In business, there are two key strategies for generating more profit: increasing revenue levels and reducing expenditures. When owners or executives only focus on the top line, they miss out on the benefits brought about by cost reduction and performance enhancing measures. While everyone dreads workforce layoffs, there are several less drastic but more effective strategies for improving the company’s performance and enhancing business efficiency. 

Many professionals in the construction industry deal with electrical issues pertaining to interior and exterior lighting. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 160,560 electrical engineers employed in 2012. Many of those engineers and others are using outdated, energy-hungry technologies like fluorescent tubes instead of new, LED lighting that is safer, gives off better light without heat and provides lower maintenance costs and sustainability.

When it comes to school construction, building designers balance cost-effectiveness and functionality with the need to create positive learning environments for students. Wood is gaining recognition as a versatile way to achieve these objectives; to meet all code requirements for safety and performance, stay on budget and honor tight construction timelines — while delivering energy efficiencies that pay back for years to come. Additionally, though wood’s appearance has long been recognized for its natural cosmetic appeal, research shows that exposed wood in a room has positive effects on occupant well-being.

As the national housing market improves, it’s more important than ever for homebuilders to evaluate the way they do business. This will help them meet the increasing housing demand and remain competitive.

Update Plans

To fine-tune his or her business practice, a homebuilder must establish a schedule to update each product line. This schedule should include regularly scheduled meetings to re-evaluate the product and identify which areas need improvement. Be sure to adhere to the three C’s: communicate, collaborate and coordinate.

Distribution centers are big in every sense of the word, and getting bigger. Developers, retailers and investors are intensely focused on big-box distribution buildings, which encompass 250,000 to more than 500,000 square feet of floor space and have ceiling clear heights of 36 to 40 feet.

That’s big from every perspective, not least of which is user demand. Since 2009, the big-box  sector has consistently outperformed the rest of the industrial real estate sector, as large retailers have moved quickly to secure the best space and lock in low long-term rates. Now, as several years of a slow construction pace have thinned out large blocks of space, the big-box  market is seeing fast-rising rents and heightened investor demand.

“Employees aren’t just assets, they’re investments.” It’s a cliché, but it’s one of those clichés that carries the power of truth. Given how much you’ll spend on your employees over the course of their careers, you can’t help but think of them as such.

Problem is, that kind of investment is getting harder to afford. Money for new salaries remains scarce in a struggling economy; funds for employee benefits can be scarcer still. Yet if you don’t make those kinds of investments in human capital, your employees may begin to feel unappreciated — and may start looking for outside opportunities.

Emerging trends in urbanization, globalization, rising water and energy demand and infrastructure renewal all indicate a new global demand for construction in the coming years, especially in emerging markets. But, for construction companies, capturing increased demand will depend on their ability to manage the supply side needed to satisfy it.

Over the next decade, the global construction industry is expected to experience significant growth, particularly in the rapidly emerging economies of Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa. Construction in emerging markets is expected to double during this period and will become a $6.7 trillion business by 2020, accounting for some 55 percent of global construction output, according to the “Global Construction 2020” report published by Global Construction Perspectives and Oxford Economics.

It’s been nearly 18 months since the construction industry started making a comeback from the recession. At the height of the recession, industry spending was shrinking at a rate of more than 16 percent per month. But as of March 2013, the U.S. Census Bureau reported construction spending was up 4.8 percent from the same period in 2011.

With the sector maintaining positive spending since fall of 2011, construction executives are faced with the opportunity of betting on the slowly improving market and rebuilding their companies to operate at pre-recession capacity.

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