JULY 2020WWW.MCSMAG.COMSURVEY SAYSGNSS TECHNOLOGYTIPS THE SCALEEMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENTCOMMUNICATION STRATEGIESLIVE FIELD DATARECESSION-PROOF YOUR BUSINESS_EXPO 2020MODERN CONTRACTOR SOLUTIONSMCSSEE DETAILS ON PAGE 2CONSTRUCTIONOUTLOOK POSITIVEMODERN CONTRACTOR SOLUTIONS VIRTUAL EXPO 2020
08.18.2020 | 10a—4p_CDTMODERN CONTRACTOR SOLUTIONSPREMIER EVENTMCSMODERN CONTRACTOR SOLUTIONS VIRTUAL EXPO 2020CONNECT_ENGAGE__EXPLORE_EXPERIENCE_EXPO 2020Attend safely from your home or office on your smartphone or laptop. REGISTER TODAY! mcsmag.com/go/virtualexpo-august/Modern Contractor Solutions heard the demand and answered the call with its virtual expo for the construction industry! _FREE virtual event_Live chat or video with exhibitors_Download literature/brochures_See product videos/demosLIVE CHAT_with industry experts WEBINARS_educational best practices EXHIBITS_from the industry’s eliteSPONSORS_
PROJECT PROFILESaving Hawaiian BridgeEQUIPMENT SOLUTIONRight Bit for Concrete DemolitionMANAGEMENT SOLUTIONDesign-Build Project SuccessSAFETY SOLUTIONSCommercial Flooring SafeguardsDisinfecting EquipmentTECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONSHot Weather ConcretingHydrodemolition Challenges16project profile Wild Blue, Yondermassive development awash in GNSS technology46JULY 2020VOLUME 14 ISSUE 07Inside This IssueON THE COVERThe 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, CHANCE foundation solutions feature exclusive anchoring techniques, tools, designs, and sizes that improve the efficiency and durability of foundation solutions. See the CHANCE ad on the back cover.chancefoundationsolutions.com20special focusIN EVERY ISSUEIndustry News ............................ 08Modern Construction Products ... 62What’s Trending ......................... 64technology solution Remote Monitoringsite mentoring from a distanceproject profile Vapor Barrierproper adhesion in various tempsmanagement solution Live Field Datarecession-proof your business 30software solution Digital Networkkeeping your jobsite in sync40technologymanagement solution Communication Mattersemployee engagement strategies36
PROJECT PROFILESaving Hawaiian BridgeEQUIPMENT SOLUTIONRight Bit for Concrete DemolitionMANAGEMENT SOLUTIONDesign-Build Project SuccessSAFETY SOLUTIONSCommercial Flooring SafeguardsDisinfecting EquipmentTECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONSHot Weather ConcretingHydrodemolition Challenges
Donna CampbellEditor in ChiefFrom the Editorwww.mcsmag.com P.O. Box 660197 | Birmingham, AL 35266DONNA CAMPBELL Editor in Chiefdonna@mcsmag.comMIKE BARKER Publishermike@mcsmag.com RANDY MOON Media Consultantrandym@mcsmag.comMICHAEL FISCHBACH Media Consultantmichael@mcsmag.com JOHN FRIEND Media Consultantjohn@mcsmag.comKEVIN MCCLARAN Media Consultantkevin@mcsmag.comLISA AVERY Art Directorlisa@mcsmag.comCRISTELA TSCHUMY Graphic Designercristela@mcsmag.com SETH SAUNDERS Digital Media Specialist firstname.lastname@example.orgINGRID BERKY Office Manageringrid@mcsmag.comTIM GARMONCEORUSSELL HADDOCKPresidentCHRIS GARMONCFODONNA CAMPBELLVice President, EditorialTONYA BROWNINGVice PresidentSUBSCRIPTION inquiries or changes:205.380.2048No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage-and-retrieval system without permission in writing from the publisher. The views expressed by those not on the staff of Modern Contractor Solutions, or who are not specifically employed by Highlands Publications are purely their own. All Industry News material has either been submitted by the subject company or pulled directly from its corporate website, which is assumed to be cleared for release. Comments and submissions are welcome, and can be submitted to email@example.com.For reprint information, contact Chris Garmon at firstname.lastname@example.org.Canada Post Publication Agreement #41578525. Undeliverables 355 Admiral Drive, Unit 4, Mississauga, ON L5T 2N1@mcsmagModern Contractor Solutions MagazineModern Contractor SolutionsPROJECT PROFILESWild Blue, Yonder ...............................................................16Vapor Barrier ........................................................................20CAMO Fasteners ................................................................. 24EQUIPMENT SOLUTIONTrench Drains ............................................................28MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONSLive Field Data ...........................................................30Construction’s Future ................................................34Communication Matters ............................................ 36SOFTWARE SOLUTIONDigital Network .........................................................40LEGAL SOLUTIONConstruction Sites ..................................................... 44TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONSRemote Monitoring ...................................................46Tech Opportunities .................................................... 48Active Driver ..............................................................50SAFETY SOLUTIONSDiesel Exhaust Fluid .................................................. 54Surveillance Systems ................................................56MAINTENANCE SOLUTIONGreasing Program ......................................................60TECH 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 WellesON THE BLOG_EXPO 2020MCSSEE DETAILS ON PAGE 2MODERN CONTRACTOR SOLUTIONS VIRTUAL EXPO 2020MODERN CONTRACTOR SOLUTIONS
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JULY 2020 www.mcsmag.com8industry newsINERTIA 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. Contractor’s #1 Choice for Flat FloorsA great power screed using straight ﬂat screed bars. The❝Black Beauty❞GET FLAT FLOORS!Screed bars are available in lengths up to 20 feet.▼ Equilateral screed bars stay straight through years of use.▼ Now available with “T” handle (shown) or “Bicycle” handle.▼LOCATE A DEALER AT advancedconcretescreeds.com OR CALL US AT 800-648-0542.
JULY 2020 www.mcsmag.com10industry newsCOMMERCIAL 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 LAMPSOptronics International, a leading manufacturer of vehicle harnesses, electronic control systems, and LED lighting for the global
JULY 2020 www.mcsmag.com12industry newstransportation 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 2020Save 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❱ EASY ADJUSTMENT ❱ 65% Improved durability ❱ Fork spacing from 2” to 260” ❱ Direct pin & quick attach bracket mounts ❱ Fits any make or model ❱ SUBSTANTIALLY INCREASED BLADE LIFEADJUSTABLE FORKS & CARRIAGES FOR WHEEL LOADERSONE SET OF FORKS TO HANDLE ALL YOUR NEEDSEASTERN SALES INQUIRIESContact: Cameron Waugh P: 704-450-4731 F: 920-845-2309E: email@example.comWESTERN SALES INQUIRIESContact: Holger Ihm P: 803-320-0981 F: 920-845-2309E: firstname.lastname@example.orgS.A.S. of Luxemburg, LLC.133 Center Drive Hwy 54, PO Box 260Luxemburg, WI 54217-0260 P: 920-845-2198 F: 920-845-2309www.sasforks.com
JULY 2020 www.mcsmag.com16project profileWild Blue, Yondermassive development awash in GNSS technologyTIPPING THE SCALEBy Larry Trojak
www.mcsmag.com JULY 202017Florida, 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 INDespite 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 MOVEMSC 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, Yondermassive development awash in GNSS technology
JULY 2020 www.mcsmag.com18project profilegravitated 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 ALLDealing 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 THOUGHTTo 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 authorLarry 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.ON THE WEBCheck out this article on mcsmag.com for more about MSC’s drone usage and growth
www.mcsmag.com JULY 202019
JULY 2020 www.mcsmag.com20project profileVapor Barrierproper adhesion even with temperature swings BUILD SMARTER. ANY DAY. EVERY DAY.Photography courtesy of Art of Flight Media
www.mcsmag.com JULY 202021According 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.com22BREAKING 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 WINTERWinter 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 THOUGHTIn 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 profilefor more information For more about how 3M can help you build smarter, even in the winter, visit 3M.com/buildsmarter.
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JULY 2020 www.mcsmag.com24Named 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 PROJECTAlthough 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 CHALLENGEThe 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 SOLUTIONTo 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 Fastenersefficient use for the Pier 3 wharf renovation BUSINESS GAME-CHANGERproject profileYanni Tsakiris, owner of City Decks, Inc.
www.mcsmag.com JULY 202025EXPERT TECH SUPPORTYanni 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 WINNERIn 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 COMPLETEThey 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 THOUGHTIn 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.com28Trench Drainsbuying and installing considerationsBy Ankit A. SehgalIf 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 solutionON THE WEBCheck out this article on mcsmag.com for a load bearing capacity chart
www.mcsmag.com JULY 202029OSHA Compliant Guardrail andStair Rail SystemsSafety Boot® Guardrail SystemStringerShield® Stair Rail System1.800.804.4741safetyboot.com• Non-Penetrating Design• Rugged Steel Construction• Exceeds OSHA Regulations• Simple, Aordable & Reusable• Residential, Multi-Family & Commercial Applications• Unique Free Standing Design• Keep Post Attached For Reuse On Next Level Or ProjectFeatured on osha.gov website!large as 35 cfs and have proved their mettle in manufacturing, power plants, seaports, water treatment plants, and so on.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 THOUGHTTrench 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.com30Live Field Datarecession-proof your business with guidance and techBEST PRACTICESBy Mike MerrillThe 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 FMIFMI 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 BENEFITSThe 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 202031and 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 THOUGHTIt 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.com34management solutionConstruction’s Futurepredictions for the pandemic-era construction sectorEXPERT COMMENTARYBy Kenny IngramMaking 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 CAKEOne 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 YEARSWhile 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 20203508.18.2020 | 10a—4p_CDTAttend safely from your home or office on your smartphone or laptop. REGISTER TODAY! mcsmag.com/go/virtualexpo-august/LIVE CHAT_with industry experts WEBINARS_educational best practices EXHIBITS_from the industry’s eliteCONNECT_ENGAGE__EXPLORE_EXPERIENCE_EXPO 2020_FREE virtual event_Live chat or video with exhibitors_Download literature/brochures_See product videos/demosMODERN CONTRACTOR SOLUTIONSPREMIER EVENTMCSMODERN CONTRACTOR SOLUTIONS VIRTUAL EXPO 2020Modern Contractor Solutions heard the demand and answered the call with its virtual expo for the construction industry! 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 THOUGHTThe 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.com36Communication Mattersstrategies to rethink employee engagement AMID THE PANDEMICBy Trish StrombergConstruction 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 ENGAGEMENTKeeping 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 SOCIALDuring 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 COLLABORATIONEmployees 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 202037CREATE 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 SOLUTIONThe 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 THOUGHTWhile 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.PLAY VIDEO
www.mcsmag.com JULY 202039TECHNOLOGY • MANAGEMENTTECHNOLOGY • MANAGEMENTMANAGEMENT • ENVIRONMENTALMANAGEMENT • ENVIRONMENTALEQUIPMENT • SAFETYEQUIPMENT • SAFETYSAFETY • TECHNOLOGYSAFETY • TECHNOLOGYENVIRONMENT • EQUIPMENTENVIRONMENT • EQUIPMENTSOLUTIONSSOLUTIONSSOLUTIONSSOLUTIONSSOLUTIONSSOLUTIONSSOLUTIONSSOLUTIONSSOLUTIONSSOLUTIONSSOLUTIONSTECHNOLOGY • MANAGEMENTTECHNOLOGY • MANAGEMENTMANAGEMENT • ENVIRONMENTALMANAGEMENT • ENVIRONMENTALEQUIPMENT • SAFETYEQUIPMENT • SAFETYSAFETY • TECHNOLOGYSAFETY • TECHNOLOGYENVIRONMENT • EQUIPMENTENVIRONMENT • EQUIPMENTSOLUTIONSSOLUTIONSSOLUTIONSSOLUTIONSSOLUTIONSSOLUTIONSSOLUTIONSSOLUTIONSSOLUTIONSSOLUTIONSSOLUTIONSGo to mcsmag.com for solution-based articles with insight from industry experts.LET MCS BE YOUR RESOURCE.SEEKING A SOLUTION?
JULY 2020 www.mcsmag.com40Digital Networkkeeping your jobsite in syncPUSHING FORWARDBy Alex Moodysoftware solutionDigitization 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 FORWARDFirst, 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 flatTwo 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 SOLUTIONSSo, 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 PRACTICESSo, 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 202041wireless 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 THOUGHTDigital 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.com44Construction Sites moving forward during the pandemicAMID THE PANDEMICBy Christopher Scott D’AngeloMuch 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 RESPONSIBILITIESHere, 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.htmlCDC: www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/hierarchy/default.htmlIt 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 202045guidance 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 & Employerswww.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-business-response.htmlCoronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): Construction Workers www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/construction-workers.html?deliveryName=FCP_2_USCDC_10_4-DM29003OSHA likewise has important information and requirements: Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19 www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3990.pdfCOVID-19 - Control and Prevention /Construction Work www.osha.gov/SLTC/covid-19/construction.htmlNorth 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.pdfThe American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) provides the following: Returning to Work: Construction Environmentaiha-assets.sfo2.digitaloceanspaces.com/AIHA/resources/Returning-to-Work-Construction-Environments_GuidanceDocument.pdfThe 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/coronavirusWhat 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-lawsKeep 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 THOUGHTAs 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 email@example.com.
JULY 2020 www.mcsmag.com46technology solutionRemote Monitoringenabling site monitoring from a distanceTECH FOR PRODUCTIVITYBy Martin HolmgrenWhile 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 MANAGEMENTKnowing 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 AUTOMATIONEnsuring 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 202047communicate 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 DISTANCINGIn 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.com48Tech Opportunitiesleveraging what’s best for your companyWHAT TO WATCHBy Jason KrankotaConstruction 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 WATCHAs 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 VRWhether 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 YETArtificial 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 EFFICIENCYMost 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 INTELLIGENCEMost 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 THOUGHTAdoption 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 20204908.18.2020 | 10a—4p_CDTAttend safely from your home or office on your smartphone or laptop. REGISTER TODAY! mcsmag.com/go/virtualexpo-august/Modern Contractor Solutions heard the demand and answered the call with its virtual expo for the construction industry! LIVE CHAT_with industry experts WEBINARS_educational best practices EXHIBITS_from the industry’s eliteCONNECT_ENGAGE__EXPLORE_EXPERIENCE_EXPO 2020_FREE virtual event_Live chat or video with exhibitors_Download literature/brochures_See product videos/demosMODERN CONTRACTOR SOLUTIONSMCSMODERN CONTRACTOR SOLUTIONS VIRTUAL EXPO 2020PREMIER EVENTSPONSORS_ 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.com50technology solutiontechnology solutionActive Driverreducing insurance claims and losses MOBILE DEVICE DISTRACTIONBy Pete PlotasCompanies 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 MISUSEWhile 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 DATAORCIG 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-siteThe good news is that technology exists today to “make mobile devices smarter” so companies can enforce
www.mcsmag.com JULY 202051proper 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 APPSSmart 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 THOUGHTAccording 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 | 10a—4p_CDTMODERN CONTRACTOR SOLUTIONSPREMIER EVENTMCSMODERN CONTRACTOR SOLUTIONS VIRTUAL EXPO 2020CONNECT_ENGAGE__EXPLORE_EXPERIENCE_EXPO 2020Attend safely from your home or office on your smartphone or laptop. REGISTER TODAY! mcsmag.com/go/virtualexpo-august/Modern Contractor Solutions heard the demand and answered the call with its virtual expo for the construction industry! _FREE virtual event_Live chat or video with exhibitors_Download literature/brochures_See product videos/demosLIVE CHAT_with industry experts WEBINARS_educational best practices EXHIBITS_from the industry’s eliteSPONSORS_
JULY 2020 www.mcsmag.com54Diesel Exhaust Fluidsafely purchasing, handling, and storing API-certified DEF KEEP YOUR TRUCK RUNNING SMOOTHLYBy Jeffrey HarmeningAs 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 DEFAs 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 fuelingDEF STORAGE IN A VEHICLECheck 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 USEAPI 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 202055Fleet 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/defsearchMANAGING DEF IN SHOPSFor 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 THOUGHTFor 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.com56Heavy-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 OTHERSMost 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 Systemsthe need to incorporate safety vision monitoringFOCUS ON SAFETYBy Alicia Delgadosafety solution
www.mcsmag.com JULY 202057focus 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 EFFICIENCYEmbracing 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 ACCOUNTABILITYRecorded 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.com5808.18.2020 | 10a—4p_CDTAttend safely from your home or office on your smartphone or laptop. REGISTER TODAY! mcsmag.com/go/virtualexpo-august/LIVE CHAT_with industry experts WEBINARS_educational best practices EXHIBITS_from the industry’s eliteCONNECT_ENGAGE__EXPLORE_EXPERIENCE_EXPO 2020_FREE virtual event_Live chat or video with exhibitors_Download literature/brochures_See product videos/demosMODERN CONTRACTOR SOLUTIONSPREMIER EVENTMCSMODERN CONTRACTOR SOLUTIONS VIRTUAL EXPO 2020Modern Contractor Solutions heard the demand and answered the call with its virtual expo for the construction industry!
JULY 2020 www.mcsmag.com60Greasing Program20 pointers you may not have knownBEST PRACTICESBy Preston IngallsEquipment 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 GREASINGMy 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 20206112 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 THOUGHTAt 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
JUNE 2020 www.mcsmag.com62modern construction productsMecalac, 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.MECALACSwing LoadersGSSIGround Penetrating RadarMAGID New Line of Cooling PPETALBERT MANUFACTURING Tag-A-Long Austin Carry-All Series (AC Series) TrailersMAX USA CORP. World’s First Stand-up Battery Powered Rebar Tying ToolJOHN DEERE New E-Series Cold Planer Attachments
JULY 2020 www.mcsmag.com64EVEN IN THE MIDST OF THE PANDEMICConstruction Outlook Positive MARCUM issues first national construction surveyMarcum 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 2017CLOSING THOUGHTJoseph 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.