BEST PRACTICES 01Addressing any environmental issues early saves a significant amount of time, effort and cost.

By Steve Morrill

Unexpected delays in development projects mean missed due dates and added cost, neither of which is welcomed. Unknown environmental issues that arise during site construction can cause these delays. A site slated for development typically undergoes an environmental due diligence review process during property acquisition, purchase, or transfer. The environmental information is typically used by the purchaser to make an informed decision whether to acquire and develop the property, and if so, what financial and time impacts of any environmental findings might affect the project.

 OP CIVIL openerBy Adam Korenfield

Construction is not an industry that has historically been known for innovation, but times are changing. The advent of "green" building and new sustainability standards, along with advances in digital technology and connectivity, have created the impetus for innovation in everything from building materials to modeling and engineering techniques.


By Chris Martin

The creation of a winning proposal is the driving force behind the construction business today. When a Request for Proposal (RFP) comes in the door, companies must invest time and money to prepare, produce and track responses. Contracting by negotiation through the issuance of RFPs ("Requests for Proposals") requires a whole other level of adaptation to this method of winning business.

If you don't have a dedicated marketing person in place it can be overwhelming to put together a detailed response for an RFP but it doesn't have to be. Responses to RFPs have two levels of importance: what you are saying and how you are saying it. Obviously, content is significant in telling your story, but an important but often overlooked element is how you visually represent yourself. The following are some considerations for creating materials that visually impact customers and prospects and raise awareness for construction companies in the early stages of the RFP process. 


Typically, responses for RFPs are done in a traditional way: a three-ring binder full of information with the intent that “more is better.” That is understandable because often there are specifications that must be met and it is quick and easy to print out information, punch holes in it and bind it up with a cover sheet slid down in the clear pocket on the front of a binder. Does it get the job done? Yes. Does it make people remember you? No. This is where you need to use your imagination to take it to the next level beyond the traditional binder. It could be as simple as including a pop of color with a pull-out project timeline or really going the distance with something like Google Cardboard to build an immersive experience your prospect will never forget. The idea is to think creatively and draw your customer into the experience. 


If you have some leeway in how you are able to package your response, there are a number of ways that you can customize your response for differentiation and still meet specifications. Consider a high-quality box with a colorful design or incorporate a different binding method. Instead of the typical three-ring binder, consider buying a spiral binding apparatus, or if time allows saddle stitching, velo binding or perfect binding as options to make your response stand out. You can also explore creating custom pieces in-house to reduce cost and time. The key is to examine what elements are required by the creator of the RFP and rework your packaging to take your response a step above the others.  


The next evolution of marketing for construction companies will be exciting. The construction industry has been a traditional industry however, with the advent of technology we have the opportunity to move things forward. From video cameras to drones on jobsites, technology is constantly advancing and the time is right to take the steps to allow your company to distinguish itself. Some new methods for winning business include using:  

* Building information modeling (BIM) to help customers visualize how a structure will look; 

* Geographic information system (GIS) to illustrate spatial data;

* Animated computer-aided design (CAD) drawings to optimize design; and

* Video testimonials and case studies to highlight satisfied customers and successful projects.

Without a doubt, responding to an RFP is a critical step in positioning your company to win new business. As such, it is essential that your company represent itself accurately and positively. While an RFP response is not a traditional marketing piece, it is telling your company's story and it must be visually compelling. RFPs can arrive at inopportune times, so being prepared in advance will help lighten the load and help everyone stay focused to present the best representation of the company and win the business. 

For more than 20 years, Chris Martin has been supporting the construction industry by sharing complex stories in a simple and direct way to produce comprehensive strategies with measurement at the forefront. He can be reached at [email protected] or 412-749-9299.

 OP NY NJ FOCUS openerBy Paul T. Williams, Jr. 

The construction industry is faced with many compliance issues covering a wide range of topics, among them, workforce safety, environmental protection and quality control. In New York, new laws and regulations supporting increased utilization of minority- and women- owned enterprises (MWBEs) add to the complexity and risk business owners face on public projects.  



By Michael Armento

Despite robust construction occurring on college campuses around the country, supply is struggling to keep up with demand. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, total undergraduate enrollment is projected to increase to 19.6 million students by 2024, compared to a record-high 17.5 million students in 2013. At the same time, research from Michael Gallis & Associates reports American colleges are short on beds, with the shortage estimated 1.5 million to 2.15 million. 


By Peter Di Natale

At a recent presentation to the New York Building Congress, a panel of construction professionals including builders, architects and healthcare facilities experts spoke in depth about Integrated Project Delivery (IPD), considered by many to be a cutting-edge approach to design and construction.


By Richard Trimber

Recently, I visited a specialty contractor client’s jobsite to meet with the superintendent about a change initiative. Etched neatly on the recently poured concrete near the entrance, I saw insulting graffiti about the general contractor my client is working with. My thought was “that contractor has a really poor internal reputation; at least we don’t have that problem.”


By Lawrence Dany III and Patricia Gorham

In recent years, government investigations and enforcement actions relating to compliance with Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) programs have become more prevalent, causing concern among contractors and suppliers alike. These programs exist at the federal, state and local levels and generally require that a certain percentage of work on government-funded contracts be performed by disadvantaged business enterprises (DBEs). DBE programs are designed to stimulate business opportunities and are intended to aid small, minority-owned, and women-owned businesses in gaining access to opportunities on government contracts and construction projects.

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