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Construction Budgeting Resource for Arizona December 8, 2011

Posted by carolhagen in budgeting, Construction Industry - Cash Flow Forecasting.
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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:

  • Arizona Builders Alliance
  • American Subcontractors Association
  • Arizona Roofing Contractors Association
  • Associated General Contractors of America
  • Construction Financial Management Association
  • Independent Electrical Contractors Association of Arizona
  • National Association of Women in Construction
  • National Electrical Contractors Association
  • National Utility Contractors Association of Arizona
  • Plumbing Heating Cooling Contractors Association of Arizona
  • 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://cafe.cfma.org/valleyofthesun/home/

    Please share this with others in the industry as the more contractors who participate, the more valuable this construction resource will be.

    Contractors in Arizona, the New Sales Tax and Your Bottom Line May 21, 2010

    Posted by carolhagen in budgeting, construction accounting software, Construction Industry - Software, Construction Industry Hardware, Document Imaging.
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    Arizona Contractors In a Pickle?

    Arizona’s economic recover has probably been deferred 6-8 months with the sales tax increase passed earlier this week by voters and sadly will put more strain on the construction industry. Mark Minter of the Arizona Builders Alliance (ABA) shared this with me to clarify when and how the tax will impact existing and future construction contracts, so I’m passing it onto my readers verbatim:

    In yesterday’s election the voters of the State of Arizona overwhelmingly approved a temporary 1% increase in the sales tax rate. The higher rate goes into effect June 1st, 2010.

    The ABA successfully lobbied a protection from increases such as this into state law several years ago. That statute reads:

    ARS 42-5010 H. Any increase in the rate of tax that is imposed by this chapter and that is enacted by the legislature or by a vote of the people does not apply with respect to contracts entered into by prime contractors or pursuant to written bids made by prime contractors on or before the effective date of the legislation or the date of the election enacting the increase. To qualify for the exemption under this subsection, the prime contractor must maintain sufficient documentation, in a manner and form prescribed by the department, to verify the date of the contract or written bid.

    Projects that are bid or contracted to prior May 18th are exempt from the sales tax increase.

    What Impacts Your Bottom Line?
    The sales tax increase ups the owner’s cost of building at a time where many contractors are still struggling to survive. As a construction company you will continue to keep your construction office overhead low. Recently I shared some ideas with ConstrucTech Magazine’s readers on what I’ve seen contractors do…some good ideas and a few things to avoid as it relates to computer systems and technology spending. Here’s a link to the May 2010 article “Technology Budgets in a Pickle”.

    I’d love to hear what you’ve successfully implemented (click the comment option at the top of the blog) and feel free to share this with the construction industry as we all can use a little help.

    Where Does Your IT Budget Go? September 16, 2009

    Posted by carolhagen in budgeting, Construction Industry - Software, Construction Industry Hardware.
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    According to an MIT Sloan Center for Information Systems Research Study, the average firm spends 71% of their IT budget on running current systems and some blow as much as 80% of their budget keeping the status quo.  What if you could reduce this to 50-60% of the IT budget? 

    That’s what can be achieved over time according to “IT Savvy” by Peter Weill & Jeanne W. Ross.  Being obsessed with Fixing What’s Broken, Building a Digitized Platform and Exploiting the Platform for Profitable Growth is how they describe the IT Savvy firm.  Within the book, they outline the journey of becoming IT savvy as having four stages:  Localizing, Standardizing, Optimizing  and Reusing.  

    While only 2% surveyed have attained the Reusing stage, these firms enjoy a 20 % higher profit than their competitors and have an average IT budget that is 145% higher than the localized stage IT department.  What makes the Reusing stage distinct is that they continuously improve, are business agile and introduce product innovations.  They use IT strategically.   To tell where you are in the process, you’ll want to benchmark unit costs and compare yourself to competitors. The appendix of IT Savvy has a questionnaire to also help determine your current stage.  For construction firms metrics you may want to purchase CFMA’s Information Technology Survey, or peek at Intel’s performance measurements in their Information Technology 2008 Performance Report. 

    You may also want to read a recent global CIO study which states that “half of CIOs are expecting to implement completely standardized, low-cost business processes [over the next five years]”.  Their visionary plans include business intelligence & analytics, virtualization, risk management & compliance,  and business process management.  The CIO pragmatist enables corporate vision, makes working together easy and concentrates on core competencies.  This all happens while 14% of the CIOs time is looking for ways to cut costs.  Where do you spend your money & your time?

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