You’re in a meeting, terminology is being tossed around, and you get hit with one of those buzzwords everybody else seems to know (or pretends to know), but you’re not really sure what it actually means. It happens. Especially in 2019, with new tech being introduced constantly — countless acronyms and buzz terms that could mean anything.
But hey, their buzzwords for a reason. They give insight into what’s trending, and what’s not. Their shaping the construction industry — at least for now. Yes, a lot of trends pop up then fade out, but some do stick around. And when they stick around, you should get to know them.
We’re all about keeping things straight-up and simple at SiteMax. Not with just our powerful Construction Software, but in the language we use. The industry is already complicated enough. It’s time layout a few of the most common buzzwords used in the Construction Industry in 2019.
A lot of us have heard the BIM acronym, which stands for Business Information Modeling. It’s been around for a while but has recently gained strong traction. If you haven’t worked with BIM, here’s a quick and easy definition: it’s a 3D design and modelling software for buildings and structures with strong emphasis on the ‘Information’ part of it. BIM is very effective in the process of managing and collecting business data (specs, restrictions, and just all the data you need). That high level of data and information is what really makes it stand apart.
What all this data really means is strong collaboration between all the stakeholders, especially in preconstruction, between owners, designers and Subcontractors.
Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) is an up-and-coming delivery method. We’ve talked about it in one of our recent blog posts on ‘Five Common Construction Delivery Methods’, which we recommend you check out, but since it’s recently emerging and has come up more and more, let’s define it here.
IPD is a delivery method that uses a single contract for design and construction, with a shared risk/reward model, guaranteed costs, waivers of liability, etc. Really, it makes an emphasis on collaboration and draws more engagement from all stakeholders to deliver a project. It speaks to a few growing trends to keep in mind: collaboration, shared expertise and more communication between project members.
CCDC stands for Canadian Construction Documents Committee — a mouthful. Essentially what they do is develop, produce and review standard construction contracts, forms and guides. They’re about standardizing construction documents, getting endorsements from representatives in all sectors in the Construction Industry, plus a lawyer from the Canadian Bar Institution.
The CCDC helps simplify bidding and contracting, to keep documentation familiar, understood and trusted by all parties. This way everybody can get to work faster and risk is fairly allocated.
GMP translates into a General Maximum Price contract. It’s a contract where the Contractor is compensated for the actual costs, plus a fee subject to a maximum price. The Contractor is then responsible for cost overruns. Savings at the end of the project are fully returned to the owner or shared between the owner and the Contractor as agreed to in the contract.
If there’s a GMP, customers are looking for risk reduction since Contractors manage more of the risk. It’s a pretty attractive model for them. But for Contractors to agree to GMP, you should either set up a higher upfront cost to take on that risk or have a way to reduce it — through passing risk onto Subcontractors or by using the right software to get precise cost estimates.
Sounds like summer body talk. But lean building, or just ‘lean’ itself, is used a lot for not only the Construction Industry, but any business.
Here’s what it really means: building lean centers on eliminating waste in the construction process, every way you can think of; from excess materials delivered to a project site to overlapping tasks in a workflow. Going lean is all about figuring out the most efficient process to cutting wasted time, money and effort, and sticking to that process.
This is an important one for those prospective client meetings.
Sprints are important when you want a lean build — yeah, that doesn’t mean what you think, but true either way. Sprints, in the context of managing a project, means breaking down a large goal into specific tasks, then aiming to complete those tasks in shorter, manageable timeframes (week, two weeks, a month). It’s about the workflow and structuring efficient, fast-paced gameplans. Its relation to running is obvious, as teams work hard and fast to get something done.
If you’re looking to build a project leaner, sprints are the way to go to keep tasks organized, within scope and on time. The shorter the sprint, the more ambitious the client expectations.
Automation is one of those buzzwords that literally could mean anything. When it comes to the Construction Industry, it’s the one word that connects most of the technology trends.
Definition you probably have an idea of already: Automation is self-regulating procedures typically done by using computerized machines to carry out various tasks. What that translates into are drones for site inspections, assembly line prefabricated homes, even as simple as automating redundant and time-wasting processes like building out safety reports, daily activity reports, etc. (cough* SiteMax).
Gen Z & Digital Natives
Millennials are old news. Here’s something most of us don’t know: the oldest millennial is 37 or 38 years old. The young guns, and who we should be thinking about as far as optimizing how you hire in a tight labor market, is Generation Z — those currently below the age of 21.
Gen Z is one way to label this generation, another way is digital native. Why digital native? They are the first generation (born in 1995 and up) that have been raised completely around technology. Even the oldest Gen Z had an iPod as a kid.
So why does this even matter to the Construction Industry? Again, it’s who you need to think about when you’re hiring for new positions. Talent is tight and typically, you’re hiring workers and laborers in their early twenties to fill out your team.
For these guys, it’s all about technology. Not just any technology, but the tech that’s new, simple, powerful and accessed from their smartphones (100% in their pockets at all times). This is where SiteMax can give you an edge. Showing that you’re utilizing up-to-date technology can only be an advantage to boosting your hiring process. It’s a big, big perk.
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