Dexter + Chaney Blog

Cloud Based Construction Software

It’s a rare sunny January day here in Seattle as I write this, so I’m filled with a sense of “anything is possible” as we start into 2013. Of course for those of us who own or manage businesses the trick is to sort through what’s possible and make choices based on what will probably happen. Said differently, we need to look at all the “coulds” and then decide on our “shoulds.”

Science of Heavy Equipment Management – Part 3

In my last two blog posts, I discussed some of what I’ve learned over the years about equipment management, most notably from one of the industry’s leading experts in the field, Dr. Mike Vorster. I covered splitting data into owning and operating rates, then about re-combining that data to help optimize machine usage. This week I’ll wrap up by covering some of the issues surrounding data gathering for equipment management.

Science of Heavy Equipment Management

I’m fortunate to have made the acquaintance of Dr. Mike Vorster a few years back. Mike is the David H. Burrows Professor Emeritus of Construction Engineering at Virginia Tech and is author of Construction Equipment Economics, a handbook on the management of construction equipment fleets. His ideas and methods regarding the management of heavy equipment are, in my opinion, the gospel for the industry. I’ve even incorporated them in to the software we develop for equipment management.

construction documents and tablet -Construction Software Management

Last week I went along with one of our product managers to visit a local client—a large general contractor in the Seattle area. The purpose of the visit was to get some feedback on a few new construction management software features we’re developing. As always, these folks gave us great input to help prioritize our efforts. But in talking to employees from both the business management and operations sides of the company, I also came away with a new way of looking at an old issue.

Construction Documents and Data

Last week I went along with one of our product managers to visit a local client—a large general contractor in the Seattle area. The purpose of the visit was to get some feedback on a few new construction management software features we’re developing. As always, these folks gave us great input to help prioritize our efforts. But in talking to employees from both the business management and operations sides of the company, I also came away with a new way of looking at an old issue.

Construction Management Stairs

A colleague recently shared with me the below graphic from a Caterpillar presentation he attended, which got me thinking about how managers and owners run their construction businesses. I know the way I’ve managed my company over the years has changed. As we’ve grown we’ve put more formal processes in place and my focus has shifted more toward the bigger picture.

From Petroglyphs to the Public Cloud

During a recent trip to Arizona, I visited the V-bar-V petroglyph site in the Verde Valley. For those not familiar, petroglyphs are engravings made into rock surfaces and can be found throughout the world. I found the V-bar-V petroglyphs fascinating to see, but it was their story that really captured my imagination. It turns out that some of the engravings were almost certainly used as part of a solar calendar to help guide the critical timing for crop planting—critical because given the length of the growing season, you could harvest two full crops if you timed things just right.

What Bidding Practices Say About Your Construction Company

I was recently on LinkedIn and noticed a question in one of the group forums asking readers to identify the biggest problem facing construction businesses today. The answers ranged from finding quality employees to wanting more control over project documents. One theme, however, seemed to dominate the thread. Intense bidding competition is driving prices so low that contractors cannot both make a profit and perform quality work.

Cloud Computing and the Construction Industry (part 2)

Last week I discussed three of the biggest perceived reasons why companies hesitate to put their data in the cloud or rely on cloud-based construction software. By perceived, I mean reasons that are based on impressions, sometimes false impressions, of what cloud computing is all about. This week, as promised, I’ll focus on a couple of the real reasons why some companies are slow to adopt computing in the cloud.

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