How Much Do You Know About Selecting Construction Software?

Think you know all there is to know about selecting new construction software? Before beginning, take the following quiz to see if you really know as much as you think you do.1) Which kind of references are more valid – those from companies that have been using the software you’re considering for multiple years or those from companies that have installed the software in question within the last 12 months?Answer: Companies that have recently installed and begun use of the software you are considering are the best ones to talk with. The reason is that any company that has been using certain software for multiple years will have likely already worked out all of the problems with the system. As such, they will obviously recommend that software to you and likely have forgotten about any headaches that the software caused in the beginning. On the other hand, companies that just installed the software will be well aware of the problems involved with installing it.2) Which one factor is the best predictor of success selecting the right software?* Price
* The database the software uses
* Number of times the software has been installed with other companies
* Past experience with the system
* References from trusted sources
* None of the aboveAnswer: None of the above. While all should be considered, no single factor can predict whether or not the software will be right for your company. Unfortunately, most people think things are that easy.3) True or false: Buying a recognized brand name software with thousands of installations is a sure way to be successful?Answer: False. Recognized brands are not necessarily the best fit for every company, and plenty of unhappy business owners around the world can attest to this.4) As long as the software does what you need it to, the database that the software uses is not that important – True or False?Answer: False. Advances in technology and operating systems will eventually make some databases incompatible and therefore useless if your company wants to stay ahead of the game and adopt best practices by using the best technology available.5) Who is the best person to lead the project team responsible for selecting new construction management software for your company?* The CEO
* The CFO or construction manager
* The IT manager
* An outside consultant
* Whoever in your company has the most time to dedicate to the project
* It depends/None of the aboveAnswer: It will always depend on the particular situation that your company is in, your needs, and your staff. The best person for the task will be somebody that understands exactly what your company needs from new software and has experience evaluating and implementing new software in the past.6) What is the biggest contributing factor to a failed software upgrade initiative?* Employees who are resistant to the change and attempt to “sabotage” the project
* The software is a bad fit for the business
* It turns out the vendor lied about the software’s capabilities/functionality
* Staff turnover
* Adequate time is not given for training and installation
* An overall lack of commitment and due diligence on the part of the company and the software selection teamAnswer: Most failed software initiatives are a result of a combination of all of the above. However, the one that contributes the most and is generally the most important area that is overlooked is commitment and proper research on the part of the buyer.7) The best way to begin evaluating a software package is to view a web demo of the system – True or false?Answer: False. Many companies start off on the wrong foot by viewing product demos. Often, they fall in love with a software package that looks good or that has a salesman that is very good at his/her job. When this happens, they fail to consider how well the software will actually meet their needs and usually end up with the wrong system. Demos are best done towards the end of the software selection process, after multiple vendors have been screened out and a strict set of requirements have been identified.8) Which of the following should be considered the most when selecting your vendor?* Level of available local support
* Recommendations
* A large number of installations
* How big the vendor company is
* Overall impressiveness of the demo that answers all your questions
* None of the aboveAnswer: None of the above. Consider all of the aforementioned factors when evaluating vendors. Remember that you will be entering a long-term relationship with them, so make sure you are confident in your decision9) If a product comes with a 30 or 60 day guarantee, you should see this as adequate protection for your investment – True or false?Answer: False. Hardly any buyers will be able to learn enough about their construction software in 30 or 60 days to know if it is truly the right long-term solution. In fact, even a one-year guarantee may not be enough. Instead of relying on guarantees to save you from making a poor choice, do the right amount of research up front to ensure that you’ll never need a guarantee.

The Necessity of Professional Post Construction Cleaning Services

Construction of properties is common in any town or city which is focused on development and modernization. Hence, there would always be some construction activity happening in town. It could be a new property construction or a renovation. This could be for a domestic residence or a commercial property. After the construction or renovation works, there would be a lot of debris and dust flying around. The property may look great but not inhabitable or functional until it is cleaned up thoroughly. This is never a pleasing task as construction workers tend to dump a lot of leftover components around instead of disposing them effectively. Hence, it is necessary to hire good post construction cleaning experts to handle this task.Scope of cleaningDifferent states may impose different legislature on post construction cleaning. But there may be some loopholes in the legislature where builders or renovators would conveniently engage to escape a thorough cleanup for their client. This is especially so when the full payment of work has been settled.Hence, property owners would need to spend more in hiring a professional post construction cleaning team to get the premise functional or habitable with a thorough clean up.Professional cleaners would use their team of cleaning experts and state-of-the-art cleaning equipment to clean up the dust, dirt and grime off the premise quickly before the furniture and furnishings can be applied or installed. The walls would need to be washed before painting as the presence of dust or grime would not allow the best paint to stay for long.The floors would need to be washed and polished before the carpets can be laid. The windows would need to be cleaned before the curtains can be put up. The ceilings would need to be wiped before decorative lightings can be installed.Interior decor cannot be executed if the whole premise is not thoroughly cleaned after the builders or renovators leave.Cleaning teamA professional cleaning team for any commercial or residential premise must be well trained and qualified with the right experience to handle a post construction clean-up task. There must be enough manpower to handle the cleanup project as the premise may be big and the property owner wants the premise cleaned quickly. This is usually the case when the tenant wants to move in and commence business as quickly as possible as time is money to business ventures.The cleaning staff must be able to handle commercial cleaning equipment with little supervision. They must be reliable in sprucing up the premise to the complete satisfaction of the property owner or their client.

Implications of The Pre-Budget Report For Construction Recruitment

Desperate times call for desperate measures, and the Chancellor’s Pre-Budget Report (PBR) delivered recently could herald a new era of co-operation between the Government and the construction industry. The PBR announced that £3billion worth of investment that was due to be carried out in 2010-11 is to be brought forward – news that has been welcomed by the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA). Some of that investment will go towards road projects, flood defence schemes and the necessary infrastructure for new social housing projects also announced in the PBR.In addition to this injection of capital into construction projects, Chancellor Alistair Darling also announced a raft of initiatives designed to take the pressure off small and medium sized companies, including temporary rate relief on some properties and the relaxation of tax payment periods for struggling companies. The aim of the PBR was to stabilize a shaky economy and get businesses moving again, particularly in the battered and bruised construction industry.The announcement was roundly welcomed by the leading construction organizations, which see the plan as an attempt to give a little more breathing space to an industry that has been savaged by the economic downturn. Many companies also see the Government’s plans as good news for jobs in construction and engineering, motivating the market out of stagnation and back into active recruitment and gearing up for the mother of all fightbacks.Recruiters will now be able to breathe a little easier as the Chancellor gives them the room they need to spread their tax obligations (including corporation tax, VAT, national insurance and income tax) across monthly installments rather than making large, one-off payments. This means that companies have more floating capital to invest in recruitment and projects that, a few months ago, looked as if they were at risk of being completely mothballed. The plans also allow recruiters to offset losses against profits from the last three years, rather than only the previous year as before. This means that if 2009 turns into the recession that everyone is predicting, recruitment firms will be able to claim a tax rebate, giving them more capital to invest in filling high level construction jobs.This all bodes well for those looking for jobs in construction or engineering jobs, as a more stable construction industry is better able to bend and flex to market influences. The overall investment cited by the Government is a huge £20billion. Combined with a cut in the VAT rate to 15% and the £3billion spend on infrastructure, it seems that for the first time in a very long period the Government is looking to invest substantially in UK PLC. The CECA itself has drawn up a ten-point plan to keep the construction industry out of recession and the Chancellor’s PBR certainly seems to have addressed some of the concerns they raise. The CECA hopes that the fast-tracking of infrastructure projects such as Crossrail, Olympics-related developments and various road projects will mean that jobs in construction are secured for the foreseeable future. They also hope that projects already in an advanced stage of design will be brought forward, boosting the job market further.This flurry of activity has been perfectly timed, according to experts in the industry. Without this investment in the UK’s infrastructure – investment that has long been fought for and is needed – the economic slowdown could have led to hundreds of thousands of jobs being lost throughout construction, engineering and the outlying businesses that service the sector. This doesn’t just have implications for the UK economy, but for global prospects too. The UK seems to be setting a precedent in tackling the effects of a worldwide economic crisis, and for the first time in many years, where the UK leads, the rest of Europe and the USA seems to be following. The readjustment of exchange rates will make imports and exports more viable on an international market, again helping to stabilize company’s order books. This stabilization, despite companies having to tighten their belts in the short term, should bode well for the economy post-2009.