every step of the way once your site is live online, whether it’s to learn how to actually add things like pictures and videos to your site or to help you promote your business through blogging and social networking.

Still thinking of your new website as a cost?

Let’s take a look at 9 powerful ways your new Best Construction Website will save (and make) money for your business.

-Cash Saving Benefit #1-

It Answers Sales Questions For You –

Do your customers routinely call or email you asking questions about your business? It’s probably because they can’t find you online. We’ll help you collect and answer your customers’ most pressing questions and use this information to satisfy their curiosity without having to take up you and your staff’s precious time.

Let your website do the pre-selling for you. That’s what it’s made for.

In the meantime, spend the time you save building relationships with your current customers instead. Not only will you save money and have a more efficient staff, you’ll probably even see your profits start to grow, as well.

How Much Will You Save?

Count up the hours you and your staff spend on the phone answering the same questions over and over from prospects and multiply that number by your operating costs for an hour.

-Cash Saving Benefit #2-

It Provides Valuable Customer Service For You –

Pre-selling isn’t all your new website will do. It’s also a whiz at performing the bulk of your customer service needs, as well.

We’ll help you figure out all the ways you can help your customers get the best possible experience from your products and services and help you develop marketing materials that increase the value of your goods. When your customers have questions, your new website will be right there to do the job.

By making it easy for people to get the very most out of your products and services, you not only increase the chance they’ll come back for seconds, but you also make them raving fans of your brand that gladly refer new business. In addition to the time you’ll save answering questions, you get the peace of mind knowing your website tells the perfect story every time, even on days you get up on the wrong side of the bed.

How Much Will You Save?

Count up the hours you and your staff spend on the phone or replying to emails answering customer questions and multiply that number by your operating costs for an hour.

-Cash Saving Benefit #3-

It Reduces & Even Eliminates The Need For Printed Marketing Materials –

One of the biggest costs for any small business is the constant printing of marketing materials like fliers, brochures, media kits and instruction manuals. Stop printing and start publishing your own online versions of your marketing weapons.

When you publish your own marketing materials online, you not only get to do so absolutely free, you also have the power to make updates without having to throw away all your old stuff. It’s time you realize that YOU are your own publishing company, and your new website is the key to your very own printing press.

How Much Will You Save?

Count up the total cost for printing your marketing materials and subtract those which you deem necessary to continue printing.

-Cash Saving Benefit #4-

It Reduces & Even Eliminates Your Mailing Costs –

Since you’re now publishing your own marketing materials on your own site, there’s very little need for you to keep spending a fortune (not to mention you and your staff’s time) at the post office. Honestly, we’re moving faster and faster towards an online world where people no longer use paper needlessly.

If it can be done online, it probably should be done online.

It’s good for your pocketbook.

It’s good for the environment.

If you’ve got mailing costs, you’ve got a need for a website. Kill two birds with one stone and let your new website be your new postal worker, too. Not only will your website work through rain, sleet and snow, it also delivers faster and cheaper, never takes a day off and always smiles.

Can you say that about your postman?

How Much Will You Save?

You’ll save 50-100% of your current mailing costs.

-Cash Saving Benefit #5-

It Reduces & Even Eliminates Your Advertising Costs –

The #1 marketing cost and typical waste of money for most small businesses is advertising.

Why?

Because most of them have no idea how much their ads are making them, let alone if they are even making their money back at all. You may not need or even want to eliminate your advertising altogether, but there’s not a single good reason for your new website not to do most of the heavy lifting for you.

Besides, where do you think people are looking for your products and services anyway? It’s not on commercials and in newspaper ads. It’s online, through search engines like Google (we’re sure you’ve heard of them). As a test, go ask 10 people when the last time they used a Yellow Pages was and then ask them when was the last time they used Google. (I’d bet 9 out of 10 of them don’t even use Yellow Pages anymore).

Doesn’t it make sense to promote yourself where your prospects are looking for you? Doesn’t it make even more sense that your new website will help you do this for free?

How Much Will You Save?

Tough to approximate, but you should save 50-100% of your advertising costs once your site is optimized and reaches the front page of Google.

-Cash Saving Benefit #6-

It Reduces & Even Eliminates Your Expansion Costs –

Is your business in the enviable position of actually growing faster or according to plan? Think you need a whole ‘nother store to keep that growth on scale?

You don’t.

Your new website makes it possible for you to take your small business global, from the comfort of your own home if you like. Even if your products and services are local in nature, there are a myriad of ways for you to grow your business online and we’ll be there for a full year to help you figure out how.

One of the greatest things about the internet is that one-man operations can compete in the same marketplace as companies with a thousand times the resources. Often, these small operations can even do the job better, and it’s our job to help you do your job better.

How Much Will You Save?

This one’s a biggy. Think about your specific circumstance and give it a guess.

-Cash Saving Benefit #7-

It Reduces & Even Eliminates Your Billing Costs –

Bills, bills, bills. No one’s happy getting a bill in the mail, and for the privilege of sending one to your customer, it costs you $.42 (and counting).

Did you know that it’s possible to handle much if not all of your invoicing workload through your website? How much money would your business save just by eliminating the printing and mailing costs of your customer bills?

It may seem like a small number now, but multiply all your customers, by all the purchases they make in a year, multiplied by the number of years they are your customer and you can start to see that some substantial dough can be saved.

Not sure how to perform these tasks yourself? No problem.

That’s why you took the time to find a committed and knowledgeable partner to walk you through things successfully one step at a time.

How Much Will You Save?

You’ll save 75-100% of your current invoicing costs.

-Cash Saving Benefit #8-

It Reduces & Even Eliminates Your Market Research Costs –

To succeed in today’s marketplace, it’s imperative that you get to know your customers inside and out by conducting market research like polls, surveys, feedback forms and customer reviews. All of these things are free and even more powerful with your website.

By using your website to conduct this research, all the data is stored at your fingertips and analyzed in real-time. You’ve also got the power to update your materials at the click of a button and keep your information fresh to stay ahead of the competition.

Want to know the best ways to get your customers to tell you about themselves?

Want to know if you should use a poll or a survey?

Want customers to be able to provide reviews and recommendations of your products and services without having to do any work yourself?

With Best Construction Websites, you get unlimited consultation, so just ask.

How Much Will You Save?

You’ll save 75-100% of your current marketing research costs.

11 Features Every Construction Website Must Have

To succeed on the internet, there are several features your construction website should include. Individually, these items improve the performance and user experience of your website, but combined, will catapult you past 90% of your competitors right out of the gate.

A Great Domain Name – Think your business name is the best name for your website? Think again. Nine times out of 10, there’s a better domain name that increases your ability to be found on Google and we help you find the very best one for your specific situation.

A Clear Description – Ever been to a website and not know exactly what it was they were offering? How long did you stay on that site? Not long, right? Your construction website needs to tell visitors what you do and how you can help them within 3 seconds. Any longer and they’re off to another site, never to return. With assistance from your current marketing materials, we’ll help you craft a clear and powerful sales message.

SEO Optimized Sitemap – What’s a sitemap you ask? Don’t worry, your competitors must not know either because more than 90% of the construction websites we see don’t include them. Sitemaps are automatically updated directories of your website sent to Google (and other search engines) whenever your website is updated. You’ll probably never even need to worry about it, but it’s included for superior performance.

Visual Enhancements – We all know how many words a picture is worth, but how much money are they worth? When it comes to construction websites, quite a bit. Construction websites that utilize lots of pictures and videos are always more interesting and keep visitors on your site longer than those with fewer or no images. Your new website will include plenty of pictures and even more once you see how easy it is to add more on your own.

Contact Page – A well-designed contact page can make or break whether or not a prospect actually contacts you. Asking for too much information, not providing enough information, hard-to-find information and restricting contact to a single avenue are all ways of crippling your contact conversions. With Best Construction Websites, your contact page includes a Google map, your phone number, a custom contact form, your social media icons and more.

Testimonials – If you have testimonials, give them to us and we’ll promote them in the best possible place on your website. If you don’t, start getting some now. Testimonials are an excellent way of putting a prospects mind at ease about doing business with you. If you have online reviews of your business, we can include those, as well.

Landing Pages – Having a specific call-to-action is key to getting prospects to do something. By using specific landing pages focused on individual products/services or cities, prospects will know exactly what you want them to do next and take the steps you desire. Your new construction website comes optimized for 3 specific cities in your area.

A Blog – Otherwise known as a content management system (CMS), your construction website’s continued success is based on publishing new content through easy-to-update blog software. The process is similar to using Microsoft Word and just as simple. Whether you hire us for continued content development, keep it in house or outsource it elsewhere, new website content is just a click away.

DIY SEO – Search engine optimization (SEO) is a huge buzzword, but for good reason. If your construction website isn’t optimized for the proper keywords relevant to your business, it’s difficult to build traffic and leads. Best Construction Websites are built with easy SEO in mind so you get the most value from your content with as little time invested as possible.

Email Capture – It’s well known that prospects rarely buy upon first contact. Smart marketing is about building relationships with customers a nurturing a consistent contact schedule. The best way to go about doing this is by capturing visitor email addresses for future (free!) marketing. On the flip side, it’s also important to let visitors subscribe to your content where your website sends an alert to subscribers whenever new content is published. Both features are included with your new construction website.

Autoresponder Series – Once you’ve captured a prospect’s email address, you’ll want to start sending them educational materials on a predetermined schedule. You can include whatever materials you think necessary, but the idea is to be brief, educational, authoritative and helpful. To get you started, your new construction website will include a 5-part autoresponder series which you’ll receive over the course of 10 days showing you exactly how to create, set-up and start using your own autoresponder series to grow your business.

By implementing all of the above features, your construction website comes preloaded for online success.

27 Benefits of Best Construction Websites

Hyperbole definition -n. A figure of speech in which exaggeration is used for emphasis or effect

Our beginnings are quite humble.

In fact, our parent company, Prevail PR, is so named because the owner failed with two previous businesses before learning the lessons that would eventually lead to starting a successful marketing company with nothing but a philosophy of perseverance and the still- innovative idea of guaranteeing marketing results.

Along the way, we learned the best way to go about doing certain things, namely building small business websites that kick butt in the search engines, automate future marketing efforts, cut costs and convert prospects at an ever-increasing rate.

Through thousands of hours of testing web software, online tools, marketing strategies, social media platforms and good old fashioned trial and error, we’ve been able to develop a construction website package specifically tailored to your needs guaranteed to bring you the hottest leads in your market area.

And on top of it, a minimum 30-day unrestricted money back guarantee is included with your purchase.

Plain and simple,

If you are in any way unhappy with your purchase at any time within 30 days of launching your construction website, fill out our exit survey and request a full refund and it will be granted no questions asked.

27 Benefits of Best Construction Websites

Built with state-of-the-art open source software which is updated and improved monthly
Immediate search engine satisfaction
Unlimited add-on options
Publish new content with one click
Video tutorials to show you how to grow your website
Free hosting for up to 3 years
Free maintenance for up to 3 years
Free help desk for up to 3 years
Free autoresponder series “Best Construction Websites: From Day One To Page One”
Free customer service for up to 3 years, even on the phone with a live person
Money back guarantee
Custom copywriting
Easy do-it-yourself search engine optimization
Easy embedding of pictures, audio and video
Custom landing pages to maximize conversions
Google sitemap makes your content easy and fast to find
Custom contact page with contact form and Google map
Submitted to major search engines
Keyword research
Automatic entry in referral rewards program (receive $100 for every paying referral)
Free set up of analytics package to help you track and analyze your traffic
Easy content syndication
Spam filtering
Unlimited pages
Allow visitors to leave comments
Continued marketing tips
Gain front page Google results for your targeted local keywords

It’s this type of commitment to doing things right and holding ourselves accountable to each and every client that we feel gives us the right to call our construction websites the Best.

Aaron Emerson builds construction company websites [http://bestconstructionwebsites.com/] that are easy to edit, cut costs, generate leads on a consistent basis and include free hosting, free tech support and minimum 30 day money back guarantee.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Aaron_J_Emerson/307273

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6361809

Construction Jobs Interview – 6 Top Methods to Get One

Today’s job hunter faces great challenges when seeking employment within the construction industry. The market in A/E/C (construction, architecture and engineering) for hiring has been very slow, and at some points have reached over 20% unemployment, making this industry one of the most difficult markets to work in. However, the good news is, even in the toughest markets, there are still 80% of the people within this industry are employed. There are many ways to obtain a construction job interview, but some are more effective than others. Job interviewing is obtained from a variety of sources, many of which are offline but many are now online. When job hunting in the A/E/C industry. Job candidates need to stay focused on their network of contacts within the industry, and on niche resources advertising construction jobs.

Below are the top 6 ways to obtain a construction job interview. Job seekers should focus on utilizing all methods simultaneously in today’s tough employment environment.

1. Private Or Unadvertised Construction Job Openings

About three out of four construction management hires, including those handled by construction search firms, take place through private or unadvertised construction job openings (openings unknown to the public). These construction jobs are the most confidential and difficult to find, but have the greatest potential for job flexibility and obtaining an exceptional construction salary and compensation.

Private openings are often rarely managed with more than a few candidate interviews before a hire takes place. You need to be one of those.

Even when there are no current construction job opportunities available, an employer can often create a construction job opening when the right candidate comes along, even in the worst of times. Some employers will want to upgrade their weak links during a down turn, while others want to expand and capture market share while their competition is holding back.

You need “to come along” before the construction job opening becomes public. That’s where networking comes in. A recommendation from an influential referral fosters immediate trust and respect from a potential employer, and can provide you treatment as a choice candidate.

2. Private Networking

In your Rolodex or contact manager, research your list of key contacts. Also look through your industry’s association membership directory, and call every one you know who has a job in your field that might be willing to help you with job leads. In many cases, your close friends and business associates will be the best sources for job leads and referrals. They are also most likely to respect your confidentiality and offer their genuine help. In addition, they may even be able to refer you to a construction recruiter or other construction employment resources.

They might also be good references and sources for ideas as to what is going on in your market, who is hiring and what firms are doing well.

3. Direct Solicitation

Another good way to obtain a construction job interview is to directly solicit construction employers of choice. Research the industry and identify six to ten primary targets for your search.

Within these target firms, identify the direct construction hiring authority (immediate construction manager of the construction position you seek) and contact him/her directly. Try to obtain a personal meeting by stating your construction employment interest. You can email them, fax them, send them a letter in the postal mail or call them. Contacting subcontractors or suppliers to see who can give you an introduction is also a good idea.

Another approach is to find out where the supervisor frequents such as a industry trade association, or other facility that would foster a chance meeting. Of course, the least effective and most risky means to contact the supervisor is through the mail. However, if you intend to send something through the mail, use express mail in order to get the proper attention. A direct solicitation risks exposure and may not be the best approach if you are concerned with confidentiality. Even if you ask the employer to respect your privacy, you are still vulnerable, unless you are unemployed and are not concerned with who might intercept your letter.

4. Construction Recruiters

For private or public openings, construction executive recruiters and construction headhunters are experts in penetrating their specialized industry and locating reputable construction companies with attractive opportunities. Construction recruiters can introduce you to well-tailored construction job opportunities with little or no effort on your part. They will keep it confidential. To locate a construction recruiter in your specialty, try to get a referral from a colleague, a local construction trades association, or your competitor’s Human Resources department. A couple of other good sources are Kennedy Publication’s Directory of Executive Recruiters , or the Recruiter’s Online Network at http://www.recruitersonline.com

Be sure to find a construction executive recruiter who highly recommended for his or her professionalism, performance, and ethics. From the start, emphasize to your construction recruiter that your name and credentials must remain anonymous to potential employers unless you authorize release. Ask construction recruiters to contact you only at home, or in your private office, and only with construction opportunities that fit your construction career plan. Good executive recruiters can work within these requirements and may even arrange construction interviews without submitting your construction resume.

Like any brokers, construction recruiters work hardest for candidates who can help them close a sale. Such candidates have a marketable background, are clear on what they want, and are likely to accept a fair offer (usually a 10 to 15% salary increase). Unwillingness to job move immediately, or an unwillingness to accept a fair offer, will discourage recruiters from working with you.

Remember that construction recruiters work for client construction companies, so you may need to wait for the right opportunity. Make sure you get to know two or three pros, and stick with them.

5. Construction Classified or Help Wanted Ads

Advertised construction openings are generally the least effective way to obtain a construction job interview. For employers, using ads is inefficient, expensive and time-consuming usually a last resort. So when you come to an employer’s attention by this route, you are associated with an unpleasant process and with a horde of candidates that the construction company must wade through.

Sending a construction resume is simply not effective. A recent survey from The Department of Labor reported that only 5 out of 100 American jobholders obtained their positions through newspaper want ads. Other surveys indicate that the figure is closer to 2 out of 100. Most resume readers take less than 5 seconds per resume to decide if the construction resume gets looked over or pushed to the rejection pile.

Responding to ads also risks your reputation and confidentiality. Your construction resume may fall into the hands of junior-level administrators, or it gets entered into corporate data banks (perused by anyone who has access to the Human Resources files). This scenario is unlikely to lead to an appropriate offer.

If you do elect to market yourself through advertised openings, check out each construction job opportunity via your network before contacting the company. Try to find out why the construction job opening was not filled privately, how long the search has gone on, and what problems have affected the firm and the incumbent who held the construction position.

In pursuing an advertised opening, you can improve your chances by writing an effective cover letter and by responding to the construction job ad within the first four days. Try to send a construction resume only after speaking to the construction hiring authority and concluding that both parties believe you are the “right” candidate. Interview only with an authority able to offer you a construction job. Bypassing those who have been assigned the rudimentary task of advertising and screening for the construction position (usually the Human Resources Department, office managers, assistants, or secretaries) greatly improves your odds of getting a construction interview. Good sources for advertised construction positions are building trades journals and construction magazines, local construction newspapers, and the online job boards and blogs.

6. Internet Construction Classified Ads

Internet construction ads are generally no more effective than printed ads when it comes to getting a construction interview. However, they usually are more abundant, easier to find, and easier to solicit. In order to increase the odds of success, focus your search by locating construction job databases that specialize in your specific industry such as online blogs, employer directories and job boards like ConstructionExecutive (dotcom) an TradeJobsOnline (dotcom).

Writer Frederick Hornberger of Hornberger Management Company (Wilmington, Delaware). HMC is a construction executive search firm exclusively dedicated to recruiting corporate board members and senior executives for the construction industry. As a construction recruiter, we find Board Directors, Chairman, Presidents, CEOs, COOs, CFOs and the senior officers who report to them. In addition, we find outside corporate directors and contract executives for consulting or interim assignments. Focusing on construction jobs, a niche within the specialty of construction, allows us to exclusively spend our time cultivating relationships with executives at the summit of the industry. Our focus delivers faster results that more wide-ranging firms simply cannot duplicate.

For more information on HMC, visit http://www.hmc.com or the job portal of http://www.constructionexecutive.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Frederick_Hornberger/593249

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/3980702

Arizona’s Road Construction Projects Create Dangerous Driving Conditions

Road construction zones often present shifting traffic patterns and uneven surfaces for car and truck drivers to navigate. Often, there is little notice of these dangerous conditions. On an average day, 11 automobile accidents take place in Arizona road construction zones. According to the Arizona Department of Transportation (DOT), these accidents have accounted for over 80 deaths and more than 11,000 injuries in the past five years. Drivers and their passengers account for the vast majority of the people hurt in these accidents.

Car Accidents in Construction Zones

Construction zones are a common sight on Arizona roads these days. Many major construction projects, such as those currently underway on Interstates 10 and 17, Highway 93 and State Routes 92 and 179, are expected to extend to late 2009 or 2010. These projects cause general upheaval that can result in hazardous road conditions, including:

• Poorly marked or unmarked construction areas
• Improperly installed or missing guardrails
• Inadequate lighting
• Uneven road surfaces
• Potholes
• Gravel and debris on the road
• Sudden lane restrictions
• Unexpected traffic congestion
• Sudden speed limit changes

In combination with the disruption of normal traffic patterns, these kinds of conditions frequently turn road construction zones into the sites of serious auto accidents.

Studies conducted by the Arizona DOT report that the most common type of road construction zone crash is a rear-end collision. This type of crash accounts for approximately half of all accidents. Many collisions also involve fixed objects, such as barriers and stationary construction equipment.

Common injuries in car crashes include broken bones, spinal cord injuries and brain damage. Death can also occur, and fatal accidents are often the result of single vehicle crashes.

Legal Issues to Consider

Several important factors affect the legal claims of those injured in vehicle accidents in road construction zones. Carefully documenting the conditions that led to an accident is an important first step in preparing for a lawsuit. Arizona law (A.R.S. § 28-650) requires that proper warning signs and barricades be maintained for the duration of all road construction. This applies to both municipal workers and private contractors. Engaging an attorney to thoroughly analyze the accident report and interview eyewitnesses is essential to preparing for a lawsuit and improving your chances of recovering fair financial compensation.

It is also vital to identify the party responsible for the accident. If the Arizona Department of Transportation or other governmental entity controlled the road construction zone when the accident occurred, certain types of legal immunity may come into play. An attorney can determine whether the state or local government can be held liable for injuries or other damages caused by their employees or contractors. Other potentially responsible parties include private contractors, subcontractors, construction companies, engineers and surveyors that were involved with performing the construction work, maintaining the road construction zone and designing the highway or bridge. Government immunity does not shield these private parties.

Timing is a third important issue. An injured party must serve a notice of a claim involving government employees or entities within 180 days of the accident (A.R.S. § 12-821.01) and file a lawsuit within one year (A.R.S. § 12-821). Claims against other parties must be made within two years. Accident report analyses and interviews can be time-consuming, and delays, especially in the time period immediately following an accident, can be costly. In general, it is best to contact a lawyer as soon as possible after a road construction zone accident to ensure that your interests are protected.

Road construction zones often present shifting traffic patterns and uneven surfaces for car and truck drivers to navigate. Often, there is little notice of these dangerous conditions. On an average day, 11 automobile accidents take place in Arizona road construction zones. According to the Arizona Department of Transportation (DOT), these accidents have accounted for over 80 deaths and more than 11,000 injuries in the past five years. Drivers and their passengers account for the vast majority of the people hurt in these accidents.

Car Accidents in Construction Zones

Construction zones are a common sight on Arizona roads these days. Many major construction projects, such as those currently underway on Interstates 10 and 17, Highway 93 and State Routes 92 and 179, are expected to extend to late 2009 or 2010. These projects cause general upheaval that can result in hazardous road conditions, including:

• Poorly marked or unmarked construction areas
• Improperly installed or missing guardrails
• Inadequate lighting
• Uneven road surfaces
• Potholes
• Gravel and debris on the road
• Sudden lane restrictions
• Unexpected traffic congestion
• Sudden speed limit changes

In combination with the disruption of normal traffic patterns, these kinds of conditions frequently turn road construction zones into the sites of serious auto accidents.

Studies conducted by the Arizona DOT report that the most common type of road construction zone crash is a rear-end collision. This type of crash accounts for approximately half of all accidents. Many collisions also involve fixed objects, such as barriers and stationary construction equipment.

Common injuries in car crashes include broken bones, spinal cord injuries and brain damage. Death can also occur, and fatal accidents are often the result of single vehicle crashes.

Legal Issues to Consider

Several important factors affect the legal claims of those injured in vehicle accidents in road construction zones. Carefully documenting the conditions that led to an accident is an important first step in preparing for a lawsuit. Arizona law (A.R.S. § 28-650) requires that proper warning signs and barricades be maintained for the duration of all road construction. This applies to both municipal workers and private contractors. Engaging an attorney to thoroughly analyze the accident report and interview eyewitnesses is essential to preparing for a lawsuit and improving your chances of recovering fair financial compensation.

It is also vital to identify the party responsible for the accident. If the Arizona Department of Transportation or other governmental entity controlled the road construction zone when the accident occurred, certain types of legal immunity may come into play. An attorney can determine whether the state or local government can be held liable for injuries or other damages caused by their employees or contractors. Other potentially responsible parties include private contractors, subcontractors, construction companies, engineers and surveyors that were involved with performing the construction work, maintaining the road construction zone and designing the highway or bridge. Government immunity does not shield these private parties.

Timing is a third important issue. An injured party must serve a notice of a claim involving government employees or entities within 180 days of the accident (A.R.S. § 12-821.01) and file a lawsuit within one year (A.R.S. § 12-821). Claims against other parties must be made within two years. Accident report analyses and interviews can be time-consuming, and delays, especially in the time period immediately following an accident, can be costly. In general, it is best to contact a lawyer as soon as possible after a road construction zone accident to ensure that your interests are protected.

Arizona construction zone accident lawyers Solomon & Relihan are available if you have been injured in a construction zone accident or by dangerous road conditions, talk to a lawyer about your options. Call 602-336-6144 or visit online today.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Martin_J._Solomon/853240

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/5659911

Lean Construction – If Not Now, When?

The Lean Construction Journal in a 2009 white paper pegs the ratio of non-value-added or wasteful activities in a typical construction project at 55% to 65%. The white paper-Creating Value: A Sufficient Way to Eliminate Waste in Lean Design and Lean Production goes on to say, “Creating value and only value is the best way to reduce waste in design and construction.”

Needless to say, the construction industry is badly broken and needs fixing. How does the industry rise up and meet the challenges of customer demand for higher quality, improved profitability, and the shortage of skilled workers? The first step is to cast aside the not invented here syndrome and embrace a time tested manufacturing solution -the Toyota Production System-commonly called Lean.

Why should construction company managers even consider Lean as a way to improve their business? Here are some eye opening facts about the U.S. construction industry:

60% to 85% of construction time is spent waiting or fixing mistakes
The average construction worker operates at 40% efficiency
Critical shortages exist in qualified and skilled workers
The return on equity for construction pales in comparison to all other U.S. industries
Customers are frustrated with poor quality, confrontation, excessive change orders, and scheduling delays

These are some of the same or similar issues Japanese companies like Toyota faced in the 1950’s. Lean construction can help remediate the dire conditions described above. While Lean is no silver bullet, lean construction offers substantial improvements to the problems facing the construction industry. If construction companies want to prosper in the 21st Century then they should move toward lean thinking.

Why so Much Waste?

Why so much waste? Construction projects are so fragmented. Many times subcontractors do their work disregarding how what they do impact the work of other subcontractors. We call this the “throw it over the wall’ mentality. One functional department ( in this case subcontractor) completes its part of the project and throws it over the wall to the next department (subcontractor) who throws it back over the wall because it isn’t right. This mentality sub-optimizes the performance of the entire project creating quality and schedule problems.

Lean thinking is a new way to manage construction. Many people object because they believe lean is a manufacturing strategy and has no application in a “unique” industry like construction. The goal of Lean Process Improvement is to maximize value and eliminate waste using techniques like one-piece flow, Just-in-time delivery, and inventory reduction.

There is a small but growing movement to apply lean principles to construction. Applying lean principles to construction really means applying them to project management. This transformation involves mapping your construction processes, determining the most efficient work flow and establishing a pull system. How do you create a pull system? As a contractor you can begin by looking at what the completed project should be, and then work backwards, identifying each preceding step. Downstream processes determine what the upstream processes will be and when they should take place. Taking this view of the project will help you control the work flow. You should also look at creating value stream or process maps of your job support processes as well as project processes. Processes like job setup, estimating, payroll, accounts payable, purchasing, tool and material handling are good candidates for mapping.

The Need for Change

The construction industry is broken and the five facts below demonstrate why the industry needs to change:

If it takes six months to build a house, then 85 percent of the time is spent on two activities: waiting on the next trade to show up, and fixing mistakes
Clemson’s Professor Roger Liska conducted an analysis of productivity on the construction industry and found that the average construction worker operates at only 40 percent efficiency.
Critical shortages of qualified, skilled workers are predicted to only get worse.
Despite the construction boom of 2006, Business Week’s 2007 Investment Outlook Report indicated the return on equity (ROE) for all U.S. industries was 17.9 percent, while the ROE for the construction industry was a mere 9.7 percent.
Industry customers are frustrated with poor quality, confrontation, excessive change orders in quantity and dollar value, scheduling delays and litigation.

Adding Value

Lean construction focuses on identifying and delivering products or services on which the client/owner places high value. Clients often place high value on:

No or limited change orders
High quality-meaning conformance to requirements/specifications
On-time delivery of the project

To learn what a particular client values, the contractor must effectively communicate, then collaborate, with the client to achieve those desired results. While it may be easier to accept this concept in the negotiated arena, it also works in the highly competitive bid marketplace.

While there are fewer options in the bid market than in the negotiated environment, there are still numerous ways contractors can add value to the construction process for owners that cost the contractor little or nothing. Simply by eliminating confrontation and reaching out through better communication and collaboration, the contractor can substantially increase value for the owner.

Profitability

When contractors focus on delivering maximum value to clients, they usually find that profit margins increase. This is not surprising, since in virtually any industry the cheapest products usually produce the smallest profit margin. Therefore, if a contractor competes on price, the contractor is forced into a low margin sector of the industry. Industry data supports the belief that highly competitive bid markets are the least profitable. Secondly, since lean construction is about reducing waste, this means lower costs. Therefore, the contractor is under less pressure to lower its profit margins. Toyota was able to almost immediately double its productivity. When you consider the average construction worker is working at only 40 percent efficiency, the construction industry should expect dramatic improvements. Before blaming the worker, it should be noted that Roger Liska’s studies revealed that the majority of the lost efficiency was due to poor management-20 percent results from waiting for materials or supplies, 20 percent results from inefficient company processes and 15 percent results from work rules or congested work areas.

Shortage of Skilled Workers

Another challenge the industry faces is a shortage of skilled workers. If the industry wants to attract workers, it must change the perception that construction work is undesirable. Again, lean construction is a valuable tool in that battle. When there is a lack of workers, there is a tendency to reduce the job requirements to find additional workers. To make this work, the requirements tend to be revised downward so lower skilled workers can qualify. While this works in the short term, it creates boring jobs that highly skilled workers don’t want. Further, this approach tends to reduce productivity and increase the downward pressure on wages because wages reflect productivity. Throwing money at a problem is never a solution, but wages are a factor in the equation. Therefore, emphasis must be placed on increased productivity so highly skilled workers can be attracted and wages increased. This isn’t a delusion because lean manufacturers have already proved this concept works.

While there are no panaceas, Lean offers substantial improvements to the challenges facing the construction industry. Those contractors that want to prosper in the 21st century should move toward thinking lean to improve their processes.

The Power of Lean in Construction

Lean construction is a systematic application of lean thinking to the design and construction of buildings that do what clients and end-users want-provide value. Evolved over the last 50 years, lean thinking has revolutionized some parts of manufacturing and is now facilitating significant improvements in the way service organizations like hospitals, banks, etc. are meeting customer requirements.

Adopting lean thinking requires sustained work over a number of years. There are no instant solutions. For most people, lean requires a change in the way they think and the behaviors that support their actions. There are many things that lean organizations do that can be copied — partnering, supply chain management, value stream analysis, flow, etc. — but they are only lean when they are done with lean intent. That requires lean thinking around how the organization works.

Not all construction firms accept waste as a necessary prerequisite for doing business. They minimize or eliminate it by using Lean tools and techniques. Some examples of companies using Lean principles and tools to overcome poor quality, poor delivery and less than stellar profits are: Boldt Construction, Linbeck Construction, Mortenson, Sutter health, Veridian Homes, and the Walsh Group

Conclusion

Lean process improvement isn’t a new concept, but it is relatively new to construction. There are many skeptics who believe Lean is a manufacturing strategy and is not suited for the construction industry. Many aspects of the Toyota Production System and other lean tools can and do apply to the construction process.

Courageous, out-of-the-box thinking construction organizations such as Boldt, Turner Construction, and Messer Construction along with others, are leading the way by demonstrating that lean process improvement can reduce waste in construction with results mirroring other industries.

Lean principles hold the promise of reducing or eliminating wasteful activities, costs, and inefficiencies in construction, creating a system that provides value to customers.

Willie L. Carter is the president and principal of Quantum Associates, Inc., Northbrook, Illinois. He is the author of the book “Process Improvement for Administrative Departments- The Key to Achieving Internal Customer Satisfaction”, available on Amazon.com. Carter is a Certified Lean Sensei, Certified Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence, and a Certified ISO 9000 Lead Assessor. For more information on how we help companies create customer value please visit our website at http://www.quantumassocinc.com. For a free copy of his operational excellence newsletter contact him at [email protected] or by phone at 847-919-6127.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Willie_Carter/195187

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Construction Contracts and Tenders in the UK: Facts, Figures

Construction Contracts

Each year, public sector contracts account for nearly 40% of construction work available. These commissions total in value of over 33 billion. To claim a portion of the construction budget, businesses must secure tenders. The tender process is the method businesses are required to follow to make their bid on construction contracts. Tender opportunities vary based upon the needs of the public and private sectors.

Sectors where construction tenders are plentiful include schools, hospitals, social housing and roads. The housing sector alone accounted for over 1.7bn in construction across all departments. Tenders are typically related to construction machinery, construction equipment, roof works, special trade construction works, repairs of building installations, maintenance service of building installations, architectural contracts and other related services.

Local Authorities & Construction Contracts

Local authorities have budgeted expenditures in the UK for 2010-2011 year at 121.9 billion. Fourteen percent of this budget is expected to be spent on housing, and 38% of the budget is expected to be spent on education. Currently, the UK local authorities have several construction contracts underway and several more planned. Many of these contracts consist of:

• Department of Children, Schools and Families projects

• Department of Transport projects

• Community and Local Government projects

• Department of Health projects

• Ministry of Justice projects

• Department of Culture, Media and Sports projects

• Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs projects

• Others

The budget percentages are not indicative of the remaining contracts in construction for 2010-2011. A large portion of the construction contracts will be allocated towards construction projects related to health. The Department of Transport and Department of Children, Schools and Families also account for a significant portion of the budget. Over 17 million will be spent in the Department of Health, and over 26 million in the Department of Transport is remaining on the budget for this year. Over 8 million in contracts are remaining and will be allocated towards construction related to education.

Construction Tendering Process

The construction tendering process is similar to obtaining tenders in other industries. Most businesses simply locate a tender provider, select a tender and bid for the business. Since the government supplies 25% of local employment, many construction tenders are public contracts. Hence, many businesses rely on government tenders as a vital source of income. The private sector may also provide tenders through tender opportunity providers. Tenders are provided online, by phone or by email. Depending upon the mode of retrieval, tender searches vary. Elaborate websites have been developed to make tender searching easier and more convenient. When tenders are displayed in real time, businesses that identify them quickly have a competitive advantage.

Selecting an appropriate tender provider is almost as important as bidding for the opportunity. Many tender providers offer construction businesses more opportunities than others. The more opportunities available to businesses, the more likely the business will land a viable contract. Ensure that the tender provider offers tenders from both the public and private sector. This will guarantee that your construction company finds the best opportunities.

Through tender websites, businesses may search for tenders by industry, region or other advanced methods. During registration, some websites will gather information about the business to deliver relevant tender opportunities via email. When the company finds a relevant tender, a representative of the company will prepare a PQQ or ITT. These documents contain questions that businesses must adequately answer regarding the opportunity. The questions must be answered thoroughly to demonstrate your business’s competitive advantage over other businesses bidding for the same construction contracts.

Some companies that apply frequently for construction contracts may be tempted to copy and paste answers into the fields provided. While this saves the company time, often the information is not relevant to the question asked. If the information is not relevant, this will make the company appear less informed about the opportunity. The evaluator will then select the next applicant that provided a detailed description of how the project will be completed. The business with the lowest bid that meets the project’s needs will win the contract. When the bid is won, the construction company is expected to meet the criteria outlined in the bid, including the bid price. Those who do not may be penalized.

Businesses that are focused on local authority contracts should recognize that small and medium sized businesses are considered. In 2004 and 2005, these businesses won 59% of the total local authority contracts. Construction contracts were included in this percentage. These types of businesses are encouraged to take advantage of the local authority budgets as well.

Lower Value Contracts

Contracts valued under 100,000 are considered lower value contracts. Some contracts are bid below cost to provide services under special circumstances. Many of these lower value tenders are often found in construction, transport, security and electrical. Businesses should be aware that these contracts exist. Lower value tenders serve as an alternative source of income. Companies that perform well on these contracts may be considered for other tenders at full value.

Changes in Construction Tendering

In 2009, over 13 million was allocated to construction by the local authority, according to the Office of National Statistics. The amount increases steadily year after year. Since 1997, the local authority budget for construction has increased by over 10 million. Each year, the budget increased incrementally by 2 million, despite the global recession. Construction tendering is a viable way for companies to earn a sustainable income.

Currently, the public sector accounts for 40% of the total construction commissions totaling over 33 billion. While local authority construction contracts and other public sector contracts are a sound source of income, they are not the only source of income in the construction industry. Businesses should also consider the private sector and others as a source for tenders. This will increase a business’s chances of obtaining a high value tender.

Summary

Businesses seeking construction contracts will find over 51,000 new opportunities published each month on some tender websites. Each contract is valued based upon the work performed and the length of the contract. Construction tenders typically hold a higher value than other tenders, because the projects are larger and more labour intensive than other tender opportunities.

Construction is a sustainable source of income for businesses located within the UK. Construction companies should develop strategies for bidding that will highlight their competitive advantage over other bidders. This will increase the number of successful bids made by the company. Companies that consistently win bids will increase revenue and sustain their business.

Euan writes for tendermatch.co.uk, providers of thousands of construction contracts, tenders and opportunities.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Euan_Blair/787234

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