Search Results for: asset

Balance Sheet – Knowing the Basics of Assets

Executive Summary: Knowing the basics of accounting is essential in business. Knowing the balance sheet will help you assess your own financial health as well as that of your clients or subcontractors. Here are some basics on the balance sheet and, specifically, the assets section. Just the basics. I entered as […]

Help Yourself: Be the Most Coachable Player

Executive Summary Being the best employee does require having traits which benefit your company, but one trait more than any other will help you as an employee benefit yourself and your own career. It’s called being coachable. Do you want to be a leader? Most people in their career aspire […]

Ways that Engineers Manage Failure: Deflection

Executive Summary In construction, or after the fact in the permanent structure, engineers are predicting structural behavior and trying to either control a failure or minimize it. Herein are ways engineers engineer failure in both instances – via deflection. Goal of the Engineer It is the goal of an engineer […]

Project Loss Insurance: Heard of It?

Executive Summary There exists an insurance product to mitigate the risk associated with catastrophic failure of a construction company. It’s called Project Loss Insurance. Tell me more about this insurance.   Project Loss Insurance (PLI) is a product that covers financial loss to a contractor for losses associated with: Bad estimates […]

Debt: You Need It

Executive Summary Debt, at least in the American construction business, is helpful when it comes to growth. Here’s a couple reasons why. What is debt? When money is borrowed and then must be paid back, that money which must be paid back is called debt. On your business financials this […]

Utes and Bunds: Working in New Zealand

Executive Summary Civil construction is the same, but different, in New Zealand. Some terms and methods which vary from American civil construction follow. Give me a little bit about New Zealand? New Zealand is a country with about 5,000,000 people in it. This is roughly the population of Alabama in […]

Lose the Guilt – Mark it Up!

Executive Summary Contractors deserve to be profitable. It’s necessary for business survival. A perceived exorbitant markup should not be fretted over. Mark it up! The “disclaimer”. Profit is markup is fee here. Be advised this article assumes that profit and markup and fee are one in the same. There is […]

Trained or Untrained? Being Claim-Ready

Executive Summary Contractors that deal with tough projects, tough clients, and/or tough contracts need to be in a mindset of always being claim-ready. Here’s the start to being trained and claim-ready. When you say “claim”-ready, you mean? A “claim” in this context is really meant to mean impact, or change […]

The Leonard Curves: Another Tool in Labor Loss Quantification

Executive Summary Charles Leonard performed a study which resulted in the Leonard Curves. These curves may be a helpful tool to quantify your labor productivity loss due to cumulative impacts on your project. The Deeper Dive Revay and Associates Limited out of Canada wrote a great comparison article between the […]

Jet Grout in Five Minutes

Executive Summary Jet grout has been, and continues to be, a successful means of ground improvement. It can serve many purposes – two of the most common are structural support and groundwater control. Definition of Jet Grout Jet grout is a method of ground improvement wherein a drilling machine injects […]

Engine Failure Makes Engineers Great: Redundancy

Executive Summary On February 20, 2021 a Boeing 777 airplane lost an engine during flight over Colorado.  The engine failure was catastrophic and could have resulted in hundreds of deaths.  The plane landed safely back in Denver.  This failure highlights the greatness of engineers. Here’s a link to the story […]

What a College Degree Says

Executive Summary A college degree sometimes seems overrated as it isn’t necessarily a measure of intelligence, nor a guarantee of success. A pigskin on the wall says more than “I know engineering” or “I know business”. It says, “I can finish things.” What is a College Degree? A Bachelor of […]

Contingency Doesn’t Exist When Low Bid Wins

Executive Summary When an owner determines the method of award is that the low bid wins, they shouldn’t expect contingency in a contractor’s bid. Here’s what they should expect. What is Contingency? If you go to google.com and type in “definition of contingency” you get this: [QR] A provision for […]

Scott Jennings, P.E.: Subject Matter Expert

Scott Jennings, P.E.: Subject Matter Expert Mr. Jennings has decades of experience in the construction industry, from contractor to executive. Below are publications that have asked Mr. Jennings to provide his experienced-based insight on industry topics. Forecasting with Confidence – How Contractors Can Solve Four Common Challenges Breaking Down Data […]

Toolbox Tech on the Connected Jobsite

With the growing amount of technology being developed and used in the world and on construction sites today. It may seem daunting to start grasping and using these ideas out in the field. Below is a growing list of terms and recommendations related to construction technology and connected jobsites. Connected […]

Starting a Construction Business: a 5-Minute “How To”

Executive Summary Starting a construction business has its unique requirements. These plus the norms will get you up and running at your new construction business. Step 1. Do You Know What You’re Doing? This is the first question to ask yourself as you are getting ready to enter, as my […]

Shhh, You’re being Recorded – and Two Other Tips

Executive Summary Just three random important things for contractors that didn’t make up an article all on their own: the legality of audio recording, running one man short, the golden rule of bid forms. What’s this article about? It’s about being a smart contractor in the easiest of ways. Learn […]

Quantifying the Loss in Labor Productivity: the MCAA Factors

Executive Summary There are very few “court-accepted” ways a contractor can quantify his or her loss as a result of labor productivity, or lack thereof. MCAA’s (Mechanical Contractors Association of America, Inc.) document PD 2 Factors Affecting Labor Productivity is one of the most widely used methods in practice. See […]

I Didn’t Ask for a Lamborghini

Executive summary. Extra work on a construction project must be delivered at fair and reasonable prices. Owners should know they have this right in their Contract, and Contractors should know the owners have this right too. Here comes the extra work. A new scope of work has been added to […]

“Boosting” Job Profits on Equipment Purchase – on Paper

Executive summary. Whether in a bid situation or a change order negotiation, there is a way to boost your profit on paper by not “job costing” your equipment. Let’s talk depreciation. And whatever you do, make sure to talk to your CPA after reading this. It’s much more complicated than […]

Fleet Management: Ways to Gather Data

Executive Summary. Several means exist in the way of gathering data from your operating fleet. Here are the basic ways and then a quick explanation of current technology.  The Basics of Data Collection. Many contractors, or companies with large on/offroad fleets and/or construction equipment, use somethingto track their assets’ location and/or performance: Clipboard […]

Training: Now I see the Value

The benefits of training can be great for numerous reasons. You’re making capitalinvestments, you should also treat your employeesas an asset worthy of investment too.

Customized Programming: Easy Access and Low Cost

Executive Summary: There are no perfect software solutions out there for many industries. Many companies must settle for “close enough” to achieve their control goals. If you have relatively simple needs, considering a custom program may vastly improve your efficiency for less cost than you think. What do you mean, […]

Balance Sheet – Knowing the Basics of Liabilities

Executive Summary: The balance sheet says a great deal about a company. If you’re a business owner you better know how to read your own, as well as that of your clients and subcontractors. This week we discuss the Liabilities section. Just the basics. My recent article introduced the balance […]

Equipment – Buy, Rent, RTO, RPO, Lease – Which One???

Construction equipment is a necessary tool to perform many types of construction work. How to acquire the equipment has a significant effect on the financial aspect of a company. There are many options which should be considered when temporarily or permanently acquiring a piece of gear.

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Inventory Tracking: A Money Saver

Executive Summary Construction companies have inventories that should be managed to improve efficiency and, in turn, improve the bottom line. Consider a mobile solution or at least one that gets away from the clipboard. How it was. My parents ran a small and successful construction company which provided well for […]

Training & Software

Our experts in estimating, specifically HCSS products, can optimize your use of the software. We also have 2D and 3D software services to assist in your proposal preparation. Training HCSS HeavyBid – training, codebooks, tips and tricks – we employ one of only six HCSS contract trainers for HeavyBid [ […]

Credit Unions versus Banks

Executive Summary: A credit union is a viable option for many small businesses. Consider the advantages of a credit union over a traditional bank. What is a credit union? It’s “big bank lite”. It’s a bank with checking accounts and savings accounts, with mobile banking services, with internet access, tellers, […]

Escrowing Bid Documents: What, Where, How, Why, & When?

Executive Summary: Escrowing your bid documents and estimate calculations allow the contractor and owner to review all documents relied upon and created by the contractor as of bid day. If this method of price evaluation is accepted by the owner, it can be an invaluable asset during a project dispute. What […]

Users of Your Financials: What They’re Looking At

Download PPT Download PDF Executive Summary: Some parties may require their own review of your financial reports before doing business with you. The two documents of interest to these parties are the income statement and the balance sheet. The major items they’re looking at are briefly discussed here and a […]

In Choosing a Software – Best Advice is to Talk to a Friend

Executive Summary: There exists construction software to do nearly all functions in your construction company. Your best source of software advice: your friends in the industry. I’m drowning in choices. There exists software to “help” your construction company in many functions: Estimating Takeoff – two and three dimensional Accounting Job […]

RFID (and NFC): What is it & how can it help you?

Executive Summary: RFID is defined and the differences between RFID and NFC are explained here. Also discussed is how they can help your company. RFID defined. RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification. It’s a process. It is a process where items can be uniquely identified using radio waves. By taking […]

Fraud: Stop Thinking it won’t Happen to You

Executive Summary Fraud is a real risk to businesses and most do not realize they’ve become a victim until it’s too late. There are simple controls to put in place to help prevent it, or perhaps bring it to your attention. Learn preventative measures and examples of embezzlement techniques. “No, […]

Owners Need to Stop Expecting Filet Mignon on a Hamburger Budget

Executive Summary: An August 19th, 2017 cover page headline in The Economist magazine reads Construction: the least efficient industry. Their general position on our industry’s efficiency I didn’t think was far off, but the blame was misplaced. Owners need to help turn this industry. For their own sake, not just […]

What’s a Banking Covenant?

Executive Summary: What are banking covenants? Banking covenants are conditions put upon a borrower by the bank. Although they can be general in nature, they often are quantitative. Some typical covenants are listed here. What sort of loan? In the construction industry, there’s all sorts of loans: line of credit, […]

The Power of Habit

Executive Summary: Although policies can be created overnight, getting them to function and last in your organization takes time. Read here about the value of persistence. Change is tough. We’re in the construction business and many of you reading this are doing it as a professional in America. Change for […]

Small Tools Tracking Software – Get It!

Executive Summary Estimates vary on the financial loss suffered by contractors due to lost or stolen tools. Pick any number you want, it’s certainly worth a discussion at any value. The direct cost loss is most obvious, but consider also the inefficiencies suffered by crews not having the tools they […]

Choosing a Professional Services Provider

Executive Summary: There are many factors in determining who should provide your firm professional services. Read on to find that it’s more than just their technical ability. General: As a contractor, you need the following professional services on a regular basis: Legal Banking Accounting Insurance Engineering Some construction companies may […]

Consistency Results in Predictability

Executive Summary:  Sustaining a business, and more so growing a business, relies heavily on consistency in business practices.  Start today with improving your company’s practices so that profitability can be maintained and even improved.  Better yet, let your consistent practices help you better predict the future. What is inconsistency?  In […]

Killer Clauses: No Damages for Delay

Executive Summary:  A presentation on March 8, 2017at the 98th Annual AGC Convention reviewed ten (10) “killer clauses” in contracts.  The “No Damages for Delay Clause” was #4; it is discussed, and proposed language to neutralize the clause is presented. What’s at stake.  A presentation prepared by Brian Perlberg (Senior […]

Embezzlement: Password Protection

Executive Summary:  Protecting your company passwords is like protecting any other asset.  Protect them or risk losing confidential information and/or thousands of dollars. What is embezzlement?  This subject is one that should primarily concern company owners, but also employees. Embezzlement is a crime punishable by jail time and/or fine depending […]

Construction Management

Construction Management With over twenty-five (25) years of progressive experience from field engineer to Division Manager, Mr. Jennings is well qualified to assist in every aspect of project management. His knowledge base can become one of the biggest off-the-balance sheet assets to a contractor, owner, or construction management firm. After the […]

SJCC Toolbox Terms & Glossary

Listen to our podcast for new terms and check out our glossary below. Click on a term to find articles that reference that term. Glossary of Terms A Aggregate – Coarse material such as sand, gravel, or other crushed rock. Often used as a substrate or base course. Artics – […]