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My Week’s Dose of Education at Construction Association Meetings September 18, 2009

Posted by carolhagen in Construction Industry - Software, estimating.
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The Arizona Society of Professional Estimators and the American Subcontractors Association held a joint meeting in Phoenix entitled, “Building Technology into Estimates: Tech Features That Keep You Competitive”.  James Benham of JBKnowledge did a fabulous job in engaging the audience and touched upon a variety of topics in the estimator’s toolkit, social networking and augmented reality.  He showed applications that should at least be on your radar screen included Google Docs, Google Wave, SketchUp and using a BIM overlay on the job site.  James talked about Facebook Groups being used to manage construction projects,  EOS Advisor for seeing trends overtime and SmartBidNet to simplify Bid Management.  I wonder if those in attendance have gone on-line to research these applications or if they’ve shared this information upstream yet?

What I learned there is while I am always looking at technology, the majority of contracting firms are unaware of the new applications, and gadgets that will shape how we will work and communicate.  They depend on educational opportunities to inform them as most do not have the luxury of a Chief Information Officer. 

The Construction Financial Management Association meeting with Julie Pace of Ballard Spahr LLP has become an annual event.  Making it an interactive presentation, her Q&A was challenging and informative.  Here are a few take-aways you may want to share with your HR department and controller:

  • In Arizona, November 1st is the due date for sending unclaimed assets to the state including those unclaimed paychecks
  • Every project that has received federal stimulus money will be audited. Be prepared.
  • The Department of Labor requires start time & end time on timesheets
  • Inappropriate conduct is defined as severe, pervasive and unwelcome.
  • You can reprimand a salary exempt employee (like a superintendent) with unpaid time if you dock them one(1) or more full days unpaid time.  No half days allowed.

Of course Julie touched upon FMLA, updated us on card check, what to have in your Employee Handbook or have as a written policy and many other topics like what to look for in a “He Said, She Said” situation.  The most interesting item to me was the NLRB is clear in not allowing employers to prohibit employees from talking about raises.  After all this information, I’ll see you at the water cooler.

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