The New Year is almost upon us and 2016 holds a lot of promise for the construction industry and its related verticals. To hear economists and industry experts talk about it, next year could treat us to the big boom in business we’ve all been hoping for. With this in mind, we thought it was a good time to reflect on some of the themes, trends and best practices we touched on in this blog space in 2015—ideas and observations we hope have kept you thinking, preparing for and effectively managing your growth opportunities.
Here’s our 2015 recap:
John Chaney kicked off the year by talking about emerging from the recent recession and how planning and investment during downturns can position companies to come out on top when business turns around.
We talked about construction professionals working in an increasingly mobile-friendly world and how access to business data, no matter where you are, can prove to be a powerful tool on the go. We also noted how fears of cloud computing, mobile devices and other new technologies were largely starting to wane.
Teamwork was also a theme in January, with a sports-inspired post reminding business professionals that everyone works as part of a team in our industry. Technology has helped these teams communicate faster and more intelligently and can be used to motivate further team-building practices.
Our Marketing Team delivered a few anecdotes related to the World of Concrete trade show. How even marketing efforts such as providing beer at a trade show booth can actually engage prospects and attract new business.
The importance of workflows in your business operations is also discussed, with a look at how workflows are being applied in the construction verticals and how technology is aiding efforts to streamline processes and automate tasks.
By the end of February, it was clear John’s message about emerging from a recession was true—business in the construction industry was booming. But many constructions companies were still struggling to effectively manage all of the data new business was bringing in. Thankfully, recently-developed technologies are helping professionals catch up and get on top of their new business opportunities.
In a guest blog, Tyler Pare of FMI showed how many successful construction organizations were turning their project managers into forward-thinking business managers as well. Pare talks about the most effective ways to alter PMs roles without alienating them or their work.
We talked about professional connections made at Dexter + Chaney’s annual Users’ Conference over the years and why it’s important to keep these peer-to-peer connections going. Steve Drouin of Interstate Electric also offers his thoughts on why regularly attending the Users’ Conference is important.
John Chaney spoke of his experiences with a recent fender-bender and how dealing with the aftermath reminded him just how much technology has changed everyone’s lives. This accidental technology epiphany led to a look at what leading-edge technologies have done to improve the construction industry over the years as well.
We wrapped up the month by talking about community involvement and why it’s important that companies, associations and organizations stay active. There are multiple ways to get involved in community efforts—from local donations to guiding meaningful, community-based projects.
With the rising number of millennials entering the construction workforce, Brian Vander Yacht, one of the resident millennials on Dexter + Chaney’s marketing team talked of his own experiences when it comes to the needs, desires and motivations behind the millennial workers’ compensation and career path goals.
After our Users’ Conference, we broke down why our conferences are successful year after year. Connections made with peer-to-peer networking are just as valuable of an educational experience as courses or extensive training. The software users know best how to get the most out of the software they use.
We took a look at the three finalists for Dexter + Chaney’s Innovator Awards, which recognizes companies that utilize Spectrum in new, creative or the most effective ways to grow their business.
Some of the best practices for effective online marketing were presented to help companies improve their online brand presence and awareness. Tips on how to optimize your company’s website, the best approaches to email marketing, and the importance of proper, continual social media use were all discussed.
A historical look at how the construction industry has adapted to technology over the years and how the industry has turned into a leader for new technology ideas was presented in this blog post, which also touched on why the latest version of Spectrum was designed for the cloud and to be scalable with new and emerging technologies.
We reviewed the greatest challenge facing the construction industry in 2015—the shortage of skilled workers. With statistics from the AGC, Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Construction Industry Institute, discussed of the labor gap and how companies are having to adjust their compensation packages to attract new talent.
The three biggest reasons why mobile apps are good for construction operations were revealed in this blog post. In short, they keep work moving, no matter where work takes you; they provide clear-cut communication in real time; and they allow for better tracking and allocation of resources.
Dexter + Chaney Marketing Director Wayne Newitts looked into the pros and cons of employees bringing and using their own mobile devices for company work. Newitts talked about common sense policies and procedures to ensure data and systems are safe and that work remains productive.
We provided a sneak peak of an industry article that John Chaney wrote for Construction Executive’s Tech Trends—Three Steps to Mitigate Project Conflicts. The preview touches on how emerging technologies are helping control project documentation, expand access to data and streamlining workflows and creating customized processes and tasks.
We looked at how first impressions can have a significant impact on your organization. In this post, we provided five tips to be thinking about to better first impression touch points. Among them: making your website more user-friendly and welcoming; emphasizing positive employee to client communications; ensuring that you or your company is responsive; presenting a strong, recognizable and clean brand; and how to best react when dealing with an unfriendly or unwelcome situation.
Speaking of impressions, this blog discussed how technology is helping service contractors improve their operations, and ultimately leaving lasting impressions with clients. From unified software systems that operate in real time to mobile apps speeding up service work in the field and reducing errors, we noted the ways technology was helping service contractors improve their entire operations.
In another guest blog, Chloe Judas of BirdDog HR discussed the ongoing labor shortage, breaking down the construction workforce and providing best practices for everything from technology to compensation packages to recruitment and retention strategies to find and keep the best talent.
Dexter + Chaney Marketing Director Wayne Newitts wrote an informative article for Construction Business Owner magazine on how to find the equipment management sweet spot. In this preview of the article, we disclosed some of the key points of that article, including how equipment costs can comprise a significant part of a project’s budget, why even minor inaccuracies in equipment data can translate into large project cost overruns, the difference between owning and operating costs and how leading-edge technologies are streamlining equipment data collection.
In the first of a three-part series, we looked at the importance of business-to-business branding. In the first part, the concept of building a brand is discussed and a study on making connections with clients and potential clients was shared.
In the second part of the brand-building series, three key points to consider when considering your company’s brand were broken down. These are: knowing your company’s identity; knowing what a company’s ideal client should be; and knowing what the value proposition a company can bring to the table should be.
John Chaney provided five critical tips to getting construction professionals to embrace new technology. This post relates how some folks are going to be hesitant to new ideas and technologies no matter what and looks at how to ease transitions.
In the final of the three-part series of branding, we looked at the power of consistent messaging among all levels of brand-related communication. This involves carrying a brand theme across traditional marketing vehicles like websites, brochures, written materials and physical assets, as well as looking at increasing brand awareness by expanding social media presence and providing a consistent message there.
We took an in-depth look at Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software and why having a common platform to pull multiple business functions together under one solution is becoming a staple of successful construction operations. With many of these software packages and systems moving to the cloud, it becomes easier to move to ERP systems—many of which are being designed to work specifically in the cloud.
The green-building trend has moved beyond a mere buzz word to become a significant construction practice. In this post, we dove into the green-building practices, why more builders are embracing them, what still holds some folks back, and why the long-term benefits are worth the investment.
We looked ahead to 2016 and five key construction related topics to watch. Among these: advancing technologies; mega structures and large projects; green building practices; the rising housing market and what it may mean for future building; and the 2016 Presidential race.
The future of building is here today and it is all about 3D printing. This blog looked at the 3D printing developments thus far and how they are already being applied to construction, allowing whole parts of construction projects to be prefabricated ahead of time.
So there you have it, our year in review. We would love to hear what topics you would like to read about in 2016. Just leave a comment below and tell us what you want to see more of. Additionally, if you would like to contribute your own post to Dexter + Chaney’s blog, please contact Andy Holtmann at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are always happy to take your ideas and submissions. Happy 2016 everyone!