By Naomi Bagga
If done right, a YouTube channel can be a valuable asset to any marketing campaign. As the second largest search engine and third most visited site after Google and Facebook, it's no wonder companies are creating their own channels on the video platform. However, as with any marketing strategy, it's important that it is executed correctly to ensure maximum benefit. Check out these quick tips to get your company's channel up to scratch:
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By Michael Sutherland
The facility and asset management industry of today is constantly embracing new challenges to thrive in an ever-changing environment. New technologies, evolving client expectations and an expanding emphasis on customer experience all combine to make the industry more complex than ever before.
These are among the many factors pushing this industry to shape itself in a new way. To properly respond to these challenges, the first place to look is at the people. Keeping up with the facility management industry of the future means enabling the new facility manager, a role that incorporates the unique, requisite skills to respond to the challenges that the industry currently presents.
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By Jeremy Cook
Potential theft of property is something we are all concerned about at some point or other. But in the construction industry, the very nature of what we’re doing is unfinished and therefore not necessarily covered by planned security systems, making sites especially vulnerable. Even something as simple as locking the doors might not yet be possible. Unless you’ll have workers (or a guard) on the site 24/7, you won’t always be able to keep an eye on your power tools and other expensive equipment, leaving sites and property at risk for theft. Since you need your tools to complete the job, theft can really be a hit to productivity and throw you off schedule. Fortunately, there are some electronic devices available to help keep everything secure.
Perhaps the most obvious method for securing your company’s valuables is through camera monitoring. Depending on the connection (Wi-Fi) and power options available at the site, nearly any security camera can be used as a cost-effective solution. Wireless and waterproof models that are easy to set up are ideal for this environment, as eventually you’ll be moving on to the next job and can take them with you when you go.
On the other hand, some camera systems are especially designed for construction sites that can operate over a cellular network and offer enhanced features in addition to providing security. Onsiteview, for example, features cameras that can be used for live site-viewing over a cellular network and archives images for you to view later, email to a colleague or even create a time-lapse sequence. TrueLook’s cameras offer many of the same features, and they have one model that can operate via solar power for a truly off-grid recording system.
Although having a video surveillance in use on the site would certainly deter some criminals, it may not help you if a theft is successful. If someone is determined to steal a tool and succeeds, once it leaves that premises, you likely have no idea where it has gone. Fortunately, there is a solution for that in the way of a GPS tracker. Units like the Spy Tec model can be hidden inside of an object, and let you check up on the location of your valuable equipment. You can also set up a perimeter—called geofencing—around your worksite, so that if something does decide to “walk off,” it will notify you immediately. That way, you have a much higher chance of recovering stolen tools.
Sensor-Based Alarm System
A different, and perhaps more active, method for deterring theft is an alarm system. Such systems as the Contractor Guardian use an array of sensors to ensure that everything from table saws to drivable equipment is still in its place. The systems listed can also detect fire, protecting the job and valuable equipment stored on-site from this additional threat.
No matter which security measure you choose, taking steps to secure your tools can ensure that you don’t take a hit to your team’s productivity.
Jeremy Cook is an engineer and writer in the southeastern United States, with a BSME from Clemson University and over 10 years of factory automation experience. He’s an avid maker and experimenter, building anything that comes into his mind. He also writes for Home Depot, who carries a wide selection of power tools similar to those discussed in this article.
By Kim Slowey
Business is booming, and your company is taking on more projects. That's good news, but without proper management and scheduling, you could find yourself quickly losing control. Here are some tips to keep everything in place.
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By Roy Rasmussen
The connected home market is estimated to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 14.07 percent to reach$121.73 billion by 2022. By 2020,50 percent of North American householdswith broadband access are expected to be connected. As connectivity becomes standard, construction teams are enjoying the benefits of being connected as well. Being connected on-site improves communications, efficiency and safety. But there are many connectivity options and choosing one can be challenging. Here’s a look at today’s construction connectivity options to help you choose the right solution for your project.
If your construction location is located near a Wi-Fi hotspot or if you have a portable wireless router, you can tap into the Wi-Fi connection. A Wi-Fi connection lets you communicate with your team over the internet or by usingWi-Fi calling. Wi-Fi is an excellent option when you are in a location where there’s a weak cellular or satellite signal. Wi-Fi capability is built in to most mobile devices. You can extend the range of a Wi-Fi signal by using a Wi-Fi extender. One potential disadvantage is that they can be susceptible to hacking if you don’t take security measures. If security is a concern, make sure you set up a VPN network with encryption.
If you’re in an area within your cell phone provider’s coverage, you can use a cellular connection. While Wi-Fi connection relies on a local network and has a short range, a cellular connection picks up signals from a national network of land-based towers, giving it a longer range. The main limit to a cellular connection is the range of your network provider. Make sure your provider offers coverage in the area where you need a connection.
Another way to connect is by tapping into a Wi-Fi or cellular connection using a network dongle that fits into a USB port. Dongles have the advantage of being universally compatible with any provider, portable and secure. However, they can only support one device and have very slow connection speeds. Additionally, they are subject to the Faraday effect, preventing them from communicating with devices that are encased in metal.
Satellite connections rely on satellites orbiting the earth, giving them a potentiallywider range of coveragethan Wi-Fi or cellular connections. A satellite connection requires you to set up a satellite dish to receive signals on your site. This allows you to receive a signal anywhere on earth, but there are some disadvantages. Your dish must be precisely-aimed, and any change in position, as well as weather, can interfere with your signal. Bandwidth allowances are typically low, which can result in a slower signal if many people are using your network and use costs can be high. Most satellite carriers only promise set-up within a 90-day period, meaning you may have to wait three months in order to get your site connected. You will usually be locked into a long-term contract for up to 24 months.
Fixed Line Connections
Another option is a fixed-line connection such as a DSL line that taps into a phone cable. A fixed line has the advantages of being dedicated, fast and secure, with unlimited data. The main disadvantages, as with satellite, are that installation can take up to 90 days, you will be locked into a contract for up to 24 months and service repairs may be delayed. In addition, availability may be limited in some areas.
Roy Rasmussen, coauthor of "Publishing for Publicity," is a freelance writer who helps select clients write quality content to reach business and technology audiences. His clients have included Fortune 500 companies and bestselling authors. His most recent projects include books on cloud computing, small business management, sales, business coaching, social media marketing and career planning.
By Michael Bardwil, M.D.
Varicose veins probably aren’t among the top medical concerns for most construction workers. But years of long hours standing on job sites can lead to the swollen, twisted and enlarged veins – particularly for people who have a genetic predisposition for the condition.
Experts regularly count construction workers among those most likely to develop varicose veins – right up there with postal workers, hair dressers, cashiers, nurses and miners. They all have jobs that involve standing all, or most of, the day, making it harder for veins to pump blood from workers’ feet back up to their hearts.
It’s a condition more common in women than in men – and often associated with post-pregnancy medical issues. But in the last 30 years, I’ve treated hundreds of workers – often men in construction – and others who perform difficult tasks such as heavy lifting and standing for long periods of time who have struggled with varicose veins. Today, such patients are more fortunate than their predecessors, as modern medicine is providing more effective and less invasive relief.
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By Susan Finch
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, 4,836 workers were killed on the job in 2015. Among those, 17 percent included fatal injuries involving contractors. Further, the census found that among the 937 fatal work industries in private construction in 2015 represented the highest total since 2008.
Reducing workplace injuries and fatalities starts with proactive prevention and a culture of safety. It’s not enough to simply advise workers on safety expectations and policies and then hope for the best. It takes careful planning and systematic training to reduce workplace injuries and prevent them from rising. Get started by looking for dangerous habits in the workplace. Here’s what to look for.
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By Gary L. Seider
Pipe shaft helical piles have the ability to provide a superior foundation solution during disaster recovery and resistance when compared to other deep foundation options. Preliminary results show that helical piles offer improved seismic resistance due to their slenderness, higher dampening ratios, ductility and resistance to uplift.
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By David Kung
The design of an architectural space has a direct impact on the way employees think and work within it. Today’s most innovative companies prioritize collaboration in workplace design in order to empower workers as meaningful contributors. In fact, these companies are five times more likely to prioritize both individual and collaborative group workspaces, according to a recent U.S. Workplace Survey by Gensler, the world’s leading global architecture firm.
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By Matt Stock
Fundamental to running a successful business is determining its path for growth and enrichment. Companies that rest on their laurels and remain stagnant for too long eventually erode and die. But, there’s no wisdom in growth just for the sake of growth. When are the best times to expand? Which risks are calculated versus careless? How soon should you expect to see a return on your investment?
Here are some things to consider and address before growing a business.
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