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 OP INSTITUIONALBy Clint Fawcett

The construction of educational facilities involves a variety of processes in order to be successful. One of the most important processes to all parties involved, especially the owner and contractor, is cost estimation. An effective way to garner cost estimates is through a system called continuous cost modeling, which delivers many benefits including the reduction of waste in the form of time, productivity and materials. Continuous cost modeling is especially crucial when budget plays a large role in the construction of a facility such as an educational building.

 OP INDUSTRIALBy HK Bain

Construction contractors and suppliers face a dilemma: how to manage jobs and company operations with maximum profitability in an industry fraught with roadblocks to efficiency including rising costs, remote job sites, regulatory issues and project delays. As this digital age brings advances to nearly every business sector, the construction industry has been slow to adopt new technologies. How might attachment to paper-based document management processes be contributing to lost productivity and higher overall job costs?

 OP RESIDENTIALBy David Worrell

Contractors around the country are worried. Regulatory changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) have been finalized and everyone is asking whether they now have to change the compensation of certain salaried employees.

The answer to this is yes and no. Like most regulation, there is plenty of wiggle room in the law to interpret it in different ways. But some comp plans will certainly have to be examined – the most obvious being salaried workers in the field, particularly crew chiefs and field supervisors.

The first thing to know is that the new regulations don’t take effect until Dec. 1, and the only real change to the rules is the increase in minimum salaries for exempt employees. Nonetheless, if all the talk about the FLSA has you looking over your payroll policies, this is a good opportunity to review your practices and be sure you are in within the law.

 OP NY NJ FOCUS

By Dr. David Berg

Overpriced healthcare is hurting American business and job creation. Insurance prices are continuing to skyrocket – and with no end in sight. With Obamacare, many construction companies are now required to offer healthcare to their employees, but high insurance rates are cutting dangerously into their profits and threatening the stability of even longstanding and established construction firms.

 OP COMMERCIALBy Lawrence Dudek

First, the good news  – there is significant new activity with respect to construction and projects are ramping up at a rapid pace. The bad news? The uptick in business can create special challenges for owners, who must be alert to potential signs of cash flow problems their general contractors and subcontractors may be having. 

 OP CIVILBy Michael Kurzman

Construction lien laws are flawed. If your construction company is not careful, an unscrupulous developer may try to leverage that flaw in order to strip you of your construction lien and leave you without payment for labor, services, material and equipment provided to a construction project. 

 NEW TECHNOLOGY 01New technology means better results for construction projects.   

By Dave Spriggs and Bob Bonk

We’re all familiar with the phrase that a picture is worth a thousand words, but as engineers and surveyors we also like to say that a picture is worth a million data points. This simple phrase captures the growing importance of technology in construction projects. The evolution of engineering technology in the past few years has resulted in powerful new tools that can be leveraged to deliver projects that are completed on time, within budget and are more accurate. 

 CASH FLOW 01Having the right tools to measure cash flow can go a long way.   

By John D. Geraci 

Cash flow is everything to the construction business owner. In fact, a positive cash flow is vital to the successful financial management of every company, from the largest Fortune 1000 enterprise to the solo entrepreneur. Often times, however, owners are so immersed in all the details of running a business that they don’t pay the attention to their cash flow that they should. The harried construction business owner, who spends his or her day “putting out fires” on a variety of different fronts, may succumb to the attitude, “As long as there is enough money in the account to meet payroll and expenses, I’m okay.”

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