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September / October / November Events
September 18, 2006
The next couple months are pretty hectic with a variety of training scheduled. I hope to see you at one of the events.
September 20th: Electrical 101 For General Contractors (Roebbelen Contracting, El Dorado Hills, CA)
October 3rd / 4th: Roadmap for Integrating Operations with Forefront (Seattle, WA)
October 17th / 18th: Roadmap for Integrating Operations with Forefront (Nashville, TN)
November 2nd: Roadmap for Integrating Operations with Forefront (Philadelphia, PA)
November: Project Productivity Workshops, WECA (3 Locations In CA)
8th: San Diego
9th: Modesto / Fresno Area
We are still working on setting our Winter / Fall training schedule.
Delaney Construction + Forefront
Last week (9/11 Through 9/15 2006) I got the opportunity to visit Delaney Construction located in upstate New York. Delaney has a fantastic culture and the assignment was a lot of fun. Upstate NY is simply beautiful. See more pictures from the trip here.
Seth Godin points out the need for companies that can simply tweak a website to make it a little better. I could not agree with this need more and personally have a need for such services while also having several clients who could use a minor "facelift" rather than a complete rebuild.
As an example our company website www.dbrownmanagement.com could use this service to convert the standard HTML coding into CSS format for faster loading and easier SEO. We would also like to incorporate parts of this blog into specific pages on our company website. I have a great vision for what I want and just need some "tweaking" as Seth puts it. Anyone who provides such services please contact us.
September 02, 2006
InCabUniversity is an accredited program geared towards drivers who can complete coursework while on the road. This is a fantastic opportunity for anyone who spends a lot of time driving and there are plenty of us in construction who spend time on the road.
This could be a good opportunity for contractors to sponsor these a learning program and help build their workforce.
The Pursuit of Luck
Tom Peters recently posted a list from his book Liberation Management on his blog. This short, to-the-point list of 50 things is really about creating your own luck.
I remember reading Liberation Management for the first time just about the time when Apple hired Steve Jobs back. In the book which had been written years earlier Tom Peters predicted that Apple would never return to greatness unless either Steve Jobs or another visionary leader came back to the company. Rarely are management "guru" predictions so accurate.
Everyone involved in business in any way as an employee or a CEO or owner should have at least a few Tom Peters books on their shelves.
September 01, 2006
This is a great article about both the IT and management phisophies employed by Google. Whether you are a technical company, corner grocery store or contractor some of these tactics are very practical - especially the points about sharing information.
Many of the solutions we work with contractors on involve improving and automating communications and this article just brought some fresh ideas to the table.
Marketing Should Be Involved In Many Company Processes
I agree with Darren that many marketers may have a tendency to "spin" things or gloss over technical details but I think that is a lot easier to control through a joint effort than trying to get the technical team to write at a clarity level that would make me want to read the manual and that is Kathy's main point.
The existance of information means nothing if it is not widely absorbed by others. This is why I personally perfer things like the Teach Yourself Visually series of books on computers rather than the really dry information that comes from Microsoft.
I'll go a few steps further - how about getting marketing involved in these other processes:
Billing: We send these to customers all the time - why not get a marketer to look at it and make it both pleasing to the eye and simple to understand, possibly working in additional ways to communicate with the customer via the bill. When you are sitting down to negotiate a T&M bill for $500,000 aren't you really "selling?" Wouldn't you rather have the bill as easy to read and understand as possible? We spend a lot of time with clients on these details to help improve cash flow.
Other Customer Documentation: In construction we deal with a lot of documents that go to the customer including change orders, requests for information, etc. It really does not take that long for a marketer to design these customer facing forms to match the look and feel of the company's overall marketing. This is definitely noticed by clients.
Internal Forms: Why not have your internal forms designed with some style? Employees are proud of the company they work for. Why should they be any less important than the customers we spend big $$ marketing to?
Employee Handbooks, Safety Manuals & Traning Material: A key to getting maximum performance out of the organization is documenting your processes including safety and then training new team members with the materials. Often these documents take on the same "Do I really have to read all of this" format that user manuals take on. Why not make these into exciting page turners? Do you think your safety numbers would improve if your safety material was actually compelling to read rather than a bunch of 10pt font checklists?
Engineers believe that the content is what matters - that is true but if no one is compelled to read it then the best content in the world is useless. A joint effort with marketing will create huge performance improvements both externally and internally.
Engineering & Utility Contractors Association
The Engineering & Utility Contractors Association is made up of 400+ union-affiliated contractors and associate firms throughout California who employ over 25,000 workers.
California Construction Expo
Inaugural California Construction Expo held in 2006 for contractors doing public works projects.
Construction Employer's Association
Labor relations, collective bargaining and legislative advocacy for the building contractor.
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Favorite Book 2007
Download Elegant Solutions from Change This which provides some highlights of the Toyota Production System. Too many ideas that are applicable to contractors to even count!
- September / October / November Events
- Delaney Construction + Forefront
- Website Tweaking
- In-Cab University
- The Pursuit of Luck
- Google Revealed
- Marketing Should Be Involved In Many Company Processes
- Engineering & Utility Contractors Association
- California Construction Expo
- Construction Employer's Association
Management Class SeriesTraining Modules Specifically Designed For Contractors
- Construction Documentation Overview
- Project Pre-Planning Impacted Jobsite Productivity
- Production Tracking Customer Service & The Project Team
- Change Orders Talent - “People Processes”
- Profit Dynamics For Construction Contracts
- Cash Flow & The Project Team
- Priorities (Time Management For Construction)
- Construction Financial Basics
- Integrated Accounting & Operations
- Project Management Overview
- Process Documentation
- Effective Superintendent Processes
- Implementing A Project Management System
- Organizational Planning For Contractors
- Technology Systems For Contractors
- Excel for Contractors