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Modern Contractor Solutions July 2020

JULY 2020WWW.MCSMAG.COM
SURVEY SAYS
GNSS
TECHNOLOGY
TIPS THE SCALE
EMPLOYEE
ENGAGEMENT
COMMUNICATION STRATEGIES
LIVE
FIELD DATA
RECESSION-PROOF
YOUR BUSINESS
_EXPO 2020
MODERN CONTRACTOR SOLUTIONS
MCS
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CONSTRUCTION
OUTLOOK POSITIVE
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MODERN CONTRACTOR SOLUTIONS
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PROJECT PROFILE
Saving Hawaiian Bridge
EQUIPMENT SOLUTION
Right Bit for Concrete Demolition
MANAGEMENT SOLUTION
Design-Build Project Success
SAFETY SOLUTIONS
Commercial Flooring Safeguards
Disinfecting Equipment
TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS
Hot Weather Concreting
Hydrodemolition Challenges
16
project profile
Wild Blue, Yonder
massive development awash in GNSS technology
46
JULY 2020
VOLUME 14
ISSUE 07
Inside This Issue
ON THE COVER
The contractor is using CHANCE vertical
compression and uplift piles and lateral
tiebacks, supplied by Intech Anchoring,
to build an overlook on Center Lake
in Warsaw, Indiana. Engineered for
dependability and long-term stability,
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chancefoundationsolutions.com
20
special
focus
IN EVERY ISSUE
Industry News ............................ 08
Modern Construction Products ... 62
What’s Trending ......................... 64
technology solution
Remote Monitoring
site mentoring from a distance
project profile
Vapor Barrier
proper adhesion in various temps
management solution
Live Field Data
recession-proof your business
30
software solution
Digital Network
keeping your jobsite in sync
40
technology
management solution
Communication Matters
employee engagement
strategies
36
PROJECT PROFILE
Saving Hawaiian Bridge
EQUIPMENT SOLUTION
Right Bit for Concrete Demolition
MANAGEMENT SOLUTION
Design-Build Project Success
SAFETY SOLUTIONS
Commercial Flooring Safeguards
Disinfecting Equipment
TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS
Hot Weather Concreting
Hydrodemolition Challenges
Donna Campbell
Editor in Chief
From the Editor
www.mcsmag.com
P.O. Box 660197 | Birmingham, AL 35266
DONNA CAMPBELL
Editor in Chief
donna@mcsmag.com
MIKE BARKER
Publisher
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Modern Contractor
Solutions Magazine
Modern Contractor
Solutions
PROJECT PROFILES
Wild Blue, Yonder ...............................................................16
Vapor Barrier ........................................................................20
CAMO Fasteners ................................................................. 24
EQUIPMENT SOLUTION
Trench Drains ............................................................28
MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS
Live Field Data ...........................................................30
Construction’s Future ................................................34
Communication Matters ............................................ 36
SOFTWARE SOLUTION
Digital Network .........................................................40
LEGAL SOLUTION
Construction Sites ..................................................... 44
TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS
Remote Monitoring ...................................................46
Tech Opportunities .................................................... 48
Active Driver ..............................................................50
SAFETY SOLUTIONS
Diesel Exhaust Fluid .................................................. 54
Surveillance Systems ................................................56
MAINTENANCE SOLUTION
Greasing Program ......................................................60
TECH ADVANTAGE
I like to watch the weather on local and national news channels. You don’t need to be a
meteorologist to know it’s a hot July in Alabama with the heat index in the triple digits. I
also watch the local and national news channels to learn of areas of low pressure in the
Gulf that could become a tropical storm and a possible hurricane. While tuning in to my
favorite TV channel, it’s a struggle to avoid the COVID-19 numbers and where new areas
for testing have been established. All this brings me to the July issue of MCS with this
month’s focus centering on technology.
Technology comes in all shapes and sizes. For insight into GNSS technology, check out
the project profile on page 16. Vapor barrier is also technologically advanced since its first
inception—read the article about a high school in Montana using a 3M product on page 20.
Technology can be all about data. This issue brings you an informative article on Live Field
Data on page 30. To learn about keeping your jobsite in sync, read the article on page 40.
For other tech opportunities that may be a great match for your business, check out the
article on page 48.
We’re still dealing with the pandemic, and out of this uncertainty comes better ways to
communicate with employees (pg 36), active driver solutions (pg 50), and incorporating
surveillance on the jobsite (pg 56). For the latest construction industry outlook, check out
the article on page 34, plus read the information from Marcum on page 64 … all in all, the
construction industry’s outlook is positive.
To meet the needs of our readers, MCS is hosting a Virtual Expo in August. It’s free to
attend; simply register via the link: mcsmag.com/go/virtualexpo-august/. There are ads
about the Virtual Expo scattered throughout this issue. We have sponsors and exhibitors,
with more coming onboard every day. There will be webinars to watch and live text chat or
video in each exhibitor booth. Our premier event takes place on August 18. We hope to see
you there!
Cheers,
WHERE IS THE SKILLED LABOR
SHORTAGE A PROBLEM?
Guest Post by Holly Welles
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_EXPO 2020
MCS
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MODERN CONTRACTOR SOLUTIONS
SUBSCRIPTION
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JULY 2020 www.mcsmag.com8
industry news
INERTIA SYSTEMS INTRODUCES NEW PLATFORM
FOR BETTER JOBSITE PRODUCTIVITY
Inertia Systems announces the launch of the Inertia Platform,
a location-driven construction management platform poised to
transform the construction industry by delivering a visual and
map-centric approach to manage complex construction.
Project Maps, the core of the Inertia Platform, allows for a
refocused view of each project site, connecting all available
project information to exactly where it happens in the field, with
a simplified look that brings the visualization front-and-center.
Generated automatically based on designs, each record created
in the platform is automatically attached to its physical location
on the project map and updated wherever designs change.
Inertia Platform utilizes patent-pending technology to connect
information from every solution and team member (including
contractors, owners, engineers, and architects) throughout
every phase in real time, ensuring all information stays
connected and up to date throughout the construction process.
Built to streamline the construction process and workflows,
increase productivity, and save companies time and money,
Inertia Platform will address challenges in four major areas:
project management, quality management, performance
management, and compliance management. For more, visit
www.inertiasystems.com.
REDTEAM LAUNCHES NEW FINANCIAL FEATURES
AND ACCELERATES SOFTWARE ENHANCEMENTS
RedTeam announces software enhancements to help the
construction industry with complementary features to its
broad platform designed to assist with financials, contractor-
subcontractor collaboration, and overall project management.
New financial management features Project Phases and
enhanced Project Cost Categories. These enable construction
managers to apply distinctive descriptions to cost items during
preconstruction and assist project teams in understanding costs
as they are incurred during construction.
RedTeam has added to its tools to help project teams prepare
updates to the estimated cost at completion (EAC) by keeping
track of the likely cost to procure the balance of project scope.
Determining the latest revised EAC is a recurring deliverable
for project teams and key to project financial management.
Not only is it the basis for measuring cash flow and managing
working capital utilization, it is also needed by corporate
finance teams to produce accurate financial statements.
For budget and budget adjustment purposes, RedTeam
includes
the ability to record reasons for adjustments and
allow them to be fully tracked and documented in a log
maintained seamlessly in the application. For more, visit
www.redteam.com.
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JULY 2020 www.mcsmag.com10
industry news
COMMERCIAL CREDIT GROUP INC. TO MOVE
HEADQUARTERS TO ACCOMMODATE GROWTH
Commercial Credit Group Inc. (CCG), an independent commercial
equipment finance company, announces they will move the
company headquarters, within Charlotte, effective July 13, 2020,
to 525 N. Tryon Street, Suite 1000, and will house 80 employees.
“When we moved into our current office space in 2010, we
had 17 employees in the Charlotte office. We’ve grown to over
80 employees here in Charlotte and the space simply isn’t large
enough. The new location accommodates our current staff
and allows for continued growth. Additionally, amenities
such as the fitness center, nearby restaurants, and proximity
to the light rail will help us continue to attract top-caliber
job applicants,” states senior vice president and corporate
secretary, Angelo Garubo.
In addition to the company’s national machine tool
and waste divisions and its southeast construction and
transportation groups, the Charlotte office also houses
corporate operations for parent company, Commercial
Credit, Inc. and accounts receivable finance company,
Commercial Funding Inc. Commercial Credit Group
Inc. is currently hiring professionals to fill positions in
accounting, documentation, finance, and sales. For more, visit
www.commercialcreditgroup.com.
COMBINED SOLUTIONS DELIVER VALUE THROUGH
AUTOMATED AND DIGITIZED HEAVY MATERIAL AND
TRUCKING PROCESSES
Command Alkon, the leading supplier collaboration platform
for construction’s heavy work, and Ruckit, Inc, a collaborative
transportation management software provider for the heavy
materials and construction industries, announce a new collaboration
partnership. Together, their solutions will eliminate handling paper
tickets, speed up invoice reconciliation, and enable back-office
personnel to focus on more productive tasks.
The majority of construction material tickets flow through
Command Alkon systems. This partnership will enable Ruckit’s
customers to receive digitized materials ticket data in real time from
their suppliers by connecting Command Alkon’s CONNEX Platform
to Ruckit’s TicketPro solution, removing the time delays associated
with manual entry and scanning paper tickets. Real-time data
flowing from CONNEX to TicketPro will enable immediate precision
record-keeping and faster invoice reconciliation. For more, visit
www.commandalkon.com/getconnexjobsite.
OPTRONICS
OPTI-BRITE DIAMOND SERIES LED
INTERIOR LAMPS
Optronics International, a leading manufacturer of vehicle harnesses,
electronic control systems, and LED lighting for the
global
JULY 2020 www.mcsmag.com12
industry news
transportation industry, unveils its new Opti-Brite Diamond
Series LED Interior Lamps. The thin, surface-mount lamps are
dimmable and able to remember previous intensity settings.
Diamond Series lamps are designed for broad interior application
flexibility and can be wired to operate manually or use their
passive infrared sensors (PIR) to automatically illuminate in the
presence of human movement.
The distinctive diamond-shaped lamps feature daylight LEDs
that emit light within the color temperature range of natural
sunlight. At just half an inch thick, the surface-mount, hardwired
lamps can be installed on ceilings, in compartments, under
cabinets, and virtually anywhere else light is needed
inside a vehicle.
The Opti-Brite Diamond Series LED Interior Lamps come
in two sizes. The 66-LED model ILL02 measures 13.5 inches
and boasts an output of 2000 lumens. The 36-LED model
ILL03 measures just 6.7 inches, but still delivers a 1500
lumen output. Snap-on trim rings are available for both lamp
models and come in white, black and chrome finishes.
Four activation options are available for the Diamond
Series Lamps. Users can choose SmartTouch with its
dimming and memory feature, PIR with its infrared
motion-sensing feature, a manual on and off switch, or a
no-switch design.
Installation of the lamps is easy, requiring just two fasteners.
Diamond Series Lamps are designed to be versatile and can
accommodate both 12-volt and 24-volt vehicle electrical systems.
The Opti-Brite Diamond Series Lamps models ILL02 and
ILL03 are expected to be available in the third quarter of
2020. The lamps, lenses, and housings are made of tough
polycarbonate material that is sonically welded. The lamps
employ a solid-state, surface-mount device (SMD) design that
protects their electronics against moisture, shock, and vibration.
Optronics products are available in the U.S. and Canada
through the company’s extensive distribution network of more
than 20,000 convenient distribution locations. For more, visit
doriandrake.com.
MCS VIRTUAL EXPO 2020
Save the date: August 18. Construction industries first virtual expo
in 2020 featuring companies showcasing their latest products and
services. There will be webinars to watch, exhibits to visit, literature
to download, and best of all … live video chat with exhibitors and text
chat to answer your questions. Simply register to attend virtually;
it’s FREE! See the full-page ad on page 2 for more details. Heard
enough and want to register? Below is the link. See you on August 18.
REGISTER TODAY!
mcsmag.com/go/virtualexpo-august/
JULY 2020 www.mcsmag.com14
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JULY 2020 www.mcsmag.com16
project profile
Wild Blue, Yonder
massive development awash in GNSS technology
TIPPING THE SCALE
By Larry Trojak
www.mcsmag.com JULY 2020
17
F
lorida, for all its natural beauty,
robust economy, and enticing
climate—key components in
the state drawing more than 300,00
transplants per year—is not without its
shortcomings. The development needed
to sustain that massive influx frequently
meets a challenge in the area’s high
water table. Projects which would be
fairly straightforward in another location
are often forced to bring in or move
tremendous volumes of fill onsite. In
order to avoid the cost and headache
of importing possibly a million or more
cubic yards of soil, companies tackling
larger Florida projects often create new
lakes, using that material elsewhere
onsite to raise site elevations and
alleviate the high water table issue. To
make that happen in the most efficient
manner possible at “Wild Blue,” a huge
residential development project in the Ft.
Myers area, Mitchell & Stark Construction
(MSC) is drawing upon the strengths of
GNSS technology for both the dredging/
shore sloping and earthmoving facets of
the operation. The end result has been
nothing short of impressive in terms of
time and effort saved. Company officials
say their success can be linked to one
key principle which also happens to be
a hallmark in the construction-related
GNSS realm: handle the material as little
as possible. With that at the forefront …
off they went.
MSC GOES ALL IN
Despite the proliferation and broad
acceptance of GNSS solutions across
the construction spectrum, it is still
impressive to learn when an organization
with no GPS experience embraces the
technology in a big way. MSC is one of
those companies—and “in a big way” is a
huge understatement. In a mere two and
half years, the company has transformed
itself from one that was content with the
status quo, to a virtual poster child for
forward thinking through technology.
According to Chris Anderson, MSC’s
project manager, in 2016, after lengthy
consideration, the company recognized
the benefits that could be gained through
embracing GNSS systems and, more
importantly, saw the different areas in
which those benefits could be realized.
“We literally had nothing GPS-related
at that time and jumped in with both
feet,” he says. “That year, working with
Lengemann, the Florida Topcon dealer,
we purchased eight excavator systems
and six dozer systems. In spring/
summer of 2018 we added another four
systems: two dozers and two excavators.
And, in addition to all that, we have
two excavators and two dozers that
are fully wired and ready for serialized
components. So, if a machine is headed
to the shop for any reason, we can simply
use that machine’s system on one of the
wired replacement machines. It’s a way
for us to ensure we have 100 percent
utilization of our capital investment.”
THE LAKES OF WHICH …
A good portion of MSC’s work involves
development of large-scale planned
communities throughout southwest
Florida. In addition to the 3,000-acre Wild
Blue, the company is actively involved in
work at Collier Preserve, Sorrento Grove,
Anguilla, La Mirada, and a massive
15,000-acre development called Babcock
Ranch. Located between Naples and
Ft. Myers, Wild Blue is being done in
phases—the first one will have roughly
500 homesites while subsequent phases
will be larger and denser. Using a range
of GNSS solutions, says Anderson, has
dramatically changed their approach to
such projects, starting with creating the
site’s lakes.
“In addition to their obvious aesthetic
value, creating lakes provides direct,
tangible benefits,” he says. “Controlling
algae blooms caused by runoff, is one
such example. To help ensure that,
the South Florida Water Management
District, the governing entity for all the
waterways in the region, requires that
there be a specific acreage of lakes for
every acre of property being developed.
From a company perspective, creating
a lake can improve onsite efficiency.
Material from just one lake excavation
on this site—about a half million cubic
yards of soil—will be used as a source
for some of the 2 feet to 5 feet of fill
needed to get everything above flood
plain elevation.”
While they are free to dewater an
existing lake in order to excavate in
a fairly dry condition, such is not the
case in some of MSC’s other projects.
Anderson says that, at developments
closer to the Gulf, SFWMD prohibits
dewatering for fear of saltwater intrusion
into the base aquifer.
“In those cases, where digging under
water while maintaining the 4:1 or 6:1
slopes is necessary, the Topcon X53i
system is invaluable for us,” he says.
“The technology has made looking at
marks on the stick of the machine—a
slow and laborious task—a thing of the
past. Now an operator is able to look
at his screen and see the bucket under
water, relative to where they need to be.
His or her work becomes little more than
a material handling operation—it’s been
amazing for us.”
FEEL THE EARTH MOVE
MSC is handling the earthmoving facet
of the project with excavators, haul
trucks and a fleet of dozers equipped
with Topcon 3D-MCMAX machine control
systems. While they have dramatically
reduced the number of stakes on site—a
byproduct of GNSS-based machine
control—doing so was not their primary
goal, according to Anderson.
“I have a manufacturing background,
so I know that double-handling material
is a waste of time, effort and money,” he
says. “We specifically use the Topcon-
equipped dozers because we are trying
to touch the ribbon fill once—any
reduction in staking is just icing on the
cake. Using the dozers, we are doing
the bulk of the mass fill and getting it to
within +/- .1 (feet) of where it needs to
be for each home site. The accuracies
are impressive.”
In addition to the accuracies the
technology provides, Anderson says
they
Wild Blue, Yonder
massive development awash in GNSS technology
JULY 2020 www.mcsmag.com18
project profile
gravitated towards the Topcon 3D-MCMAX
system because the major components
are not exposed to the elements like other
blade-mounted systems.
“Because a South Florida jobsite can be
a harsh environment, we want as much of
our value protected as possible,” he says.
So, removing one of the most field-critical
components, the controller, from the
mast and placed either in the cab or in a
location where it will not be exposed to
the sun, rain, and thieves, is huge for us.”
CONNECTING IT ALL
Dealing with multiple, large jobsites, in
locations which can easily be more than
an hour’s drive away from the office,
is commonplace for MSC. Doing so
has historically proven to be, at best,
a challenge—at worst, a productivity-
killer. However, when the company
migrated to GNSS, they also opted to
embrace Sitelink3D, a communication
and management solution offered by
Topcon. Designed as a means to provide
office-to-machine, machine-to office,
and machine-to-machine connectivity,
Sitelink3D has proven invaluable to MSC
as its jobsites—and client list—continue
to grow.
“Sitelink3D is extremely helpful for
us in so many areas, including quickly
identifying and resolving discrepancies
between what an operator is seeing
on the screen and what the stake
is showing,” says Anderson. “The
same holds true for engineering
changes. There have been a number of
modifications on this project to where
a lake bank has shifted, or they’ve had
to extend a littoral shelf. That’s easily
resolved now.”
He adds that, in the housing market,
if one type of home isn’t selling, it is not
uncommon for the developer to redo
the lots and replat it with the new home
selection. “That obviously changes the
ribbon fill,” he says. “Using Sitelink3D,
I can make all those changes from my
desk and immediately get a new file out
to the machines.”
CMS has also found the solution
to have real value as a user training
interface. He cited one project in which
they were laying some very large pipe
and the operator, while experienced, was
used to dealing with machine control on
dozers, but not excavators.
On a dozer, you only need to load the
surface on the model,” he says. “However,
on this job, there were different trenches
and, because I set them up as alignments,
our operator was unsure how to jump back
and forth between them. Being able to be
on the phone with him and see what he
was clicking on the screen—or being able
to take control of the screen itself—saved
me a huge amount of time in getting
things resolved. Our projects are spread
out all over this region, so you can see
the tremendous savings just in trip time;
reducing travel by 4 or 5 hours per week is
not uncommon. We draw upon the benefits
of Sitelink3D almost daily and
always
seem to be finding new ways to use it.”
CLOSING THOUGHT
To get up to speed during the period
when MSC was transitioning into
GNSS, Anderson attended “Point Man
training sessions at Topcon’s Livermore,
California, training center. “Those
sessions were very helpful, since I had
no background in this technology,” he
says. “I gained solid insight into both the
hardware and the software, and turned
what I called ‘unknown unknowns,’
into ‘known unknowns.’ Between that
experience at Topcon and the help from
Lengemann—first Tom Walrath, and later,
Trey McKinney—MSC was in good shape.
“My old boss used to say: ‘variance
is the enemy of efficiency,’ and I think
that holds true in this industry as well,”
he continues. “At MSC, we are trying
to turn construction into more of a
manufacturing environment model where
we can control as many variables as
possible. With the Topcon solutions and
the ways in which we use them, I am
able to push that scale of variables a little
bit more towards the good side.”
about the author
Larry Trojak is president of Trojak
Communications, a Minnesota-based
marketing communications firm. He has written
for the construction, recycling, demolition,
scrap, and aggregate processing industries.
O
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Check out this article on
mcsmag.com for more
about MSC’s drone
usage and growth
www.mcsmag.com JULY 2020
19
JULY 2020 www.mcsmag.com20
project profile
Vapor Barrier
proper adhesion even with temperature swings
BUILD SMARTER. ANY DAY. EVERY DAY.
Photography courtesy of Art of Flight Media
www.mcsmag.com JULY 2020
21
A
ccording to local news channel
KBKZ, Bozeman, Montana,
experienced its most frigid and
snowiest February in the city’s history
in 2019. Snowstorms produced nearly
30 inches of snow. While certainly
inconvenient, the work did not stop for
Langlas & Associates, and its construction
team. They were busy building a new
state-of-the-art high school for the
Bozeman community. Langlas & Associates
is a family owned, Montana-based, general
contracting company which has serviced
the Midwest and West Coast since 1973.
In a place like Montana, working
conditions on a building project can range
from subzero temperatures to extreme
heat. Knowing the building project
would be taking place throughout the
winter, Josh Henigman, superintendent
at Langlas & Associates, and his team
had to be sure to select products that
would withstand the extreme cold and
frigid temperatures that were sure to
come. The decision was made to utilize
3M’s Air Barrier products because they
are specially formulated to be applied at
temperatures ranging from 0°F to 150°F—
meaning the cold weather
wouldn’t hinder
the building process.
JULY 2020 www.mcsmag.com22
BREAKING GROUND
In spring 2018, ground officially broke
on the 300,000-square-foot project.
Cushing Terrell is the architectural firm
that designed the project. Knowing the
impact a large building like this has on the
environment and also knowing research
proves that students learn better in
schools with good lighting, clean air, and
comfortable classrooms, the architectural
firm wanted to incorporate green building
practices from the Collaborative for High
Performing Schools (CHPS) program. CHPS
provided the Cushing Terrell team with the
guidelines to design a high performing,
environmentally conscious school. Once
completed, Bozeman Gallatin High School
will be one of more than 700 schools
across the country recognized by CHPS.
Nathan Helfrich, the project architect
from Cushing Terrell Architects, explains
which factors were considered when
selecting the specific products that were
used throughout the building process. “We
choose products based on what we think
is going to perform the best given our
environment. The 3M Air Moisture Vapor
Barrier was key for this project because,
with the temperature swings, we had to be
focused on air and moisture transmission
in the building envelope,” he says.
Another factor that made a difference
to the entire project team was 3M’s
ability to be on-site and help answer
technical questions when needed. “One
of the things I appreciate most about 3M
is 3M’s willingness to come out on-site
and educate our crew on exactly how to
install the product, go through those key
features, and really specify the correct
product to make sure that we have a super
tight building envelope,” explains Helfrich.
SNOWY WINTER
Winter weather can hold up even the
most important of projects. The team
experienced the challenges of a freezing
work environment firsthand. “In a climate
like Montana, Bozeman in particular,
average temperatures fall in the 20s
and teens for a couple of months out
of the year,” says Henigman. “We even
experienced a solid 2 weeks of subzero
temperatures during the build.” While
the team was used to Montana winters,
February 2019 was exceptional and
marked the city’s fourth coldest February
on record, as well as the snowiest
February in the city’s history.
“3M Air and Vapor Barrier 3015 fit our
specifications and was chosen due to its
ability to be applied in lower temperatures,”
Henigman says. “The biggest driver of
choosing this specific product was not
having to put on a primer. That in itself has
limitations with temperature and weather.”
The 3M Air Barrier portfolio is designed
with a proprietary backing that can be
exposed to the environment for up to 12
months and an acrylic adhesive that can
be applied in temperature ranging from 0°F
to 150°F without a primer while handling a
service temperature range of -40°F to 240°F.
“In and around that cold snap we were
still putting 3M 3015 on,” says Henigman.
With more than 100,000 square feet of
walls to cover, the team needed a product
with excellent adhesion without having to
take valuable time to apply a primer. This
allowed the team to move more quickly
and efficiently through the cold months
and still stay on schedule.
CLOSING THOUGHT
In mid-July 2020, the project will be
fully completed and the keys will be
turned over from Langlas & Associates
to the school’s facilities team. After
incorporating many 3M products
throughout project, Henigman and team
now have a secret weapon they can rely
on to Build Smarter. Any Day. Every Day.
project profile
for more information
For more about how 3M can help you
build smarter, even in the winter, visit
3M.com/buildsmarter.
www.mcsmag.com JULY 2020
23
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JULY 2020 www.mcsmag.com24
N
amed for its founder,
Philadelphia’s Penn’s Landing has
evolved into the epicenter of the
Delaware River Waterfront and one of the
most popular commercial and residential
districts in the “City of Brotherly Love.”
As a tribute to its rich origins, the area
maintains a historical ambiance evident
in local business themes and preserved
architecture. Pier 3 is one structure that
exemplifies the city’s penchant for a
symbiotic blend of the new and the old.
Nearly a century ago, Philadelphia
established The Department of Wharves,
Docks and Ferries to handle its flourishing
international and domestic trade. Pier 3,
constructed in 1922, was one of several
warehouse piers designed to implement
state-of-the-art cargo-handling technology
to accommodate growing foreign,
inter-coastal, coastal, and Delaware
River trade. The expanded capacity and
increased efficiencies helped distinguish
the wharf as one of the greatest shipping
thoroughfares in the nation.
THE PROJECT
Although post-World War II advances
in cargo logistics eventually left
Pier 3 abandoned, some innovative
developers chose to preserve the bones
of the original structure and gradually
repurposed it into
some of Philadelphia’s
most sought-after living quarters. Currently,
the jutting pier supports a mixed-use
community of condos, restaurants, and
shops. In its latest enhancement, Yanni
Tsakiris, the Philadelphia-based owner
of City Decks, Inc., was tagged to craft
rooftop decks for the Pier 3 Atrium, an
expansion that will ensure that Pier 3
residents have everything they need within
their wharf neighborhood.
THE CHALLENGE
The nautical layout of the complex,
however, caused some logistical
challenges for Yanni and his crew during
construction. With its three-story atrium
and limited pier access, the builder saw
no feasible option for using the common
method of crane and pulley to load deck
boards. They resorted to driving a van
down to the pier and hand-loading 400
deck boards a day onto the site—which
cost them valuable time.
THE SOLUTION
To increase efficiencies, Yanni sought
out a fastening solution capable of
securing the composite deck boards
to the planters, walls, and floors with
speed, reliability, and consistency. He
researched CAMO
®
EDGE Clips, a one-
pass fastening deck clip system which
eliminates partial clip installation while
providing automatic board spacing and
easy alignment of deck boards. Ideal
for an urban rooftop builder like Yanni,
CAMO EDGE Clips were designed as a
solution to mitigate the labor shortage
and make fastening grooved decking
faster and easier.
“We have 74 giant planters cladded
with deck boards and 28 composite
decks, each about 100 square feet. We
estimated about 14,000 EDGE Clips,
with another half a pallet at the shop.
We worked from the bottom up, with
the planters held together by the clips
and backed up by a face-fastened screw
on the bottom, sides, and top cap.”
Yanni explains, “When you have a four
or five-member crew and 40,000 square
feet of composite decking, the fastening
system has to be seamless and efficient.
CAMO EDGE Clips are incredibly easy—
and fast—the perfect answer for securing
the decking and horizontal cladding.”
CAMO Fasteners
efficient use for the Pier 3 wharf renovation
BUSINESS GAME-CHANGER
project profile
Yanni Tsakiris, owner of City Decks, Inc.
www.mcsmag.com JULY 2020
25
EXPERT TECH SUPPORT
Yanni worked closely and received technical and supply channel
support from Greg Hartmann of CAMO. “Greg was a big help in
learning about the clip installation,” explains Yanni. “He was able
to provide videos on the technical aspects, and the CAMO Sales
Rep John Mollica worked out a deal with Tague Lumber, our
local supplier, to bring in the product. From then on, we just fell
in love with it.” Yanni, who stays on top of every job, jokes, “In
fact, I might start taking more time off with these clips because
it becomes an absolute no brainer for my crew.”
COMPARISON WINNER
In the past, Yanni had used another clip system that required a
hose and gun. “With old-style clips, my guys would have to leave
the compressor in the yard and drag the hose up to frame or
fasten—if the hose got snagged or the gun accidentally dropped, it
could ding the boards or roof. It wasn’t even feasible for elevated
decks, which are becoming a bigger portion of our business.”
He adds, “It was also awkward to line up the clips and forget it if
you have to take a board out. With CAMO EDGE Clips, if there’s an
issue, we can take out the board without damaging it and put the
same board back in.”
PROJECT COMPLETE
They are also backed by a CAMO warranty for use in the top
manufacturer’s boards, so Yanni could confidently use them to install
the Trex decking throughout the Pier 3 project. For the privacy walls,
Yanni chose a Trex Enhance composite board in a grooved profile in
color Beach Dune and opted for Toasted Sand for the floors. He also
used Trex Transcend’s Vintage Lantern color for capping and corners.
“Composite decking ensures that each planter, privacy wall, and deck
will demonstrate superior water, fade and stain resistance, durability,
and won’t rot, warp, or splinter like wood,” Yanni notes.
CLOSING THOUGHT
In these days of widespread skilled labor shortages in
construction, commercial contractors like Yanni require tools
that help them work leaner, smarter, and more efficiently. With
one-person installation, it also keeps workers distanced on
jobsites in the age of COVID-19.
“I am able to create a true jobsite production team when I
have tools at my disposal like CAMO EDGE Clips,” says Yanni.
“They’re virtually fool-proof—anyone can use them—and we
need less set up for large-scale projects, rooftop decks, or other
challenging environments. This promises to be a game-changer
for my business.”
for more information
Search CAMO Fasteners on YouTube to find its channel. For more, or to locate
a dealer, visit camofasteners.com.
JULY 2020 www.mcsmag.com28
Trench Drains
buying and installing considerations
By Ankit A. Sehgal
I
f you are a contractor who has been
tasked with a project that involves the
installation of trench drains, there are
certain factors to consider when deciding
which types would be best for your
project. Let’s look at the principal factors
that help determine the right solution.
Flow Rate.
The very reason behind
installing a trench drain is the rate at which
these can remove liquid from the site in
question. This is known as the flow rate
and one must go for a trench drain with the
right one for our purposes. The depth of
the trough, as well as the width of the slot,
determine the flow rate. For instance, an
inch-wide slot opening could help expel as
much as 11 gallons of liquid per foot of slot.
Load bearing capacity.
The trench
drain that you install including the grate
should be able to handle the load that it
is subject to, both in terms of the amount
of liquid that needs to be expelled and the
movement of people and equipment over
it. Different sites witness varying quantities
of load and it makes sense to install a drain
with the correct load-bearing capacity.
Ability to resist chemicals and heat.
The reason that trench drains need to be
chemical resistant is that they need to
be washed with cleaning chemicals from
time to time and should not corrode
on account of that. The liquids that
trench drains have to deal with often
flow out at high temperatures. Prime
examples of this are food processing
units and breweries. The material
used to construct both the trench and
the grate should therefore be able to
withstand the temperature at which the
liquid flows.
Longevity.
Getting a trench drain
installed is a long-term investment and
a contractor must choose a reputed
manufacturer or supplier. This will ensure
that the trench drains will see long
years of use without getting degraded in
any manner.
Easy maintenance.
Trench drains by
their very nature need to be cleaned
and generally maintained on a pretty
regular basis. So, it makes sense for a
contractor to install a trench drain that
provides provision for cleaning, upkeep
and maintenance. It is all very well to
install a well-designed trench drain, but if
it cannot be easily accessed for cleaning
and maintenance, you would likely have a
problem on your hands.
CHOOSE THE BEST
When it comes to choosing the best
commercial and heavy-duty trench
drains, it is important to remember that
the idea is to optimally utilize one’s time,
money, and resources. For instance, new
age trench drain systems are longer and
lightweight, yet structurally strong. Their
modular design makes it possible to
install them without having to resort to
any form of heavy lifting or an excessive
amount of equipment and manpower.
Prefabricated trench drains are quite
a popular option with
contractors
on account of their wide range and
versatility of use. These are pre-sloped
and come in varying widths: 2 inches,
4 inches, 6 inches, 8 inches, and to 48
inches. That apart, these are composed
of a stable thermal set polymer body
that is temperature resistant making
them just right for the most stringent of
environments. The frames themselves
come in a variety of options-iron,
stainless steel, galvanized steel, painted
steel, bronze, aluminum, plastic,
and fiberglass.
What is great about modern trench
drains is that they can be very discreet and
low profile despite their heavy-duty nature
making them ideal for commercial projects
that require that kind of an arrangement.
Even though these are prefabricated
trench drains these can handle flows as
equipment solution
O
N
T
H
E
W
E
B
Check out this article on
mcsmag.com for a load
bearing capacity chart
www.mcsmag.com JULY 2020
29
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FACTORS TO CONSIDER
The commercial trench that a contractor chooses must be
out of the top drawer for several reasons. An important one
is compliance. The trench drains installed should conform
to the necessary local regulations.
Consider the design and materials, which should suit the
site conditions. It is important to install trench drains that
are hydraulically efficient making it possible for them to
evacuate liquids in the most efficient way possible.
The design of a heavy-duty trench drain is of prime
importance. For example, if the load to be handled by it
is extremely heavy, it would make a lot of sense to go for
a durable stainless-steel drain that can manage it well. A
slot drain that does not need a grate and can be directly
embedded into a concrete floor might also be eminently
suited for such purposes.
The contractors should make it a point to only install trench
drains that are supplied by an organization that provides an
excellent backup in terms of the technical competence of
its staff. They should be able to provide advice on matters
of water management layouts, hydraulics, the choice of
products, installation, and maintenance.
CLOSING THOUGHT
Trench drains might appear to be a pretty simple and
straightforward technology used for the evacuation of liquids,
but there is a lot of science behinds it. From the design and type
of material to be used to the flow rate and load-bearing capacity
of the trench drains in question, there are a lot of factors that go
into the deciding which type of commercial or heavy-duty trench
drain to install at a particular site. And, since trench drains are
meant to last for a long time and play an important function in
keeping a site dry and safe, due care must be taken in choosing
the right one—one would do well to look at a trench drain
solution rather than just a product.
NOTE: Prefabricated heavy-duty trench drains are
a popular option with contractors on account of their
wide range and versatility of use. For more, visit
swiftdrain.com/heavy-duty-trench-drain/.
about the author
Ankit A. Sehgal is the president and head of engineering at Swiftdrain
Inc., a global drainage and infrastructure products manufacturing
company. He oversees all product design and development at the firm,
including engineering, materials sourcing, and production. For more, visit
swiftdrain.com.
JULY 2020 www.mcsmag.com30
Live Field Data
recession-proof your business with guidance and tech
BEST PRACTICES
By Mike Merrill
T
he US economy is always moving,
it is the nature of the system to
regularly cycle between growth
and correction. We have been fortunate
to have experienced an unprecedented
126 months of growth before the
current crisis started. Yes, the economy
is in recession that no one could have
predicted, but the good news is we knew
it would eventually happen.
The FMI Corporation has been calling
for construction leaders to prepare for
an economic downturn since 2019. Their
reports show that construction companies
should embrace technologies to enhance
their performance during a recession. The
time to prepare has almost passed, it is
time for contractors to react quickly to the
current situation if they desire to survive
during this turbulent time. Fortunately,
live field data is the key to five of FMI’s
suggestions is simple to achieve, providing
guidance and clarity where traditionally
there is only fear and uncertainty.
Construction companies can recession-
proof their businesses, but they must
first understand FMI’s recommendations
and then use technology to help them
take action.
ADVICE FROM FMI
FMI shares insights based on their
forecasts and decades of experience.
Here are five of their most important
actions that need to be taken to ensure a
company survives the current recession.
Cut what isn’t working in the business
and promote what is.
A recession proof
company will cut anything that isn’t adding
to the bottom line, including employees
and equipment that are underperforming.
It is also important to identify key
employees and plan ahead for growth.
Find a sweet spot and stick with it.
During periods of economic growth,
construction companies can afford
to take risks and pursue aggressive
projects. But when the economy slows,
construction companies should focus on
their strengths.
Be proactive in developing a more
creative business strategy.
To be able to
effectively work through a recession, a
contractor needs to keep his focus on the
big picture. This means not getting hung
up on small issues; instead, focus on
what needs to be done to keep the entire
company healthy.
Understand the true cost of work to
remain agile.
Job costs are an important
part of a contractor’s project planning
phase, and their accuracy determines the
bottom line. In a booming economy, the
accuracy of job costing isn’t as important
because the profit margins are larger. In
a recession, it is important to have a real
understanding of what the current costs
are for each job at any moment. Small
changes can bring disastrous outcomes.
Keep cash on hand.
Not having enough
cash on hand during a recession can mean
the end of a construction company, even
if they have a healthy flow of business.
Contractors should always know what their
working capital needs will be for all projects
planned for the future. Understanding
what cash is needed to complete the
projects that are already on the books gives
contractors confirmation that they are ready
to take on their projects or shows them
where they need to shore up financing.
LIVE FIELD DATA BENEFITS
The advice from the FMI is wide ranging,
and construction companies may feel
overwhelmed and unsure where to begin.
This is why technology is imperative—
especially during economic downtowns.
Not only does construction technology
provide support to key areas of business,
but it also saves precious administrative
time, prevents human errors, and increases
job cost accuracy. In particular, live field
data helps management by providing:
Clarity on labor productivity.
Live field
data from employees clocking in and out
of tasks and entering production provides
accurate progress on the project. This
data is immediately shared with the rest
of the company, giving managers the
opportunity to see which individuals and
teams are most effective and productive.
This helps companies by showing who
their most and least productive individuals
management solution
www.mcsmag.com JULY 2020
31
and teams are, so they can make more
informed decisions for scheduling and
project budgets.
Detailed equipment tracking.
Tracking
equipment in the field gives management
teams insights into which assets are being
used, which projects are using them, and
for how long. It also makes your teams
more productive when they aren’t wasting
time trying to locate equipment and can
use mobile-to-mobile asset transfers in
real time for the most accurate asset
tracking. Companies can also keep an eye
on maintenance needs with a resource
management solution with asset inventory,
scheduling, and utilization all in one app.
Live asset tracking also helps balance
out the asset utilization to extend the
useful life of the equipment and reduces
unnecessary equipment replacement
costs. For companies renting equipment,
live asset tracking also ensures that rentals
are returned as quickly as possible to
control equipment rental costs. During
recessions, when companies need to
account for everything, equipment tracking
with live field data will help streamline
operations and avoid costly replacements
and excessive equipment rental fees.
Up-to-the-minute budget analysis.
Tracking labor, production, and equipment
by job and cost code with live field
data allows contractors to immediately
compare the projected budgets against
the actual expenditures in the ERP for
proactive management. Contractors can
then easily see what projects are profitable
and reliable, revealing the company’s
sweet spot. The sweet spot is where the
company needs to focus all energies during
the recession. This will help them ensure
that they are limiting risk and increasing
profits where they can be better realized.
On-demand reports.
Live field data is
continually collected and updates the
project’s job cost reports in the ERP,
allowing them to be immediately shared
and actionable. The project manager,
job superintendent, and controller can
review what items are still remaining to
complete the job as quickly as possible
and identify any remaining issues
affecting the profitability of the project.
With accurate live field data, companies
can make data-driven decisions.
Cohesive tracking.
Live field data
collection is done inside of one app
giving clarity to the functional efficiency
of the entire company. This cohesiveness
allows unprecedented access to
information for strategy and big picture
planning. For companies to create new
strategies, they need complete visibility
into what is working and not working
for each project type and for all projects
across the entire organization.
Increases cash on hand. Live job costs
from the field help companies determine
what cash they need on hand to complete
their awarded projects. Knowing the health
of their cash reserves not only ensures
they can complete the jobs they have
already procured, but it will also give them
confidence that they have room to breathe.
CLOSING THOUGHT
It isn’t too late to productively respond to
the challenges we are living in but time
is of the essence. FMI’s suggestions are
not going to be easy to accomplish, but
gaining live field data is not a complex
or expensive change. The benefits of
using live field data don’t stop once the
economy recovers, in fact the benefits
will only grow. The important thing is
that contractors across the industry react
now and remain in business to reap the
benefits of the next economic boom.
about the author
Mike Merrill is the cofounder and COO of
WorkMax. With 10 years of experience in
construction and real estate and 16 years as
a technology executive, Mike brings strong
leadership and expert knowledge to the WorkMax
team. For more, visit www.workmax.com.
JULY 2020 www.mcsmag.com34
management solution
Construction’s Future
predictions for the pandemic-era construction sector
EXPERT COMMENTARY
By Kenny Ingram
M
aking predictions that hold
water even a year or two out
is always difficult. So, I fully
expected that predictions I had made for
the industry just a few months ago would
have to go completely out the window
given the global pandemic.
There certainly are substantive changes
in the economic picture contractors face.
GlobalData had predicted an uptick in
growth in the sector, but has revised those
projections down to .5 percent growth
from 3.1 percent. What this means is
that engineering and construction firms
will be under tremendous pressure to
increase productivity and figure out more
efficient ways to build, and higher-margin
ways to deliver value to project owners
and stakeholders.
Construction is an interesting industry
right now because productivity growth
among engineers and contractors has
been stagnant. The added pressure of
stagnant growth in the construction sector
will, if anything, accelerate progress in the
directions of the pre-pandemic predictions.
Only one of them is a wildcard, but that is
only in the immediate term. Let’s take a
look at each.
NON-TRADITIONAL CHALLENGERS
TRY TO TAKE A BIGGER SLICE OF
THE CONSTRUCTION CAKE
One interesting thing about the construction
industry is that it is extremely anecdotal.
While smart
contractors are seeking to
move more of their revenue from the
initial project to long-tail opportunities
like maintenance and facilities
management agreements, most
contractors still rise and fall on their
book of business. There is little durable
intellectual property or overarching
advantage the largest firms have to give
them staying power in the market.
And that means the giants of the
industry, like the ENR Top 250 Global
Contractors, are vulnerable now to
hungry, aggressive, and proactive
challengers. These challengers can be
small, midmarket or large, but are making
the necessary investments in technology
and processes. IFS conducted a study
of 600 business decision makers
globally and found that the construction
industry—and field service, a lucrative
expansion sector for many contractors—
are the most attractive industries for
these challengers. These challengers
can be small companies today, new
entrants backed by aligned industries
or existing major construction giants
who are focusing on disrupting
their own operations to drastically
increase productivity.
“Challenger status is really more
about a mindset—of wanting to either
gain market share or protect territory
through proactive, business process
and product innovation—than it is about
revenue,” IFS chief marketing officer
Oliver Pilgerstorfer told journalist Adrian
Bridgwater. “For smaller and middle
market companies, it is about the size of
your ambition rather than the size of your
annual turnover. For larger businesses,
it is about the realization that it is very
easy to inadvertently become a smaller
company if you do not regularly reinvent
yourself on a fundamental level in
response to changes in the world outside
your four walls.”
THE DIGITALLY BOLD WILL
FUTURE-PROOF THEIR PRODUCTIVITY
OVER THE NEXT 5 YEARS
While these challengers view themselves
as capable competitors to the market
leaders in their space, they may not be as
proactive when it comes to planning to use
technology to truly disrupt the industry.
According to IFS’s study data, market
leaders are more likely to plan to use
artificial intelligence to add value to their
market offering rather than just make
workers more productive or replace
existing workers. What this means is
that challengers may make investments
focused only on productivity, and
find they are leapfrogged by market
leaders who offer new information-
based services that give them an
almost insurmountable advantage. The
need to exploit BIM and other digital
technologies is going to accelerate.
Imagine a design and building team
helping a project owner predict and
model risk over the life of the built asset
www.mcsmag.com JULY 2020
35
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or forecast asset lifecycle cost as the
projected cost of various inputs change.
Imagine a contractor who can use an
optimized project scheduling engine
collaboratively with their subcontractors
to radically collapse the construction
timeline to mere days.
A shrinking construction sector means
that engineers and contractors will need
to double down on their investments
in transformational technology and
processes. Then, they can out-compete
other contractors because they can
profitably offer project owners a lower
total cost, faster project delivery, and
higher quality.
MODULAR AND OFFSITE
CONSTRUCTION WILL GROW BY
50 PERCENT BY 2023
One of the most significant ways for
the construction sector to achieve the
productivity increases necessary for
survival is to adopt off-site or modular
construction practices. A modular
approach presents a contractor with
a number of opportunities. They can
make much better use of their labor
and can harness the lean methods their
counterparts in manufacturing have used
for years. They can also drive towards
standard, proprietary design content that
can cut timelines, increase margin, and
create opportunities for differentiation.
McKinsey predicted offsite construction
can increase the speed of construction
by as much as 50 percent and reduce
costs—if done in the right environment—
by 20 percent.
This is the wildcard of the three
predictions, only because working in an
enclosed shop environment may present
different risks for contagion than working
on a construction site. I am still bullish
on this trend and stand by the prediction
of 50 percent growth in the next 3 years.
Progress here may come in fits and
starts though and will be dependent
on establishment of safe-working best
practices for shop-based environments.
CLOSING THOUGHT
The coronavirus pandemic will have
effects on the construction industry we
have yet to fully understand. But in order
to adjust to the change the pandemic
will bring, engineers and contractors
will move more rapidly in the directions
anticipated at the start of 2020. The more
things change, the harder contractors
and engineers will work to evolve
their business for greater productivity
and profitability.
about the author
Kenny Ingram is the IFS global industry
director for the following industries:
construction, contracting, engineering,
infrastructure, and shipbuilding. In addition,
he is heavily involved in other project and
asset lifecycle industries including oil and gas,
energy, utilities, and defense. Kenny has been
with IFS for 16 years and has worked in the
business systems marketplace for more than
20 years. For more, visit www.ifsworld.com
.
JULY 2020 www.mcsmag.com36
Communication Matters
strategies to rethink employee engagement
AMID THE PANDEMIC
By Trish Stromberg
C
onstruction companies are having
to adjust to unforeseen working
conditions during COVID-19,
which has resulted in a rapid shift to
remote collaboration technology tools
that enable those in non-physical labor
roles to work remotely while maintaining
clear lines of communication with their
on-site counterparts.
MAINTAINING ENGAGEMENT
Keeping contractors and project
managers engaged with their teams has
proven challenging. With fewer workers
permitted onsite at any given time,
increased stress levels resulting from
project delays, and the changing routines
and regulations that have come with the
pandemic, construction companies must
invest in the right resources/tools to help
their teams cope, remain engaged, and
maintain productivity.
Although employee engagement is
always important, now is an especially
critical time to take a closer look. A recent
study by Leadership IQ found that 26
percent of employees are unhappy at
their jobs right now, and only a quarter
of respondents feel mentally resilient.
To provide the flexibility and guidance
employees need, HR policies should
be adjusted appropriately to foster
environments where employees feel heard,
considered, and a sense of community.
Many organizations quickly created
online guides or short tutorials for
remote
work on topics such as how to use online
conferencing tools, how to manage
time while juggling responsibilities
at home, coping with isolation, etc.
While this does provide leadership
and demonstrates empathy, it’s critical
to update guidance and continue the
conversation on a regular basis. Here are
six strategies to get started:
MAINTAIN ACCOUNTABILITY
It may feel like professional milestones
have gone out of the window. Still,
part of helping employees adjust to a
new work environment is establishing
expectations for productivity and work
performance. While this accountability
is crucial, it can be tricky to strike the
right tone. The best approach is to
set performance expectations while
providing employees flexibility in
meeting them.
KEEP IT SOCIAL
During this period of uneasiness and
uncertainty, it’s more important than
ever for managers to use empathy in
their leadership. Change is hard for
most people, and the world is currently
experiencing a great deal of it. In the
absence of the proverbial water
cooler or breaks on the jobsite, many
organizations have created regular
online events with their teams that
have nothing to do with day-to-day
work, such as virtual happy hours
and poker games, etc., to make sure
employees still feel like they are a part of
the team.
FACILITATE COLLABORATION
Employees should have the freedom
to meet outside of official virtual team
meetings to further discuss projects
using video conferencing and social
collaboration tools. In these official
meetings, determine when/if webcams are
required to be on or whether it is optional.
Employees can be sensitive about their
work environment or appearance.
SCHEDULE CHECK-INS
Even from home, it is still essential to
continue to find ways to create frequent
and meaningful connections with team
members. Since spontaneous run-ins
are no longer a reality, contractors and
project managers should be deliberate
in creating chances to check-in, even for
small matters. It’s important to dedicate
needed resources to help employees
cope during this time because their
sense of well-being will impact their
ongoing level of engagement and
productivity. These check-ins can also
be used as a time to ask for feedback.
Especially in this environment,
soliciting and acting on employee
ideas is important and a critical driver
of employee engagement because it
makes employees feel like their voice is
being heard.
management solution
www.mcsmag.com JULY 2020
37
CREATE A HYBRID
COMMUNICATION STRATEGY
It’s not enough to simply communicate
more. Instead, construction
companies must adopt a multifaceted
communication strategy, including
messaging apps, video conferencing, and
texting. Many organizations have upped
their game in this realm, and even as non-
essential workers begin to return to the
office, it remains critical for construction
companies to have hybrid communication
strategies and technologies in place in
case additional waves of the COVID-19
virus emerge. If effectively implemented,
these policies will allow employees to
seamlessly return to remote work should
the need arise again.
ADOPT A PEOPLE-FOCUSED
SOLUTION
The opportunity to launch tools and
software is endless in a remote work
environment because it’s a business
imperative to do so. Finding the right
balance of technology to power end-to-
end telecommuting is a task that should
be personalized to each business. By
adopting a people-focused solution,
employers can ensure employees
remain connected and in sync, no matter
where they’re working. This technology
handles back-office functions like
HR, time tracking, payroll, benefits
administration, compliance and safety
training (including OSHA), and workforce
management, as well as social-centric
engagement functions. Employees can
ask for help, praise one another and
collaborate on projects from anywhere.
Additional functions include learning
management, compliance with all the
latest regulations and support with HR
to-dos and tasks.
CLOSING THOUGHT
While communicating during COVID-19
looks very different from before, leading
with compassion and openness can
go a long way in ensuring employees
feel heard. It’s important to keep
in mind that while sharing factual
information with employees is extremely
important, business leaders must
work to serve their emotional needs
as well. Utilizing the actions and
communication strategies explained
in this article will help employers
maintain a healthy workplace culture
that enables employees to do their
best work. Incorporating new best
practices now will add to the company’s
bottom line tomorrow.
about the author
Trish Stromberg is the chief marketing officer
at iSolved HCM, leading the marketing and
iSolved University teams with innovative brand
positioning and exemplary customer experiences.
For the past 20 years, Trish has refined her
expertise across myriad aspects of marketing—
demand generation, product launches, branding
initiatives, and event management. For more, visit
www.isolvedhcm.com
.
P
L
A
Y
V
I
D
E
O
www.mcsmag.com JULY 2020
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JULY 2020 www.mcsmag.com40
Digital Network
keeping your jobsite in sync
PUSHING FORWARD
By Alex Moody
software solution
D
igitization is happening in our
industry—but the bad news is
that it’s not in all areas. We still
live in a world of manual processes:
re-keying data, signing documentation
in the field, giving invoices to the
accounting department, waiting forever for
reconciliation, and more. The result is a lot
of paper, handoffs, and data re-keyed.
The digital tools that are most common
today support a one-to-many relationship.
A collaborative platform supports a many-
to-many relationship and can digitize and
connect the entire construction materials
supply chain.
MOVING FORWARD
First, let’s consider a few statistics that
exemplify the struggles that many jobs face:
98% of megaprojects face cost
overruns or delays
The average cost increase of a
construction job is 80% of the
original value
The average slippage is 20 months
behind the original schedule
Productivity levels in manufacturing
have nearly doubled, but in
construction, it has stayed flat
Two significant factors that play
into this equation is the timeframe of
the project. Most jobs are short-term
projects, and managers often feel
like there isn’t any time to implement
change; most employees don’t
have the desire.
Another big reason is because of
the time it takes to track materials and
reconcile invoices. Most employees who
work on a job are out in the field, moving
around instead of sitting at a desk. Given
that mobile devices have just taken off
within the last decade, there hasn’t been
as much of a chance to boost productivity
levels compared to other industries
whose workflows enable them to have
information available to them at all times.
NEW TECH SOLUTIONS
So, if a company realizes the opportunity
to optimize and boost productivity, they
have to go about it in innovative ways;
and that innovation has to start from the
top and trickle down.
Like a ship’s navigation system in a
storm, a clear strategy is the only way
companies can stay on a successful
course. Yet, the hardest part is making
the changes needed, and it helps to have
one leader to inspire the actions that will
drive those changes.
It’s imperative to have one leader to
implement new technology successfully.
For each new system that is added to the
workflow, there needs to be one project
leader to establish camaraderie across
the team for that particular solution and
to ensure that it’s successful and helps
the team rather than hurt it.
New technologies can be embedded into
processes to enable a digital supply chain
network that keeps the jobsite in sync.
Digital networks are the backbone of
a truly optimized construction firm. They
reduce or remove the wasted time and
motion, lack of accuracy, and resulting
overruns that almost inevitably arise when
jobs are not effectively synchronized.
Well-run digital networks employ tools,
techniques, and best practices to create a
collaborative space, where all necessary
parties involved in a construction project
are apprised of the status of different
parts of the job and can quickly adjust to
required changes.
BEST PRACTICES
So, how do construction firms keep
on top of their construction jobs and
keep projects running smoothly? Below
are five ways construction firms keep
moving forward.
They monitor digital signals. If
concrete is delivered early, no one will
be around to make sure it goes to the
right spot. If it is delivered late, workers
waste time sitting around doing nothing.
If the materials are not at the required
specification, time is wasted adjusting
slump. If the materials result in a “bad
pour,” it costs the supplier money (and
possibly legal troubles), and the job is no
longer on schedule. Digital monitoring
and instant alerts help to eliminate wet
loads, simplify calibration, minimize
process heating and cooling costs, and
achieve consistent results.
They pay attention to data from
the Internet of Things (IoT). IoT data
is embedded in construction project
lifecycles and gathered from a myriad
of sources, including remote and
www.mcsmag.com JULY 2020
41
wireless sensors. It lets companies sync equipment, materials,
asset usage, and worker productivity in real time. It even
allows companies to track expensive equipment or tools more
effectively, aids materials management and inventory control,
minimize project delays, and will enable managers to stay on
top of required equipment maintenance.
They use a single point of management. This single point
of management lets companies manage materials, mixes,
tolerances, documentation, and testing and analysis in a
single location. As an added benefit, a single point enables
construction firms to show customers that incoming raw
materials conform to supplier and customer requirements.
They optimize concrete mixes to comply with strength,
durability, and aggregate grading requirements. By monitoring
batches in real time, companies can reduce out-of-tolerance
loads, produce concrete mix submittals in a fraction of the
time they took before, and craft professional reports and
documentation to build trust and authority.
They boost productivity on the jobsite. Productive construction
firms use digital tickets to ensure data flows seamlessly from
suppliers to contractors and owners, so the jobsite stays in sync.
By digitally capturing information from paper tickets, buyers can
see ticket data in real time, throughout the ticket’s lifecycle.
Solutions like these can deploy notifications for when a load is
on the way, allow the user to view records of load status times,
and automatically match incoming delivery tickets with hauler
pay sheets and invoices. Further, tools that let construction firms
collect both real time and historical data on the properties of
fresh concrete—from load to pour—help ensure better decision
making to ensure quality, avert risk, enhance production, and
increase delivery efficiency.
CLOSING THOUGHT
Digital networks connect concrete producers, aggregate
suppliers, jobsite managers, contractors, construction firms,
DOTs, and more for better collaboration and communication
within their supply chains.
Digital networks are the
backbone of
a truly optimized construction firm.
about the author
Alex Moody is a senior product manager at Command Alkon for CONNEX
Jobsite. CONNEX Jobsite is a paperless ticketing supply chain management
system designed to transform the way contractors, suppliers, and haulers
interact to increase performance and reduce costs. For more, visit
www.commandalkon.com/connex.
JULY 2020 www.mcsmag.com44
Construction Sites
moving forward during the pandemic
AMID THE PANDEMIC
By Christopher Scott D’Angelo
M
uch has been written since
the pandemic related shut-
down was imposed addressing
what rights, liabilities, and remedies
may exist between the contractor and
owner anent delays, increased costs,
material availability, incentive bonuses,
and penalties. Other articles have focused
on insurance coverage issues relating to
business interruption or delays occasioned
by the pandemic. We assume that you
have seen those, but invite you to contact
this author if you have any questions.
CONTRACTOR RESPONSIBILITIES
Here, the focus will be on contractor
responsibilities for operations and
worksite safety relating to COVID-19
and the pandemic and government
requirements or recommendations.
The understanding in the medical and
public health communities as to how the
coronavirus spreads and the best way
to combat such spread is continually
evolving. Therefore, it is crucial for
contractors to be vigilant about keeping
current with such developments. To
assist in that effort, some resources
are provided below.
Contractors—like all employers—are
responsible for providing a safe and healthy
workplace, both for their employees and
for others expected to be onsite, including
subcontractors, owners, architects,
engineers, inspectors, delivery personnel,
visitors, etc. To this end, it is incumbent
on the contractor to conduct a thorough
hazard assessment to identify potential
workplace hazards related to COVID-19 and
to develop and implement a comprehensive
plan. Such a plan should use appropriate
combinations of engineering controls,
workplace administrative policies,
personal protective equipment (PPE),
decontamination procedures, social
distancing, screening, access, and
employee training to protect workers and
other persons coming onto the workplace
from contracting or spreading COVID-19.
OSHA: www.osha.gov/SLTC/covid-19/
construction.html
CDC:
www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/
hierarchy/default.html
It is also imperative that the contractor
coordinate its plans and procedures with
the owner as well as other occupants or
users of the property.
Such a plan should be specific to the
particular worksite, identify all areas and
job tasks with potential exposures to
COVID-19, and include control measures
to eliminate or reduce such exposures.
Contractors should collaborate with
employees and unions, if any, to develop,
implement, and monitor the plans. Plans
should assume that employees may be
able to spread COVID-19 even if they do
not show symptoms: www.cdc.gov/
coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/
guidance-business-response.html.
By now, the reader should be very
familiar with the CDC’s recommendation
and state-imposed requirements for
individuals to wear cloth face coverings
in public settings or where other social
distancing measures are difficult to
maintain. The CDC is quick to add,
however, that wearing a cloth face
covering is in addition to the need to
practice social distancing (i.e., staying
at least 6 feet from others and reducing
the concentrations of people). Of course,
the social distancing recommendation
is very difficult to achieve in practice on
construction worksites, which simply
highlights the need for PPE and other
procedures and protocols to provide the
best protections possible.
However, OSHA warns in its guidance
document Cloth Face Coverings in
Construction that cloth face coverings
are not appropriate substitutes for such
PPE as respirators (like N95 respirators)
or medical facemasks (like surgical
masks) in workplaces where respirators
or facemasks are recommended or
required to protect the wearer. OSHA
further advises that it may not be practical
for workers to wear a single cloth face
covering for the full work shift on a
construction site if they become wet,
soiled, or otherwise visibly contaminated
during the work shift. If cloth face
coverings are worn on construction sites,
employers should provide readily available
clean cloth face coverings (or disposable
facemask options) for workers to use
when the coverings become wet, soiled,
or otherwise visibly contaminated.
The Center for Construction Research
and Training provides
significant resources
in a number of categories such as
legal solution
www.mcsmag.com JULY 2020
45
guidance
on workplace practices, employee and invitee
safety and training, and personal protective equipment (PPE):
covid.elcosh.org/index.php.
CDC also offers a host of information and resources, such as:
Guidance for Businesses & Employers
www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-
business-response.html
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): Construction Workers
www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/
community/organizations/construction-workers.
html?deliveryName=FCP_2_USCDC_10_4-DM29003
OSHA likewise has important information and requirements:
Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19
www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3990.pdf
COVID-19 - Control and Prevention /Construction Work
www.osha.gov/SLTC/covid-19/construction.html
North America’s Building Trades Unions and CPWR have created:
NABTU and CPWR COVID-19 Standards for U.S.
Construction Sites (April 27, 2020)
www.cpwr.com/sites/default/files/NABTU_CPWR_Standards_
COVID-19.pdf
The American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA)
provides the following:
Returning to Work: Construction Environment
aiha-assets.sfo2.digitaloceanspaces.com/AIHA/resources/
Returning-to-Work-Construction-Environments_
GuidanceDocument.pdf
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has
also provided guidance about COVID-19 testing, temperature
checks, and symptom assessments and ADA compliance:
Coronavirus and COVID-19
www.eeoc.gov/coronavirus
What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the
Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws:
www.eeoc.gov/wysk/what-you-should-know-about-covid-19-
and-ada-rehabilitation-act-and-other-eeo-laws
Keep in mind, too, that each state or local municipality has
or may have their own requirements, so it is imperative that
the contractor check and incorporate those into the plans for
worksites in those states or municipalities.
CLOSING THOUGHT
As a reminder, but beyond the scope of this article, employers must
be cognizant of and comply with a number of other employment
laws and regulations relating to the response to or impact of the
pandemic and government responses. Some resources can be
found on the Department of Labor’s website relating to the Fair
Labor Standards Act (FLSA) the Family and Medical Leave Act as
amended by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, and
the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights
Act, such as under
COVID-19 and the American Workplace:
www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic, or on the EEOC website
regarding discrimination and compliance with laws it administers,
such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), the
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Age Discrimination
in Employment Act, such as under
www.eeoc.gov/coronavirus.
about the author
Christopher Scott D’Angelo is a partner and chair of both the Business
Disputes & Products Liability Practice and International Practice at
Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads LLP, based in Philadelphia and
New York City. His practice involves business, products liability, construction,
class action, and insurance counseling and litigation, including his role
as national counsel for several major U.S. clients and his representation
of foreign concerns in the United States and U.S. concerns abroad. He
is a member of the Construction Law and Litigation Committee of the
International Association of Defense Counsel. He can be reached at
cdangelo@mmwr.com.
JULY 2020 www.mcsmag.com46
technology solution
Remote Monitoring
enabling site monitoring from a distance
TECH FOR PRODUCTIVITY
By Martin Holmgren
W
hile the recent COVID-19
pandemic brought an
increased interest in remote
monitoring solutions, this has been an
issue in the construction industry for
some time. Whether working from home
or in a remote location, the ability to
see and manage a jobsite from afar is
challenging without the right tools and
technology. With reduced workforces and
the pressures of increased compliance,
security, and health and safety practices,
contractors are looking for ways to
improve their processes. As companies
forge ahead under new processes and
guidelines, automating repetitive tasks
such as reporting, headcounts, and
access control can reduce the amount of
time contractors have to physically be on
a jobsite.
WORKFORCE MANAGEMENT
Knowing which workers, contractors,
or trades are on the site at any given
time, how much work is being done, and
how it aligns with committed volumes
on a labor schedule is key to making
decisions that will keep projects on track
and profitable.
Real-time data can be collected
remotely and used for high-level
decision-making, such as evaluating risks
to current commitments, or at a more
granular level, being notified the moment
the electrical foreman arrives on the site.
This can be accomplished by deploying
a construction-specific access control
system, which allows the project team
to monitor the flow of traffic in, out, and
even around the worksite.
For a more contextual view of the
project, live video from the worksite is
becoming more common as well. Live-
streamed video from the worksite gives
project managers the ability to monitor
activity and progress for reporting and
even spot safety checks. The recent
months of social distancing has brought
some useful lessons. Even when site
visits become easier to organize, it’s
likely that one lesson to be learned is
that time spent traveling to jobsites is
expensive. The ability to limit in-person
visits could easily cover the cost of
improved remote monitoring.
COMPLIANCE AUTOMATION
Ensuring that workers are authorized for
the area they’re entering is critical for
jobsite safety. Without proper access
tracking, workers risk unintentionally
entering an area that poses any number
of health threats. Chemical exposure,
hearing damage, head injuries or worse
can occur when a worker enters an area
without the correct safety equipment.
Using technology to manage access
allows companies to more easily monitor
who is entering and leaving the jobsite,
and to secure access to only workers
who are authorized to be there. It also
allows for customized entry to a jobsite
based on criteria such as signed NDAs,
passed drug tests, background screens,
and current licenses.
Additionally, if there is an emergency
or weather event and everyone on the
site needs to be alerted immediately, a
message can be broadcast to all on-site
workers at that same time. Once they
all reach the muster point, supervisors
on site can also use the same system to
do immediate and contactless roll calls
of everyone there. By using their mobile
phones or other handheld devices, they
can almost instantaneously know who
isn’t at the muster and who may still be
in danger.
Matt Ogle, senior safety manager
at JE Dunn Construction, recently
experienced firsthand the value of this
type of technology. “We’ve found Trimble
CrewSight to be a great value to help us
www.mcsmag.com JULY 2020
47
communicate to our onsite workforce, using the text message
system to alert our team of weather conditions. We recently
tracked a storm and when lightning was less than our working
parameter, we used the CrewSight system text to alert all
workers to stop all outdoor activities. Once the lightning passed,
we sent another text to tell everyone it was safe,” says Ogle.
SOCIAL DISTANCING
In today’s environment of extended health and safety checks,
there are four core actions that need to happen when workers
enter a construction site: collection of time and attendance
data, social distancing, compliance and health and well-being
checks, and reduction of shared surface contact.
To handle this, contractors need to deploy a solution that
can hold all worker data on compliance questions, checks,
and documentation, read a worker’s identification from 6
feet away, populate their remote site monitoring system, and
manage access to a construction site without having to touch a
common surface.
This sounds difficult, but technology is helping ease the
burden of managing these requirements on sites across the
country today. With many contractors having to run sites
remotely, they need to be able to access live data, including
how many people are on site, and use this information to
compare schedules and ensure that projects keep moving
forward as planned.
Contractor’s also need to keep security guards and workers
safe by maintaining a robust social distancing practice on the
site. This means that whatever system they use to capture
worker attendance needs to be able to work from a safe
distance. This can be done by equipping the jobsite security
with handheld devices which can read worker ID badges at a
distance as workers come and go from the site.
While on-site management and visits will always be critical
in the construction industry, integrating the right remote
monitoring technology can help contractors more effectively and
safely manage their projects when they are not able to be there
in person. This can help contractors run their jobsites—and their
business—more efficiently both during a pandemic and well into
the future.
The ability to limit in-person visits
could easily cover the cost of
improved remote monitoring.
about the author
Martin Holmgren is general manager, buildings field solutions, at Trimble Inc.
For more, visit fieldtech.trimble.com.
JULY 2020 www.mcsmag.com48
Tech Opportunities
leveraging what’s best for your company
WHAT TO WATCH
By Jason Krankota
C
onstruction has been one
of the slowest industries to
adopt technology. That’s partly
cultural—folks in the industry like to
solve problems with their own ingenuity.
Many firms are still family owned, and
there’s still a lot reverence for tradition.
Finally, this is an industry with thin
margins, where the first funding priorities
are equipment and personnel.
But, it’s also partly because there
hasn’t been a lot of technology built to
meet the needs of the industry. Before
smartphones, it was hard to bring
technology to the field. Even then, you
had to have a good Wi-Fi connection,
which wasn’t consistently available
or an expensive data plan. And, a lot
of early field capture technology was
based on someone having to manually
input data into a device. That was a
non-starter; having superintendents
manually entering data didn’t really
provide much in the way of productivity
gains, and made for a lot of unhappy
superintendents.
Now all that is changing. Founders
are aging out of the industry, creating an
opportunity for younger generations to
apply technology with less resistance.
Project owners are requiring the use of
different technologies as a condition of
funding. And, there are an increasing
number of great solutions specifically
designed for the industry. Connectivity
and computing power have increased
dramatically, making mobile applications
more reliable, robust, and user-friendly.
Cameras, drones, GPS, and RFID
technology are making it easy to capture
data without human intervention.
TECH OPPORTUNITIES TO WATCH
As more technology comes into play,
the industry is finally waking up to
the impact it can have on bottom line
profitability. Here are some of the
technology opportunities construction
companies should have on their radar:
AR AND VR
Whether it’s on a computer screen or
through a headset, augmented and
virtual reality are taking the output of
BIM software and creating virtual models
of a structure subcontractors can walk
through before it’s even built, allowing
them to collaborate and spot potential
issues in a virtual environment.
For example, an electrical contractor
could walk through the schematic of
what the mechanical contractor would
have built so they can say, “Okay, I see
that there’s going to be a standpipe here,
so we’ll run our conduit right next to
it.” That leads to less rework and fewer
scheduling delays. AR can also be used
to help train workers in a more effective
and cost-efficient manner.
AI: NOT YET
Artificial intelligence could potentially
have a big impact on the industry, but
probably not for quite few years. One
immediate application is jobsite safety.
There are already rudimentary tools
that can analyze video from jobsite
cameras and spot hazards. They can also
determine from workers’ movements
whether or not they’re accessing a
scaffold or carrying materials up a flight
of stairs correctly. Eventually AI could be
used to help improve project scheduling
by learning from data from past projects
and flagging issues that could lead to
delays. It could analyze the performance
of buildings over time and offer materials
recommendations. But AI needs relevant
data to learn from, so the industry needs
to digitize first.
INTERNET OF THINGS (IoT)
If you look at industries that are starting
to see some success with AI, such as
healthcare and manufacturing, everything
is happening more or less in one place.
technology solution
That makes it easier to put sensors on a
machine or robot and capture data. It’s
a bit more of a challenge when you have
multiple jobsites and a lot of movable
equipment, so taking data capture out of
the hands of individuals and automating
it, and storing data in a centralized place
where it can be managed is the frontier
right now.
BACK OFFICE EFFICIENCY
Most firms are using some sort of
automated accounting platform. But
there are still gaps that need to be filled.
Invoice routing and approval is a big one.
People are literally having the back office
scan invoices and then email out invoice
images to the project superintendent.
Invoice images are “digital paper,”
meaning they’re not actual digital artifacts.
Any data that’s on them has to be
manually entered, and the whole routing
and approval process is manual as well.
Then there’s the payment process
itself. Solutions built to handle procure
to pay actually only handle procure to
invoice approval, so then you need a
payments automation solution on top of
that. The good news is that automating
payments is pretty easy to do, and it
doesn’t depend on automating the invoice
workflow, which is a much bigger project.
BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE
Most ERP systems offer tons of reports,
but people want to combine that with
data from other sources. They want
to be able to look at the data three-
dimensionally and be able to drill into
it. ERP systems don’t have that kind
of capability, and as the amount of
data companies have access to grows,
so does the need to have a business
intelligence platform to pull it together
and generate analyses and models.
There are a lot of challenges to
overcome before construction becomes
a fully digitized industry. It’s still hard
to deploy technology organization wide
when you have workers on multiple
jobsites. Do you pull everyone off the job
to come in for training? Probably not.
CLOSING THOUGHT
Adoption can move pretty slowly, with
some workers using the technology and
others holding to traditional practices,
resulting in the industry overall heading in
the right direction of the benefits, even if
it’s not happening at a rapid pace. Keep
watch as technologies evolve; you may find
the right one for your company’s needs.
And with the right investment in technology,
growth and success should follow.
www.mcsmag.com JULY 2020
49
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about the author
Jason Krankota is vice president of
viewpoint partnership sales, West
Region, at Nvoicepay, a FLEETCOR
company. His expertise in construction
business technology spans 20 years,
with 10+ years focused on corporate
payments, accounts payable, and expense
management solutions. For more,
visit www.nvoicepay.com
.
JULY 2020 www.mcsmag.com50
technology solutiontechnology solution
Active Driver
reducing insurance claims and losses
MOBILE DEVICE DISTRACTION
By Pete Plotas
C
ompanies across industries are
being plagued by mobile device
distraction in the workplace at
an alarming rate. In the construction
industry, mobile device distraction
causes significant annual claims and
losses which affect the entire value
chain of the organization. According to
the JBKnowledge 2019 report, more
than 90 percent of the industry relies on
smartphones to empower employees
with tools for things such as workflow,
project management, reporting, and
capturing photos/videos of work.
MOBILE DEVISE MISUSE
While smartphones are a must, there are
also costly risks associated with mobile
device misuse which creates claims
and losses. Old Republic Contractors
Insurance Group (ORCIG), a producer
focusing on specialized insurance
coverages and services for trade
contractors and large construction
projects, has seen the impact of
rising injuries and claims in the
construction industry in recent years.
One of the biggest contributors is
the risk and loss associated with
work-related driving.
To help policyholders combat mobile
distraction, many insurance carriers are
turning to data from safety tech solutions
to get the job done. The data is helping
ORCIG loss prevention teams advise their
insured companies on best practices,
safety, and ways to reduce loss
exposure. The comparison of companies
protected by driver distraction solutions
versus those that are unprotected by
these measures is stark.
ANALYZING THE DATA
ORCIG analyzed 4 years of customer data
and discovered that companies with a
driver protection solution in place had
33 percent fewer accidents than those
without any solutions. Fewer accidents
translated into roughly $3.4 million in
cost savings. Perhaps more surprisingly,
this cost savings occurred despite the
fact that those companies with driver
protection solutions in place had 6
percent more vehicles on the road. The
data is clearly pointing to the increasing
need for intelligent solutions for
smarter mobile usage.
While many companies lean on
telematics and dashboard cameras
to identify risky behaviors behind
the wheel, these solutions focus on
monitoring behavior and reacting to
an incident. This means businesses
must manually police self-imposed
driver responsibility programs. Adding
to the challenge, when companies are
reactive, they’re most likely unaware
of the extent of their mobile device
distraction problems.
In contrast, organizations using a
proactive mobile management solution
can address mobile device risks before
an accident occurs, preventing claims,
liabilities, and losses associated with
mobile device distractions. Construction
companies need smart mobile solutions
that can actively and intelligently enforce
a company’s mobile device policy. This
includes addressing:
All device types, including handheld
and hands-free
All employees, across various job
functions
All work zones, behind the wheel,
with heavy equipment and on-site
The good news is that technology
exists today to “make mobile devices
smarter” so companies can enforce
www.mcsmag.com JULY 2020
51
proper mobile device usage behind
the wheel. The answer does not lie
in cell-blocking or disrupting cellular
network access. It can be done smartly
so that mobile use policy is enforced by
employee, by device, by job function,
and by work zone.
USING WORKFLOW APPS
Smart mobility today doesn’t need to
involve reducing employee ability to utilize
workflow apps. This is critical, especially
now as many companies have leveraged
workflow and communication apps to stay
up to date and in touch with employees
during COVID-19. Instead, smart mobility
means giving employees the technology
they need to get the job done while
eliminating the needless interruptions
that lead to incidents on the road. Using a
solution that enables an employee’s mobile
device to act like an automatic safety
switch, companies can enforce their mobile
use policies based on contextual indicators,
including movement, to determine if an
employee is behind the wheel of a vehicle.
This concept is known as Contextual
Mobile Device Management or CMDM.
CMDM consists of an app on the
employee’s mobile device, a dashboard
management console, and a beacon,
which helps the software identify
environmental characteristics (the context)
to ensure employee compliance with the
company’s mobile device policy. Best of
all, the employee still has access to the
apps they need. For example, employees
traveling to a jobsite can access apps for
directions but will not have access to call
or texting capabilities while the engine is
on. Once the CMDM app identifies that
the engine is no longer running, the mobile
device returns to its normal functionality.
CMDM also eases privacy concerns, as the
solution only manages applications and
device functionality and does not track the
employee’s location, report the apps they
use, or access personal data.
CLOSING THOUGHT
According to ORCIG data analysis, when
policyholders implement driver safety
solutions such as CMDM, this translates
into average savings of $875,000 per
year from reduced claims, losses, and
payouts. The math quickly adds up,
especially if any of those prevented
accidents would have involved injuries
or fatalities. Eliminating driver mobile
device distraction in the workplace
has undeniable benefits to everyone
involved. The financial benefits are clear.
The improvements to safety, productivity,
and reduction in business risk are also
very impactful. This especially rings true
for companies that depend on strong
safety ratings and operating on-time
and in-budget to stay in business. Safe,
productive employees are paramount.
To help policyholders
combat mobile distraction,
many insurance carriers
are turning to data from
safety tech solutions to
get the job done.
about the author
Pete Plotas is vice president global
alliances and business development with
TRUCE Software, where he works with
enterprise businesses, major insurance
and telecommunication companies across
the globe to forge strategic partnerships,
channels, and alliances to combat mobile
distractions within the workplace. His work
spans the early days of B2B marketplaces
helping to change how buyers and suppliers
interact into today’s cloud software age,
enabling customer experience and education
tech. From start-ups to enterprises, Pete has
developed partner ecosystems that have
created customer value across six continents.
He is driven by a passion for disruptive and
innovative technology, which has fueled him
for more than 20 years to connect people and
companies all over the world.
08.18.2020 | 10a4p_CDT
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Diesel Exhaust Fluid
safely purchasing, handling, and storing API-certified DEF
KEEP YOUR TRUCK RUNNING SMOOTHLY
By Jeffrey Harmening
A
s restrictions are being lifted
across most states in the country
and with warm weather upon us,
it is important for truck drivers to consider
proper management of Diesel Exhaust Fluid
(DEF) used in most diesel-powered trucks.
DEF is made from a mixture of
technically pure urea and purified water
and must be handled and stored properly
to preserve its quality. Handling and storing
DEF in warm weather requires special
care to protect it from the impact of high
temperatures which can decrease its
useful life. Now with the need for added
safety in public places, dispensing DEF at
service stations will require extra care.
To ensure truck drivers on the road
and people working in shops are safe,
the American Petroleum Institute (API)
has developed several tips for drivers
on the road and for shop owners to
help them purchase high-quality DEF
in a safe manner, and to handle and
store it so as to protect it during warm
weather months.
PURCHASING DEF
On the road, one of the main challenges
for drivers is knowing the actual brand
of DEF they are being sold. While
regulations in many states require
identifying the manufacturer and brand
on receipts, some locations do not
include it. API recommends purchasing
DEF that is clearly identified at
the fill-up location.
In addition, drivers accustomed to
purchasing DEF in containers should look
at the expiration date if it’s printed on the
bottle and be sure to use it before this
date as the product has a limited shelf
life. If an expiration date is not present,
look at the traceability code for a date.
This date is usually equivalent to the
packaging date. As a last resort, ask for
the most recently delivered DEF products.
Storage conditions also have an impact
on its quality. DEF can be expected to
have a minimum shelf life of 12 months
or even longer in optimum conditions.
SAFELY DISPENSING DEF
As many gas station and truck stop
owners around the country have taken
steps to increase the cleaning frequency
of the high-touch points, there are
recommended practices to help everyone
protect themselves at the pump. Consider
the following when dispensing DEF or fuel:
Follow the CDC’s recommendations
to clean your hands often, practice
social distancing, and wear
face coverings
Consider using gloves or paper
towels while touching surfaces
Carry hand sanitizer or sanitizing
wipes with you and use them both
before and after fueling
DEF STORAGE IN A VEHICLE
Check the label on the bottle for
recommended storage temperatures and
be sure to look for the API certification
mark as well. API recommends that you
don’t store DEF for too long in a truck,
especially if the storage area in the vehicle
is routinely hotter than the recommended
storage temperatures displayed on the
label. DEF stored at 86 degrees Fahrenheit
and above will only last about 6 months.
Exposure to direct sunlight may also
decrease the life DEF.
PURCHASING DEF FOR SHOP USE
API has found that the biggest
misconception by fleet managers is the
belief that if the urea concentration of
their DEF is on spec, then the DEF meets
the required quality. While it is true that
the concentration is very important,
there are many other important quality
characteristics built into the ISO 22241
specification in regard to DEF.
safety solution
www.mcsmag.com JULY 2020
55
Fleet managers responsible for procuring DEF should confirm
that their suppliers are providing DEF that meets the ISO quality
standard. One way to do this is to ensure that their supplier
is providing a Certificate of Analysis (or Quality) with every
shipment that addresses all of the quality characteristics that
the specification requires. Purchasing API-licensed DEF is the
best way to be sure your DEF meets the rigorous requirements
of the specification, because these products are not only tested
before they are released to the marketplace, but they are also
subject to testing in API’s Aftermarket Audit Program. Fleets and
drivers can always check to see if the DEF they are buying is
licensed by visiting API’s real-time directory of licensees on the
API website: dieselexhaust.api.org/directory/defsearch
MANAGING DEF IN SHOPS
For shops, the handling, storage, and dispensing of DEF is
important so that off-spec DEF doesn’t reach the marketplace.
Temperature during transport or at the point of storage or sale
can harm the shelf life of DEF sold in containers. Make sure the
stock is rotated to use the oldest product first. Proper storage
temperatures in a shop is also vital. Storing in temperatures
above 86 degrees Fahrenheit will limit the shelf life of the DEF
over time. Some additional things to consider in storing and
handing DEF include:
Bulk storage tanks should be dedicated for DEF. Don’t
switch products in the bulk tank without thoroughly rinsing
the tank with distilled or de-ionized water or on-spec DEF.
A closed loop system for transferring DEF from a drum
or bulk tank is recommended so contaminants don’t get
into the DEF. This is particularly important in a shop or
construction site that has dust or dirt in the air.
Use dedicated equipment for dispensing DEF. Don’t use
funnels, pitchers, hoses, etc. that are used for other fluids
when putting DEF in a tank.
Anything used for dispensing DEF should be cleaned with
distilled or de-ionized water and followed by a DEF rinse.
Don’t use tap water for cleaning.
CLOSING THOUGHT
For shops and drivers, it’s important to know what you are
putting into your DEF tank. The quality of the DEF going into
your vehicle is as important as the quality of the engine oils or
fuels used in your vehicles. Use of API-licensed Diesel Exhaust
Fluid will ensure that the DEF meets the high standards required
by engine and vehicle manufacturers.
about the author
Jeffrey Harmening is manager-EOLCS/DEF/MOM with the American
Petroleum Institute. For more, visit www.api.org
.
JULY 2020 www.mcsmag.com56
H
eavy-duty vehicle operators know
that being safe on the job is an
uncompromising priority. Not only
do they have to ensure their own safety,
but they are also focused on maintaining
the safety of those around them—on top of
managing their workload. It can be a lot to
juggle in a world where attention to detail
and the ability to focus on everything is
vital. Unfortunately, a majority of operators
have had to multi-task and divide their
focus among their duties as software and
surveillance hasn’t been viewed as a factor
in ensuring a safe environment. However,
investing in a surveillance system is in fact
a necessary (not accessory) component of
safe operations.
It’s important to recognize that a
surveillance system is not a means for
tracking operators but is instead used in
the same way a home security camera
is; to monitor what goes on outside of
the house, or in this case—surrounding
the vehicle. A surveillance system acts
like a second pair of eyes on the vehicle
that is chiefly focused on monitoring
every aspect of the area.
Further, a surveillance system
provides a multitude of other benefits
as well, including improved personnel
trainings, increased operational
efficiency for both operators and field
managers, heightened awareness, and
better accountability.
PROTECTING OTHERS
Most heavy-duty vehicles vary in size,
which requires multiple mounting points
on each vehicle to ensure views are
diverse and optimal for operators. This
could include wide-angle exterior side
and rear-view cameras. Placing cameras
on all sides of the vehicle creates
360-degree views in the surrounding
area and enhances awareness for the
operator. When these camera placements
are coupled with a viewing monitor,
operators achieve maximum visibility as
they maneuver the vehicle and are able
complete their duties with confidence.
Increasing the awareness for operators
creates better safety on the job as their
Surveillance Systems
the need to incorporate safety vision monitoring
FOCUS ON SAFETY
By Alicia Delgado
safety solution
www.mcsmag.com JULY 2020
57
focus and operations are streamlined.
The operators no longer have to manage
multiple viewpoints as they navigate the
machinery—all points of view are visible
on a mounted monitor; enabling them to
easily ensure they’re free from hazard.
This increase in awareness allows for
a decrease in accidents or injuries as
operators have improved their safety
practices. Therefore, the vehicle and
people in the surrounding area are better
protected because the operator can see
everything surrounding their vehicle.
When cameras and the monitors provide
360-degree views for the operator, there
is no chance to miss or not see an object
or person in the area—everything is
captured in the surveillance system.
OPERATIONAL EFFICIENCY
Embracing a surveillance solution
creates opportunities for increased
operational and administrative efficiency.
The multiple camera views and monitor
on the operator’s vehicle, allows them
to work faster and more diligently on
their duties as their caution has been
somewhat relieved. It is important to
note that operators will still have to
practice safety; however, the system
allows it to be achieved with more ease
and confidence as they have gained
heightened awareness. Therefore, they
can manage their workload in a more
effective and timely manner.
Many surveillance systems come
with a live look-in feature that would
serve as a great benefit for the field
manager as they would no longer have
to walk around the entire worksite to
get an understanding of the duties
that are in progress—all they would
have to do is remotely log in to their
video management system to gain a
comprehensive view of all operations
in real time. This frees up time for the
manager to recognize areas where
there could be room for improvement
in a quicker and more effective manner.
However, increased operational
efficiency can still be achieved if the
surveillance system doesn’t have
live look-in, as the recorded footage is
a valuable tool in evaluating the team’s
operations and practices.
ENCOURAGING ACCOUNTABILITY
Recorded video footage is not only a vital
tool for increasing operational efficiency
but is also a useful resource for improving
operator training and accountability. The
recorded footage captures every detail on
any incident that may take place, providing
first-hand training for new and established
operators. On the other hand, the footage
can also be used to train operators about
practices that are highly favored. Thus,
regardless of whether the footage is used to
show satisfactory or unfavorable moments,
the first-hand view is more beneficial than
a recounting of “what happened,” as no
details will be forgotten or mis-told.
Likewise, the cameras enforce stronger
operator accountability as their behaviors
and the chain-of-events in any moment
is documented. The awareness of the
surveillance system enables operators
to ensure they’re progressing through
their duties with diligence and high
attention to detail. More so, the recorded
footage allows the operators to gain
a better understanding of their own
practices as they can visually see how
their professional decisions or behaviors
impact their duties.
about the author
Alicia Delgado is the marketing content
writer for Safety Vision, LLC. For more, visit
www.safetyvision.com.
When these camera
placements are coupled
with a viewing monitor,
operators achieve
maximum visibility
as they maneuver the
vehicle and are able
complete their duties
with confidence.
JULY 2020 www.mcsmag.com58
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JULY 2020 www.mcsmag.com60
Greasing Program
20 pointers you may not have known
BEST PRACTICES
By Preston Ingalls
E
quipment has rotating and
reciprocating movement subject
to friction. To minimize that
friction and wear, grease is applied on a
routine basis. But the field of greasing
is a science—not an art. That science is
called tribology.
THE ART OF GREASING
My favorite story about greasing goes
back to the late 1800s.
A teamster, Francis Smith,
affectionately known as “Borax Smith,”
would always grease the hubs and axels
of his wagons before launching off on a
160-mile trek through the desert carrying
borax ore. Every trip, he religiously
packed the hubs of the wagons with
tallow (animal fat). Francis and his
brother never had a single breakdown in
their many years of hauling borax from
Teel’s Marsh to Wadsworth, Nevada.
What became known as the 20-mule
team, pulling 30-ton loads, was a durable
and reliable process (no wagon ever
broke down in the many years starting in
1877 until it was replaced by rail in 1891).
Think of those harsh conditions of the
Mojave Desert heat and sand.
Smith attributed the 100-percent
uptime and reliability to a mule, horse,
and wagon care for its dependability.
Francis had heard pioneers using tallow
grease, thickened with ash, on the hubs
of their Conestoga wagons on their long
journeys cross country to minimize the
friction of rotation. The practice had been
around for centuries, dating back as early
as Egyptian chariots.
To minimize breakdowns, here
are 20 techniques to help your
lubricating efforts:
Restrict the different types of grease
guns by standardizing on one type and
brand of the grease gun.
Consider using a color-coding
scheme, applied to oils and greases,
from storage to fill to minimizes
mistakes. Match the color from the bulk
storage container to any fill container
to the grease dispenser to the fill point.
Color bands that snap around the grease
gun can be purchased. Use a color
code chart. (see example on next page)
Wipe fittings before use to clear
fitting of contaminants. Use a clean,
lint-free cloth to avoid shedding cotton or
poly fibers.
Do not assume all fittings are in good
shape. Inspect grease fitting and replace
defective or damaged ones.
Consider greasing at the end-of-day
(EOD) because grease flows better when
equipment and components are warm.
For plant use with many grease
applications over a wide area, consider
using a foot pumper. They can be pulled
and are foot-activated versus pumped by
hand or arm swing.
Slow strokes of grease guns (manual
lever type) can minimize over-pressurizing
seals. A manual lever grease gun can
produce 10,000 to 15,000 psi, while many
bearing seals can pop at 500 psi.
Keep grease guns covered when not
in use to avoid collecting contaminants.
Avoid storing grease guns vertically
because gravity will slowly cause the oil
to leech out through the bottom of the
grease gun.
The amount of grease needed for a
bearing is based on its dimensions and
geometry. There is a common
misunderstanding that excessive or over
greasing helps to purge contaminants.
The best approach is to apply the correct
calculated amount at shorter time
intervals. This helps to purge
contaminants without over greasing.
11
A new coupler sliding sleeve may
possess a certain amount of resistance
when trying to engage. It may require
assistance to slide forward and lock onto
the fitting. Just grip the sleeve and
forcefully push it forward while wiggling
it clockwise and counterclockwise with a
slight rocking motion until it engages.
maintenance solution
www.mcsmag.com JULY 2020
61
12
Standardize on one model of the
grease gun. Studies have shown that
output between various models and
types can range up to 600 to 700
percent. So, two shots of grease from
one grease dispenser could be totally
different than another.
13
To avoid over greasing, use the
natural “pressure feel.” This means
inserting grease into the bearing cavity
until you feel slight resistance or back
pressure against the trigger or lever. This
means it is full—so stop.
14
Remember, you will have a turnover
of personnel, so training will need to be
an ongoing activity versus a one-time
event. There will be many aspects to
greasing that they will not know without
proper instruction.
15
Accompany the training with
laminated visual standards, explained in
the last section, to minimize
misinterpretation or reliance on recall or
memory. The key is to provide small
“one-on-one” or “one-on few” instruction
sessions on lubrication tasks.
16
Consider using plastic caps on the
coupler nozzle for storing to restrict
contamination on the tip.
17
To control contamination, repack
grease gun on a clean bench or work
surface using a gun loader fitting.
18
When faced with removing the
coupler from a pressurized fitting, it may
be challenging to remove the coupler
with just pressure from your thumb. To
assist in depressing the thumb lever, use
a pair of pliers on the thumb lever.
19
Avoid over greasing electric motor
bearings. Over greasing can cause the
grease or oil to get into the windings,
causing the insulation to weaken and
deteriorate. This could lead to arcing and
shorting inside the motor. The results are
excessive heat and wear on the stator
and rotor.
20
Avoid laying grease guns down on
dirty surfaces. Remember, grease is
sticky, and contamination, like grit, will
adhere to it.
CLOSING THOUGHT
At the end of the day, you may not be
stranded in the middle of the Mojave
Desert, but you could be stranded on the
side of the road. Consider improving the
quality of your greasing efforts.
about the author
Preston Ingalls is president and CEO of TBR
Strategies, LLC, a Raleigh, North Carolina-
based maintenance and reliability firm
specializing in the construction and oil and
gas industries. Preston can be reached at
pingalls@tbr-strategies.com
.
JUNE 2020 www.mcsmag.com62
modern construction products
Mecalac, a leading global designer, manufacturer,
and distributor of compact construction
equipment for urban environments, offers the
AS1600 swing loader. With the unique ability to
pivot its bucket 90 degrees to either side, the
AS1600 represents a departure from a traditional
wheel loader design for superior performance on
any jobsite. A rigid frame and 4-wheel steering
provide industry-leading productivity and
stability while driving, operating, and unloading
in virtually any condition or terrain. The AS1600
provides game-changing space management,
requiring only half the space of conventional
loaders for tasks with a standard 2.1-cubic-yard
bucket. For more, visit www.mecalac.com.
GSSI, a leading manufacturer of ground
penetrating radar (GPR) equipment,
announces PaveScan
®
RDM 2.0—an
innovative asphalt density assessment
tool that provides accurate real-time
measurements to ensure pavement life
and quality. PaveScan 2.0 incorporates a
new sensor design built specifically for the
extremes of the asphalt paving environment,
foldable deployment arms with high-visibility
for worksite safety, and has a warm-up
time of under one minute when ambient
temperature is over 70° F. For more, visit
www.geophysical.com.
Magid, a leading manufacturer of PPE
innovations, launches a new product line
powered by the instant cooling innovations
company MISSION
®
, along with an initiative
to create an industrial heat safety protocol
to help reduce the number of heat-related
illnesses in the workplace and on the
jobsite. Magid Cool Powered by MISSION’s
inaugural offering includes cooling
bandanas, cooling neck gaiters/face covers,
cooling towels, and cooling skull caps—all
designed to combat heat illness in the
workplace and the financial ramifications
it has on businesses. For more, visit
www.magidglove.com.
Talbert Manufacturing, a North American leader in specialized heavy-haul solutions, offers its
Tag-A-Long Austin Carry-All Series (AC Series) Trailers to minimize load times and maximize
productivity for everyday hauling of small- to mid-size equipment. The line of 10- to 25-ton tag-
a-long trailers features industry-leading loaded deck heights, durable construction and a low,
7-degree load angle to transport a variety of equipment—from asphalt rollers and machines for dirt
work to cable and pipe
for gas and electric utility
applications. For more,
visit www.talbertmfg.com.
MAX USA launches
the world’s
first stand-up
battery powered rebar tying tool, the TwinTier
RB401T-E, designed to reduce back strain when
tying rebar for concrete slabs. The benefit of
the RB401T-E is its ergonomic construction.
Its extended frame allows ironworkers to tie
rebar while standing upright. Users can adjust
the handles to 2 positions, to find the most
comfortable position for their height. The long
nose attachment allows the tool to glide into
rebar intersections with minimal effort from the
operator. Special attributes include its faster
tying speed, a reduction in wire consumption,
and a short wire tie. For more, visit
www.maxusacorp.com/rebar_tying_tools.
John Deere unveiled its new CP18E,
CP24E, and CP30E cold planers. These
new attachments offerings help operators
who work on street repairs, leveling
uneven pavement, texturing pavement, and cleaning around larger milling machines. The CP18E,
CP24E, and CP30E are compatible with John Deere skid steers and compact track loaders, as
well as equipment offered by competitors. With rear spoil clearance that reaches up to 9 inches,
operators can be more productive on the job by minimizing material that is pushed back into the
cut. For more, visit www.johndeere.com.
MECALAC
Swing Loaders
GSSI
Ground Penetrating Radar
MAGID
New Line of Cooling PPE
TALBERT MANUFACTURING
Tag-A-Long Austin Carry-All Series (AC Series) Trailers
MAX USA CORP.
World’s
First Stand-
up Battery
Powered
Rebar Tying
Tool
JOHN DEERE
New E-Series Cold Planer
Attachments
JULY 2020 www.mcsmag.com64
EVEN IN THE MIDST OF THE PANDEMIC
Construction Outlook Positive
MARCUM issues first national construction survey
M
arcum LLP releases its first
annual Marcum National
Construction Survey. Overall,
the survey reflects a positive outlook
by respondents about the current and
future state of the industry, despite the
COVID-19 pandemic.
Influencing their optimism were the
ability to secure financing for new projects
and to find new sources for building
materials, the respondents say. In addition,
while job backlogs remain strong, they
anticipate the need for diversified supply
chains, new worksite safety protocols, and
strategic planning to secure new contracts.
The survey was conducted in the
first quarter of 2020 by Marcum’s
national Construction Services group,
a premier provider of accounting, tax,
and advisory services to the construction
industry. To account for the influence
of the coronavirus crisis, responses
were separated into pre- and post-March
15 periods.
SOME OF THE HIGHLIGHTS
90% of respondents report their
ability to receive project financing
has increased or stayed the same as
compared to last year
47% of respondents report banks
required bonding on less than 20%
of their jobs
82% of pre-pandemic respondents
projected either the same or higher
backlogs for 2020
67% of post-pandemic respondents
projected either the same or
higher backlogs
Just over a third of respondents
(36%) predicted they will increase
expenditures in the next year
41% of pre-pandemic respondents
chose “securing skilled labor” as the
No. 1 threat to their businesses
29% of post-pandemic respondents
chose “lack of work” as the No.1 threat
51% of respondents are increasing
compensation to address the shortage
of skilled labor
85% of respondents say they
were applying for loans under the
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
to mitigate the impact of the virus
on their businesses
56% of respondents say their
top priority going forward is
strategic planning
37% of respondents have realized
tax savings in the past year, from the
Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017
CLOSING THOUGHT
Joseph Natarelli, Marcum’s national
construction industry leader, says, “The
industry was well-positioned prior to the
pandemic, even with a potential recession
looming. Those going into COVID-19 with
weaker balance sheets will be negatively
impacted. We believe that as long as
firms work with their
internal teams and
professional advisors to address labor
safety issues and material sourcing, and
have a pandemic plan in place, they will
come out of this in good shape.”
Go to www.marcumllp.com to
view the complete survey.
for more information
The 2020 Marcum National Construction
Survey polled 400 construction companies
and service providers in various sectors of
the industry. Forty percent had more than
100 employees, and 50 percent had annual
revenues in excess of $20 million. The survey
is the newest addition to Marcum’s robust
construction curriculum for construction
contractors and industry observers. For more,
visit www.marcumllp.com.