Challenge: Keeping up with industry information emails can be a daunting, and sometimes seemingly impossible task. I mean, it's important to keep up with the latest tech that pertains to you, right? But, because you are a contractor you get flooded with every latest gadget, event, publication, and too many other items to list! Sure, a lot of it could be spam, but much of it isn't. It's honest to goodness information you may need. Sometimes it at least qualifies for a good short read! So, rather than get overwhelmed, what can you do? Mark them all as unsubscribe? Probably not.
Challenge: While the norm in commercial work usually includes receiving some sort of plans and specs to bid a project, that is not always true. Sometimes they just aren't available or necessary. This is true for general and trade contractors. Back in the day, I did a lot of tenant improvement work that didn't have plans or any documentation. So we adapted.
Challenge: Decrease the time it takes to evaluate a project before you decide to bid. How far into the information do you need to go before you decide to bid or not to bid? Do you have the resources for it? Time? Experience in this type of building? So many data points to evaluate. Often, too much time is spent evaluating all the info, or just trying to find it, and it takes away from the time to get in and start working on it!
Challenge: Does "benchmark" data really matter to all trades? Absolutely! And if you are not reviewing relevant data in your trade, you could be losing money. What is "relevant" benchmark data? Benchmark data is actually a process of measuring something specific, such as your services, processes, or even sales, against others in your same industry.
Challenge: As a contractor, organizing your bids sure can be a pain. As a subcontractor, you may get the same project sent to you by more than one general contractor and as a general contractor, you have to be sure the proposals you receive are based on all of your documents for the project and not someone else's. Even though the scope is primarily determined by the official construction documents released, a general contractor may choose to add a narrative, or an RFI log, or a number of other variances. So the struggle is real. We just kind of .... go along with it.
Challenge: I know what kind of work I do, but under what construction "trade code" am I? This is a question I have heard often in my career. And it is a relevant question! It seems like there are so many codes to choose from. And, depending on the owner, architect, general contractor, and others, the "codes" used to define a project's scope can come from different sources.
Challenge: So you broke down and bought a new high-tech tool. Could be a Bluetooth-enabled tool, new GPS system for the truck fleet, or a new preconstruction software app. You're busy, but you know you have to learn to use this as well as your team. Quite often, after a purchase, we get so wrapped up in our day-to-day we simply never implement the new tool. And, after so much time goes by and it is time to pay the subscription, update, or other related fee, we pass. Even though you may have benefited from some basic usage, you never got the full value. Right? There was no real significant value since it wasn't implemented and it actually felt like a waste of your hard earned cash. And yet, once a need pops up again, you see a great solution and the cycle starts all over. I recall rebuilding my first engine in my younger days, and was astonished it ran with all the parts left over! The tools we buy and never completely implement can be much like that. Lots of items left unused, and yet we are happy it at least runs!
Challenge: OK, not to rehash the news, but, we know the construction industry went through a whirlwind in the last year. With remote working, new safety protocols, entire segment shutdowns, and more, many contractors had to quickly pivot, reevaluate, and keep moving forward.