Tag: <span>Construction</span>

Responding to COVID-19 // Navigating Construction & Service Sales

By Ryan Groth, Sales Transformation Group.

As a Sales Consultant, Coach, Trainer and Leader in the Trade Construction and Service industry, it is my obligation to share my thoughts on the pandemic that we are seeing rapidly unfold in March 2020. I’m writing this so that my clients and our industry will come together to take the necessary actions to navigate what is certainly uncharted territory. There’s a clear medical affect that we are seeing impact our communities and small businesses, but what will impact our lives and businesses even more is the economic ripple effect.  Who knows how long this will last? We don’t know the answers, there are too many unknowns. However, we have seen economic depressions before, and we can take the right actions.

My construction business mentor Gregg Wallick told me once that the economy is cyclical. We struggled in 2008-2009 and changed our business radically to avoid suffering the next time there is one, and there will be another. I believe that the Coronavirus pandemic will force this next depression into reality, and we need to be ready and make sure we survive it. Gregg began moving out of the bid-world and focused on building a service and sales organization, which is much more of a recession-proof business model than new construction. He started Sales Training in 2008 and hasn’t stopped since. He’s seen this movie before. I learned why and how he did this, which birthed my desire to start Sales Transformation Group – so the construction industry can have the skills, the focus and strategies to survive and thrive. I’m writing this so that your businesses won’t die, but you will make it. Don’t be afraid, we will make it!

 

Here’s what you can do:

  • The Coronavirus will impact your customers’ confidence of having your team members step on property, so record your “COVID-19 Hands-free Process” from “contact to close-out”. People will always need to fix leaks.
  • Record this “process” in a scrappy way – put in on your website, post on social and email broadcast. Communicate. Communicate. Communicate.
  • Send an email to your staff and stakeholders. People need your leadership right now.
  • Allow your staff to work remotely. Require an end of day scorecard and 7-minute morning huddle via Zoom.
  • Take pre-cautions medically. Social distancing, gloves, protection, etc. I’m no expert here so please find a reliable resource.
  • Keep Marketing. Keep Selling!

What’s the best way to sell now?

  • Set up 15-minute discovery calls, 30-minute Project Consults via Zoom meeting (have prospects download the app). Zoom is free up to 40 minutes.
  • Stick with the sales process! Don’t skip the steps because you’re anxious. This will allow you to differentiate.
  • Use technology to perform a digital, virtual, hands-free inspection, take-off and estimate.
  • Present via Zoom by appointment. Don’t email your quotes and don’t be a human panic button.

Who should you sell to?

  • I’ve said this time and again because of my construction business mentor Gregg Wallick of Best Roofing…noninsurance and non-new construction work keeps you surviving through economic storms.
  • Relationships with owners and managers of old commercial and residential buildings will help you survive.
  • New builds will dry up. Focus on creating a great customer experience with repairs, restoration, replacement and retrofitting projects.

How do you find them?

  • Scrub your outstanding pipeline. TODAY.
  • Communicate and protect your existing clients. People will be trying to get them now…trust me the competition will be scrambling. Ask for introductions, “who do you know?”
  • Certain buildings are vacant, leverage this time to complete jobs (restaurants, schools, sports facilities).
  • Reonomy is a database you can subscribe to help locate contact information of building owners.
  • Prospect – LinkedIn. Facebook Groups. Next-Door App. Advertise in your local market

What message should you send them?

  • Use “Vidyard”, “Loom” or “Icecream” to capture short screen recordings. You can Google Earth a video of the building.
  • Send Linkedin Messages of the screen recordings with an identified problem and demonstration of the problem. Video messages of your face is also different than the rest.
  • Share that you have a “hands-free process to remedy the problem from contact to close-out”

In closing:

  • Don’t be afraid. This is an opportunity.
  • Stick with servicing old, existing buildings.
  • Share your mapped out “Virtual, digital, COVID-19 Safe, Contact-Free Process”
  • Communicate. Market. Sell. Sell. Sell. Require all sales staff to prospect digitally in 1-2-hour blocks in the conference room or remotely.
  • Get ready to endure a medical and economic storm, have courage.
  • Stick with training and coaching. We are here for you; this is a time to get better and pivot. 

 

If you’re not a member of the Sales Transformation Group community yet with access to my company Sales Accelerator Program and want to become a resilient sales organization to propel you into the private sector of your market, taking the right action and getting the right coaching so that you can weather this upcoming storm, visit: https://training.salestransformationgroup.com/quiz to apply.

 

Let’s band together and make it!

To your success,

Ryan Groth

Founder, Sales Transformation Group, Inc.

RT3 member AccuLynx named FrontRunner for construction project management software

AccuLynx, the leading business management software for roofing contractors, announced today it was named a FrontRunner for Construction Project Management Software by Software Advice. FrontRunners is designed to help small businesses evaluate which software may be right for them.

“We’re proud to be a FrontRunner in our software category,” said Katie Badeusz, Director of Marketing at AccuLynx. “AccuLynx is trusted by many of the top residential roofing contractors in the U.S., and this recognition reflects our continued commitment to making our software the best choice for roofers looking to grow their businesses.”

FrontRunners is published on Software Advice, the leading online service for businesses navigating the software selection process. FrontRunners evaluates verified end-user reviews and product data, positioning the top scoring products based on Usability and Customer Satisfaction ratings for small businesses. FrontRunners for Construction Project Management Software can be viewed here.

About AccuLynx
AccuLynx is the leading cloud-based software application for roofing contractors. Since 2008, AccuLynx has helped thousands of contractors—from rapidly-growing start-ups to multi-location operations—streamline their processes and grow their businesses. AccuLynx’s all-in-one solution includes easy-to-use business management tools, such as estimating, production management, aerial measurements, material ordering, photo sharing, custom reporting, unlimited document storage, field applications, and more. AccuLynx is a preferred vendor of CertainTeed, GAF and Owens Corning, and has direct integrations with QuickBooks, ABC Supply, EagleView Technologies, SkyMeasure by CoreLogic and others. For more information, visit our website.

Disclaimer: FrontRunners constitute the subjective opinions of individual end-user reviews, ratings and data applied against a documented methodology; they neither represent the views of, nor constitute an endorsement by, Software Advice or its affiliates.

RT3 Member John Kenney of Sutter Roofing presented at ENGAGE ’19

Sutter Roofing shared how technology is key driver of their success.

100 construction professionals recently gathered at the third annual ENGAGE global customer conference in Seattle, Washington to share best practices for driving greater operational effectiveness, competitive differentiation and employee safety through the use of technology, specifically the Smartsheet platform.

“Smartsheet is a popular choice in industries where technology adoption can make a tangible difference, and construction is a great example,” said Mike Arntz, Chief Revenue Officer and Executive Vice President of Worldwide Field Operations at Smartsheet. “ENGAGE is the perfect opportunity to gather customers for a conversation on the future of the industry and the role technology will play in shaping it.”

The pressures facing construction companies continue to deepen. As business booms, so does the number, complexity, and duration of projects. Many are turning to technology to remain efficient, innovative and competitive.

One example is Florida-based Sutter Roofing, one of the oldest and largest roofing and sheet metal contractors in the United States. Sutter Roofing Chief Operating Officer and RT3 Member John Kenney headlined the event with a discussion of how Smartsheet is enabling the entire organization to run smoothly while driving customer satisfaction and retention.

“We take pride in being on the forefront of technology in an industry that hasn’t traditionally put a priority on that kind of approach,” said Kenney. “Smartsheet has transformed how our teams execute projects. The response we now get from customers, in a very competitive environment, tells us how central it has become to our continued success.”

Sutter Roofing originally implemented Smartsheet to schedule projects more efficiently. They quickly expanded its use across all business functions, from marketing to fleet management. They also developed a risk management system based on historical data of completed and estimated projects that estimates the chances of success on projects under consideration.

Kenney said the company plans to connect Smartsheet with other critical business applications in the months ahead to increase transparency and speed to insight.

If you weren’t at the event and want to learn more about Sutter Roofing’s success using technology, you can watch John’s webinar here. 

From military boots to Beacon Roofing Supply

By Karen L. Edwards,

RT3 member Beacon Roofing Supply developed a recruitment strategy that focuses on members of the military who are re-entering civilian life.

Beacon Roofing Supply Senior Recruiter Brian Link came to the roofing industry from his role as a recruiter for the National Guard. He was on active duty from 2003 – 2016 and is still active today but on a reserve basis. He spent his last few active years as a recruiter for the Guard so his transition into a recruiting position at Beacon was a natural fit for him. He interviewed for his position at Beacon with Dana Bamvakais who was a military spouse for many years.

Photo: Above and Beyond Award from ESGR. Left to right: Dana Bamvakais (Vice President of HR West Division), Governor Mike Parsons, SFC (Sergeant First Class) Brian Link (Military Program Manager), 2LT (Second Lieutenant) Brian Hughes (Market Dispatcher)

After Brian joined the Beacon team, he and Dana began planning a program that would focus on recruiting newly discharged members of the military. “The military in general is a blue-collar type industry where you form strong relationships with people of similar backgrounds and experiences; people who work hard and do what it takes to get the job done,” Brian said. “When you leave the military, you miss that camaraderie.”

He knew that Beacon was the kind of company that could deliver some of those things that those in the military were used to having: that strong team, a stable company with the option to have a long career, the ability to provide for their families and an environment that cared about them. He and Dana worked together to develop the outlines of a military recruiting program that would target those transitioning to the civilian life.

They put together flyers that targeted the Transitional Assistance Program (TAPS) that all branches offer to those leaving to let them know there was a place for them at Beacon. The programs help the military members create a LinkedIn program, develop a resume and teaches other skills that will help make the transition smoother.

Brain cited an example of a person he had met two years previously who was in the military in Florida. He wanted to move back near his family in Michigan and Brian was able to find him a position with the company in that area.

The military recruitment program has the full support of the company, from the Board of Directors to the leadership team and to the employees.  They are currently in the process of trying to get their Drive program approved as an apprenticeship so that employees can use their GI benefits toward earning their Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). “If someone has experience driving large vehicles in the military, they will be able to complete a form detailing their experience, taking it to their state’s Department of Motor Vehicles and only have to take the written portion of the CDL exam,” explained Brian.

It’s evident that Beacon is committed to supporting the military by the recognitions that they have received. The Employer Support of Guard and Reserve, the lead U.S. Defense Department program promoting cooperation and understanding between civilian employers and their National Guard and Reserve employees, recognized Beacon with their Above and Beyond Award with the Governor of Missouri presenting them with the award. They also recently received the Military Times award for Best for Vets.

“We really support our guard and reserve troops when they are deployed,” said Brian. “We send them care packages and let them know that they will have a job when they return from deployment.”

If you are a recently discharged member of the military or even if you’ve been out for many years, Beacon wants to talk to you. See all of their career opportunities or contact Brian Link at blink@becn.com.

Source: RoofersCoffeeShop.

RT3 member KPOST puts safety first at new Texas Rangers stadium

By Karen L. Edwards.

With more than 2,000 workers on the project, the general contractor is requiring monthly safety meetings with RT3 member KPost Roofing and Waterproofing hosting the March meeting.

Groundbreaking for the new Globe Life Field was September 28, 2017. According to the Texas Rangers’ website, “the roof at Globe Life Field will be the first of its kind in baseball. With portions made of a transparent material, Rangers fans will enjoy outdoor ambience in air-conditioned comfort. The roof will retract in a matter of minutes, bringing the great outdoors to the ballpark experience.”

Nick Post, marketing and brand assistant at KPost Roofing and Waterproofing, told us that Manhattan Construction Group, the general contractor on the project has done a great job enforcing safety procedures and hosts a mandatory monthly safety meeting. “KPost was allowed the opportunity to run the monthly safety meeting because we were nominated as the Safe Contractor of the Month for the month of March,” said Post.

KPost’s Safety Director, Luciano Perez, and Director of Special Projects, Thomas Williams, were the speakers and they discussed distractions in the workplace such as cell phones, side conversations, music.

The new stadium is set to open for the 2020 baseball season. You can get more fun facts about this project at the Rangers website.

KPost is no stranger to working on large, complex projects. They opened their doors in January 2004 with a core group of eleven roofing professionals that together had more than 250 years of combined construction experience. Today the team consists of over 400 employees, including more than 60 specialized crews, totaling over 5,000 years of experience.

Since inception, KPost has completed over 1200 projects, valued at over $525+ million including high profile contracts such as the Perot Museum of Science and Nature, The Statler Dallas, JP Morgan Chase Headquarters, Facebook Data Center – Fort Worth, and AT&T Stadium. They have added more high caliber projects to the list this year in Charles Schwab Campus, Pioneer Natural Resources, and the Texas Rangers Stadium – Globe Life Field.

They are also the official roofing contractor of the Dallas Cowboys. The stadium will be the featured project for the Roofing Alliance’s student competition that is taking place at the International Roofing Expo held February 4-6, 2020 in Dallas.

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Source: RoofersCoffeeShop

Construction company to use robotics to build renewable energy projects

By Karen L. Edwards

Built Robotics, a company specializing in making robotic construction equipment, announced that it has partnered with construction firm Mortenson to use their earthmoving robotics on renewable projects like wind farms and solar. These types of projects then to be in remote areas that are far from traditional workforce centers, making labor an even bigger challenge than it already is.

According to Built Robotics, their “robotic equipment is able to shoulder some of the load by assisting with basic, repetitive tasks, freeing up human operators to focus on the more specific, complex and critical activities.”

Eric Sellman, Vice President and General Manager of the Civil Group at Mortenson, said in the announcement, “I see Built Robotics as the next generation of construction technology. Consistent with Mortenson’s history of ingenuity and innovation in construction, we are partnering with Built Robotics as they develop and deploy technology that enables autonomous heavy equipment operation. Mortenson and Built Robotics will work together with this technology on select renewable energy projects within our Wind and Solar groups. Our goal is to embrace the change that is happening in our industry to create value for our customers and opportunities for Mortenson and our team members.”

Sellman told Engineering News Record (ENR) that it’s a long-term agreement for the next few years to continue to expand the company’s deployment of autonomous equipment on renewable energy jobs. The company did its first project with Built Robotics in August of 2018, testing the equipment on wind farms in Kansas. Sellman said that the repetitive nature of some of the foundation work on these projects make them a good fit for autonomous equipment. ENR reported that the “machines us GPS tracking to remain within geo-fenced areas, and LIDAR provides collision avoidance and obstacle detection.”

Mortenson employees are excited to be implementing the technology. Molly Morgan, an equipment operator commented, “I’m excited about the potential for Built’s technology. Our top priority is safety — if the robot can work on steep slopes, or near unstable ground, or in challenging or risky situations, then we one-hundred percent should use it. And I’m excited to learn the new skills I’ll need to work with the technology.”

Stay up to date with the latest roofing technology news when you sign up for the RT3 SmartBrief e-newsletter.

Construction robotics market expected to reach $226 million by 2025

By Karen L. Edwards.

Construction work has traditionally been a very labor-intensive job. Increasing speed and productivity meant adding additional workers. With the labor shortage, it’s not that simple anymore and the industry is being forced to look for alternative methods. One of those is robotics.

A new report released by market intelligence firm Tractica shows that a growing number of construction companies are incorporating robots to solve the challenges of increasing productivity, efficiency and profits without adding workers. The report forecasts that the growing interest in construction robotics will drive an increase in market revenue from $22.7 million in 2018 to $226 million by 2025.

It is forecast that more than 7,000 construction robots will be in use on sites to handle a variety of construction tasks and demolition work. The biggest use is estimated to be for robot assistants on construction sites, followed by infrastructure robots, structure robots and finishing robots.

Tractica Senior Analyst Glenn Sanders says, “At this early stage in the construction robotics industry, a few companies are offering products for sale or lease. The main categories that are currently available include robots for demolition, bricklaying, drilling, 3D printing, and rebar tying, plus a few exoskeletons and assistant robots for lifting loads.”
Sanders adds that midsize and major construction companies are beginning to adopt these robots to solve issues related to labor shortages, safety, speed, accuracy, and integration with building automation and building information modeling (BIM).

According to Construction Dive, in order to maintain high standards of craftsmanship, some companies are taking a ‘cobot’ approach where they use collaborative robots to work with crews instead of taking their place. The collaborative robots take on tasks that are simpler, redundant and repetitive, freeing up employees to focus on more skilled work.

Stay up-to-date with the latest roofing technology news when you sign up for the RT3 SmartBrief e-news. 

How an idea at a homebuilders association meeting grew into a statewide skilled trades initiative

By Karen L. Edwards, RCS Editor.

Iowa Skilled Trades was started in 2017 to address the labor shortage and encourage youth to consider a career in the trades.

We love learning about new initiatives that will have a positive impact on the future of the roofing industry so when RoofersCoffeeShop® partner, Vickie Sharples, shared with me an organization she came across on Instagram, we knew we wanted to know more about them. The group she found is called Iowa Skilled Trades.

A visit to their website told me that this group is “A Team of Industry Pros Bringing Initiatives, Education & Awareness to Skilled Trades in Iowa.” We wanted to know more – what were they doing, how were they doing it, how did they get started?
To answer these questions, I had the opportunity to have a phone interview with Brandon Patterson CSP, CGP, CAPS, Workforce Development for the Home Builders Association of Iowa (HBAI), the group behind the Iowa Skilled Trades initiative. Brandon only recently joined the staff at the HBAI after having served on the board and as a volunteer for many years. He grew up in a family plumbing business and that is how he came to be a board member at HBAI.

Brandon said that every year, they would get together for their board meetings and talk about the need for builders, tradesman and craftsman, but that no one ever really seemed to do anything about it. “We are fans of the programs out there that support the development of interest in the trades, such as SkillsUSA and Keep Craft Alive, but we felt like our investment in those programs wasn’t making an impact in Iowa and we wanted a local initiative,” explained Brandon.

“A few years ago, we kind of got this crazy idea to make something happen. We got together with our local industry and started privately funding a program at one of our schools here in Des Moines called Central Academy that does industry-specific training for high schoolers. It could be nursing, aviation, pathology, CSI but they didn’t have an organized skilled trades program, so we raised the money to provide the funding to establish a skilled trades curriculum there.”

Their goal was to raise $900,000 to cover the first three years, but after getting started they realized they were going to need a little more for classroom build outs and other costs. They ended up raising $1.6 million and the school now has plumbing, HVAC, drywall, flooring, welding, framing, roofing and more. “We are in the process of switching over the curriculum to NCCER, which is a more of a widely utilized curriculum by both unions and non-unions,” said Brandon. “Year one will be core classes and the second and third year is where they specialize in a trade.”

Brandon said that after they raised the money to get the program in place, he was frustrated that so many people had no idea that the program existed and wanted to get the word out. They invited Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs fame to visit and speak about not only the need for skilled trades but to talk about what he saw at Central Academy and other Iowa programs. They organized a fundraising event that brought more than 1,600 people together and raised enough money for the group to continue their momentum. They put the nearly $90,000 that the event raised into scholarship funds to help cover costs for smaller programs such as the Professional Women in Building’s summer day camps for kids.

Their next initiative is called “Build my Future.” These are hands-on construction career days that are being held in four cities across the state of Iowa. The goal is to reach 4,500 youth and adults in Sioux City, Des Moines, Cedar Rapid/Iowa City and Quad Cities. “It’s a career fair but it’s hands on,” explained Brandon. “We’ve got roofing, plumbing, carpentry, welding, heavy equipment and we also have AR and VR. We want people to understand there is a tech component to it as well.”

The kids come from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. during the day and then from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. the event features an adult job fair. “We partner with other groups including the FFA, Scouts, SkillsUSA and other groups to try to bring the kids through the doors. Our goal is to expand next year into two or three additional locations.”

“Like everything we do at Iowa Skilled Trades, this event is not just builder specific,” Brandon said. “We have collaborated with union shops, commercial and residential associations, department of education, workforce development programs and others to make sure we are representing everything this industry has to offer. We like to make sure we are making a big lasting impact on the students with our events and from there let the student decide which path best suits them.”

They’ve also gotten very involved in supporting Professional Women in Building, partnering with them to host educational events, an award-winning girls’ construction camp and to develop tool kits for schools – including visits to the schools by members.

Iowa Skilled Trades began in 2017 under the HBAI educational corporation and their goal is to establish themselves as a separate entity so they can expand their reach beyond the community of HBA members. In just two years’ time they have seen tremendous interest and success.

Learn more about them at www.iowaskilledtrades.com.

Source: RoofersCoffeeShop

Most contractors believe technology can help with risk management

By NRCA.

A new report from Dodge Data & Analytics in partnership with Triax Technologies and the International Risk Management Institute shows about three-quarters of contractors believe technologies such as wearables and sensors can help them prevent occupational risks, including construction defects, general liability and property damage, according to www.constructiondive.com.

Among the 135 contractors surveyed, 80 were general contractors, construction managers or design-builders and 55 were specialty trade contractors.

The Using Technology to Improve Risk Management in Construction study found wearables—which include movement sensors, biometric monitoring devices and augmented reality headsets—were one of the top two emerging technology types that can add value regarding risk management.

One respondent said: “Going forward, it is going to be standard operating procedure that when you show up to work, you get issued your wearable, and go along as you’ve always done, but there’s data being collected that will be used to mitigate those risks.”

The second emerging technology was visual auditing, which involves pairing job-site photos or videos with artificial intelligence to detect deviations or risk sources—sometimes in real time—that a human worker may not notice.

Although nearly 60% of respondents are “highly engaged” with technology to conduct employee training, other areas of risk management lack wider technology adoption; technology use ranges from 44% to 47% for safety documentation, job hazard analysis and worker certifications.

Nearly all respondents said they want to be able to digitally collect and analyze safety and risk data, but more than one-third still do not. Resources appear to be the main barrier, and only 19% of respondents include data analytics as part of their budget.

The report found 90% of contractors do not specifically budget for innovation, which can lead to inconsistency in the way companies handle new technology expenses. Regarding technology, firms are most attracted to ease of use (79%), costs (73%) and the training or support that accompanies the product (51%).

Source: NRCA