Construction Budgeting Resource for Arizona December 8, 2011Posted by carolhagen in budgeting, Construction Industry - Cash Flow Forecasting.
Tags: budgeting, construction, hr, Payroll, salary
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Construction company budgets are heavily weighted to the salary and compensation plans of their employees. Whether it’s the chief estimator, accountant or IT director, knowing what the going rates are in your area can help you budget and ultimately attract the best talent to your construction firm. Here in Arizona, the Valley of the Sun Chapter of the Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA) is conducting an on-line Construction industry salary survey. You can get this resource for free just by participating.
Take the AZ Construction Salary Survey on-line: https://novisurvey.net/n/7g2.aspx
Many of the regional associations have been invited to participate including:
The results will be broken down by company demographics: number of employees and type of contractor so you can make meaningful comparisons. There are questions on economic indicators, employee development, employee benefits and employee compensation.
View the questions before taking the survey: 2011 AZ Construction Salary Survey
All contractors (GCs, highway/heavy and trades) doing business in the state are welcome to participate. Every firm that completes the survey will receive a copy of the results for free in early 2012. Everyone else will have to pay $100. Deadline is December 15, 2011. Start the survey now on-line: https://novisurvey.net/n/7g2.aspx
Copies can be purchased on-line. For more information visit http://chapters.cfma.org/ValleyOfTheSun/index.htm
Please share this with others in the industry as the more contractors who participate, the more valuable this construction resource will be.
Construction Payment Innovation August 12, 2010Posted by carolhagen in Accounts Payable, Construction Industry - Software, equipment expense, Equipment Tracking, payroll.
Tags: accounts payable, construction, disbursements, payment, Payroll
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Construction payment disbursements for payroll, travel, fuel, and entertainment purchases are accounting tasks in every construction firm. A mountain of receipts with handwritten notes arrive in the office, perhaps with a spreadsheet the employee has prepared itemizing the details. There is an alternative that streamlines this process, has built-in exception reporting and makes reconciliations a breeze. The construction industry is always looking for ways to control expenses while improving efficiencies and I happened to meet Betsy Berlin, Regional Sales Manager from Comdata who believes they have an appealing family of solutions for contractors.
Comdata MasterCard Program for Construction combines fleet, purchasing, and travel and entertainment into a payment solution allowing you to take control of your corporate spending. Their Comdata Virtual Payment MasterCard electronically generates a unique account number for each vendor payable to provide settlement data and automates reconciliation with integration to popular financial systems including: ComputerEase, Dexter + Chaney, Timberline, JD Edwards and others. If you’re trying to figure out how much that will save you in administrative costs, it costs $1.51 to produce an AP Check. Finally the Comdata Paycard solution eliminates the distribution of weekly payroll checks and you can administer card funding just like direct deposit.
There are a few things that impressed me about these solutions and the company.
This last item is a big deal as I know many businesses that nickel & dime you to death with even minor changes to reports. It also reflects on their focus and dedication to their customer.
How do I know that they’re the real deal? As of August 1st, Comdata is an official affinity partner with the Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA). For all current and future Comdata customers that belong to your local CFMA chapter, Comdata will contribute one basis point back to your chapter on all associated transactional spend with Comdata from those contractors. For those of you in Phoenix, Betsy plans to attend the CFMA luncheon on August 19th and is interested in meeting members that want to help their company and the CFMA Valley of the Sun Chapter as well. I’d be happy to introduce you.
Anyone already using their services? Please share your experiences with my readers by adding a comment. Thanks.
Lean Construction, Payroll and Equipment Tracking July 8, 2010Posted by carolhagen in Construction Industry - Software, Construction Industry Hardware, Equipment Tracking, Lean Construction, Payroll Time Collection.
Tags: Equipment, Equipment Tracking, Lean, Lean Construction, Payroll, Time Collection
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Lean Construction has been a hot topic for the past few years and is still gaining momentum. Recently representatives of Mortenson spoke at a NAWIC Greater Phoenix Chapter meeting and discussed renewable energy (showcasing a wind farm project in Hawaii) and how lean construction practices have improved productivity and their bottom line. Since I just happened to attend the 2010 CFMA National Convention in Kona last week, I was able to see the wind mills in person. But I also had the opportunity to peruse the vendor exhibits at convention and found a tool that may solve multiple construction problems in one fell swoop…TeraHop.
TeraHop Networks Inc provides On-Site asset monitoring without using satellite or cellular subscriptions. They call their solution the Construction Asset Monitoring System or CAMS for short. With Portable Data Collectors (PDCs) acting as local sensors and network routers, they track the movement of assets and create hopping paths to other PDCs and directly with TeraHop’s Wireless Data Uplink (WDU). The WDU holds the collected data until it is able to upload to a server via wireless or ethernet interface. WDUs also have a GPS receiver to permit localization of PDCs in the network. The WDU generated information from the site-wide data can be viewed from a computer or smartphone at the site or any other location with a wireless connection. So what can they track? Equipment, vehicles, inventory, tools and personnel…basically anything that moves on your jobsite!
After talking with representatives it dawned on me that contractors using this technology are collecting information often gathered when beginning a lean evaluation. Tracking the steps of employees then asking why and what were you doing is one of the best ways to minimize waste and eliminate mistakes, the two mantras of LEAN. Since you can also redeploy you can revisit a jobsite after making lean improvements in task assignments that were to “save steps”, analyze the improvements and adjust again if necessary…a continuous improvement method in Lean. Now add this to the DataMaxx solution and you have streamlined, accurate time collection for payroll processing, inventory tracking and equipment run-time.
Since CAMS can monitor equipment and vehicles, the ability to reduce excessive engine idle time (which impacts fuel costs and equipment wear) is a common by-product from the collected data analysis. Knowing actual equipment run-time will help manage preventative maintenance schedules, eliminate too frequent or late maintenance, and decrease the cost of ownership. You can use this on the jobsite or in your yard to make your fleet managers job easier.
All these process improvements add up, make lean construction worthwhile and more profitable. If you’ve used the TeraHop system or something like it, I’d like you to share your experiences in the comments with my readers. If you think this is a good idea but have reservations, ask me questions. I’ll get TeraHop to respond quickly if I get stumped.