Dexter + Chaney Blog

Construction Business Basics

Now that it’s August and the start of school is right around the corner, retail stores are advertising “back to school basics.” Aside from the pens, pencils, and paper I grew up with, smart phones and tablets are now considered “basics”—how times have changed. All these promotions got me thinking about the basics of business, and particularly what makes a business successful. So, I’ve come up with my top 5 necessities for a successful construction business.

HR - Employee Hidden Talents

Recently we began delivering construction apps for use on mobile devices. When we started out, this was new territory for us, and meant having some construction software developers learn the ins and outs of mobile app development. It also meant having to create new graphical interfaces.

Treadmill Thumb

I was asked recently where I get ideas for my blog. A number come from things I encounter during the course of the day, but many times my topics occur to me when I go for a run. Which is usually outdoors, even in the Seattle drizzle. But on days when the drizzle turns more substantial, I hop on the treadmill.

Calculator and Pen Thumb

Construction markets remain competitive, so it comes as no surprise that construction companies have to be at the top of their game throughout a project. One of the biggest stumbling blocks, though, is often at the beginning of a project – during bidding – but there are key areas to avoid in order to make sure your teams stay on track.

Human Resource Reminders - HR Construction Software

Now that it’s the end of May, commencement ceremonies have started across the country with speakers giving new graduates advice on how to survive “the real world.” Many of these graduates—whether they’re in high school or college—will enter the workforce and face new challenges and situations. I know that as a parent I’ve tried to prepare my own children for the challenges they’ll face by trying to equip them with skills they’ll need, but it’s up to them to actually use these skills.

3 Approaches to Business Development

As the construction industry comes out of some tough times, business development is playing a larger role in the day-to-day activities of construction companies. Now that we’re seeing signs of life, contractors are moving from cost-cutting mode to “get-work” mode. But it’s not as if they can just pick up where they left off. Changes in the competitive environment as well as how companies are doing business have created a “new normal.” A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend a webinar presented by FMI consultant Scott Moyer, in which he discussed the new business development environment and some key areas to focus on for success. Here is what I took away from Scott’s presentation.

Project Management with Constant Change

To paraphrase a popular phrase, “Change is the only constant.” As a company, we’ve been going through a number of changes ourselves. Last week we wrapped up our Annual Users’ Conference for 2013, and I have to admit I was a little nervous about our decision to change venues and hold the event at The Fairmont Olympic Hotel in downtown Seattle. But by the end of the conference, I couldn’t have been more thrilled. So much so that I’m going to place a shameless plug in my blog—if you ever visit Seattle, consider the Fairmont as your place to stay!

Tax Preparation - Construction Accounting

I’m not sure if you heard it this week, but CPAs across the country breathed a sigh of relief with the passing of the April 15 tax filing deadline. I know I haven’t seen many of my CPA friends since the beginning of the year as they’ve scrambled to help others file correctly and get the largest return possible. Depending on when your company’s fiscal year ends, most of you probably didn’t have to worry about corporate taxes. But the passing of the individual tax deadline got me thinking about some things you should consider—for both your personal and corporate taxes—throughout the year.

Construction Project Management Projects

A few days ago, I got into the office a little late after meeting a colleague for coffee. When I finally sat down to my desk, I had five voicemails, about 30 emails, some mail to go through (yes, I still get snail mail), and a few text messages. It wasn’t that late in the morning, and yet I already had plenty of correspondence and data floating around my desk. I think of myself as being pretty organized and efficient, but some days, it can be a little overwhelming trying to figure out what my top priority should be and where to actually start.

Centralized Document Management

Information is everywhere, and I don’t just mean that there’s a lot of it. I mean that it’s stored everywhere—in the cloud, on hard drives, on any number of other various storage devices. For example, not that long ago, my wife was searching through dozens of CDs looking for a specific photo. After a few hours of loading and unloading CDs from the computer, she eventually found it, but decided at that point to start storing all of the family photos in the cloud. She thought this move would make finding specific photos easier, but now she has to remember if the photos were saved to a photo site, posted on Facebook or Instagram, or if they’re still on the camera. While cloud computing has certainly put everything a click or touch away, remembering which application to click or touch can be just as tedious as remembering on which CD or USB drive your documents are.

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