Rain or shine, depending on the hour, 450+ TUG members gathered at the Gaylord Palms resort in Kissimmee, Florida for the annual conference to further the mission of the group; attendees spent the week sharing their knowledge of Sage Timberline software.
You know what they say, “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.” Well that would just be boring. We’re here to tell all! This was Kissimmee for crying out loud!
Okay, it was a conference not a bachelor party.
What happened was four days of seasoned users teaching members how to better utilize the software. It was Timberline boot camp for some and a refresher for others. Most of the sessions were broken out by roles in the back office, Controllers took accounting or reporting track classes, estimators took beginning or advanced estimating track courses depending on their experience level, and you guessed it, project managers took courses in their respective discipline. Additionally, owners and CFO’s had the opportunity to attend an executive track program, which featured best practices and risk management sessions.
Regardless of the track chosen, all of the material was focused on Timberline’s powerful platform for financial and operations technology. With new releases of the software approaching, a new SQL server platform and cloud technology all in the current outlay – users are anxious to see what they have planned next.
For an excellent Sage resource, check out www.tugweb.com. It just might provide the knowledge-sharing network your business needs to become proficient in the software.
In case you’d like to attend the next conference, the 2013 TUG National Users Conference will take place at the Gaylord Texan just north of Dallas, Texas!
The Architecture Billings Index (ABI) by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) has turned negative for the first time in 5 months this past April as reported by the AIA. The April score reported was 48.4. Scores below 50.0 indicate a decline in architecture firm billings. The AIA chief economist, Kermit Baker, said that this decline is not surprising given the remaining volatility in the overall economy, as well as an unusually warm winter which may have accelerated billings in earlier months.
A one month decline should not cause anyone to panic, however a continued negative trend would be concerning. Read the AIA press release for full detail of the April ABI scores.
Since the onset of the Great Recession in 2008 construction companies have made efforts to manage the costs of their companies as backlog slowly decreased. In an effort to do this many companies cut costs related to their investments in new equipment, amongst many other things. As the construction industry continues to crawl forward out of the recession many companies have found that they have an aging fleet of equipment and that the day has come where putting off these types of investments can no longer be done. When evaluating the needs of your construction company you should also evaluate the options available to your business when making that decision to acquire a new piece of equipment. The following outlines the most common options when obtaining new equipment, and the underlying basic pros and cons of each option. Continue reading »
On April 24, ABC-VA held a Lunch and Learn meeting about punchlists and new technology, presented by Jim Klapmust, Project Manager at Balfour Beatty Construction. If you’ve ever managed the punchlist of even a small project, you know that it can take a lot of walking, writing, typing, calls, emails, and paperwork to document, communicate, and remediate deficiencies of final work. Is it ever a smooth process?
Well it can be a lot easier for GC’s who utilize technology and have a punchlist system that starts as soon as work areas are substantially completed. Using iPads along with Vela Systems’ field management software, Balfour Beatty is driving their punchlist and issue tracking system from start to finish.
The improvements on the old way of doing things are extraordinary. This includes having a single location (website) where all parties can access punchlist items and issues categorically sorted and filtered for their own purposes. Of course the walk-throughs still need to be done, but leave all those plans, submittals, and even your camera back at the office. Your digital documents and camera can all be on your iPad.
Using the iPad you can log and label all punchlist items and issues right into the Vela Mobile page. Once back at the office your device syncs to Vela Web with the push of a button and all parties can now access their authorized information. The GC has control over who sees what and can also set up the project well in advance so all areas and parties are defined in Vela. Now all parties have one location to interact with punchlists and issues without anything getting lost. That’s a winning system if you ask me. Further capabilities include reports that can be set up to auto-generate, quality control lists and templates for issue tracking, trend tracking of issues and safety concerns, and integration with BIM software.
So if you’re a smaller GC the question may be, “is it worth it to change?” I can’t answer that for you, but I will say that the time is here to start looking at how technology can improve your punchlist system. I encourage you to look hard at your own system and look into what solutions may be right for your business. The punchlist represents money on the table, so the better you manage it the better your position.
For more information on the software visit www.velasystems.com.
Also please visit www.abcva.org.
Please leave any questions or comments below or feel free to contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.