Tag Archives: The Superintendent’s Automated Manager

Time Management Tips that Actually Work

Business-owners are always on the lookout for hacks on how  to reach bigger sales and exceed expectations. But the truth is, most of it will boil down to how well you manage your time. This is especially true for us builders. So today, let’s brush up on how to best manage our limited, and ever-so-valuable time.

Here are 7 simple tricks that will actually give tremendous impact on both your work and personal life.

Automated Trackers - SAM - Construction Management and Scheduling Software

1. Record your activities for a week

For one week, record all of your activities, thoughts, and discussions. Do this religiously so you can have sufficient data to analyze. This activity will help you to find patterns and see exactly where your precious time is going. When are you most productive? How much time are you spending on doing actual work? Which activities should you be spending less time on?

2. Allot a designated time for activities that are important to your success

For example, if some quiet alone time is when you tend to have your best ideas, then set an appointment with yourself and assign a schedule to it. Treat it like a high-priority meeting. The same goes for conversations, or some book-reading time. You have to identify these seemingly mundane, yet highly important activities.

3. Dedicate 50% of your time to “real” work

Make sure that at least 50% of your time is dedicated and spent on the activities that produce the most results. Again, it’s all about setting a plan and being dedicated to it. Assigning a specific number to it will help you to imagine your goal and make it concrete.

4. Schedule interruptions

To avoid burnout, schedule time for interruptions too. For example, after 1 hour of serious work, allot 10 minutes for a short social media or coffee break. You can also allot time for phone calls or text messages.

5. Start your day right

First impressions usually last. The same goes for your day. It pays to start it on solid footing. You can do this by dedicating the first 30 minutes of your waking day to planning. What is your agenda for the day? What are your priorities today? Where are you supposed to be? Who are you supposed to be meeting with? Use your first waking moments to get some clarity and direction.

Automated Trackers - SAM - Construction Management and Scheduling Software

6. Learn to say NO

Interruptions are all around us. So if you really want to get things done, you have to learn when to say NO. Block out social media if you’re on “work mode”.  All of those notifications can drive anyone crazy. Just because your phone is lighting up, doesn’t mean that there’s an urgent response needed. Don’t be so quick to answer every single call and text. You don’t have to be online for instant messaging apps 24×7.  Instead, allot some time at the end of your day for replying to all non-important messages. You can talk about weekend golf plans later.

7. You can’t do everything yourself

No matter how much we try, it’s impossible to get everything done by yourself. You have to delegate tasks because it’s necessary for scaling. Much like in basketball, in order to get a championship trophy, you must work as a team.

And as builders, we usually want to have as many projects as we can at any given time. This means managing several people, and organizing hundreds of tasks for each build. You won’t be able to do it alone. The success of your projects will depend on how well you can organize your timelines, tasks, and people.

This is where SAM comes in. SAM- the Superintendent’s Automated Manager is the go-to scheduler of professional builders in the US. Using SAM, you can say goodbye to messy paper and pen schedules, and go completely digital. Get schedule reports in one click. Update tasks and have everyone up to speed instantly. You can also synchronize it with your existing software. Don’t make your job harder than it has to be. Check out SAM today and test it out for FREE.

2016 Tech Trends for the Construction Industry

Today we’re listing down some of the hottest construction industry trends that we foresee will be more prevalent in 2016. Keep an eye out because it could be time for you to incorporate them now into your business.

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Inspection Drones

Drones have been the hot-topic of 2015. Everyday consumers may be getting most of the fun, but businesses are using it too. From movie-making to extreme sports and even to wedding photography, these flying cameras have proven that they can be useful in getting valuable perspectives. The same is true for construction. A drone can be very handy for jobsite inspections, especially for areas that are harder to reach on foot. Think bridge undersides, unfinished floors, roofs, and so on. It’s also pretty cool to use for your company’s marketing and documentation pursuits.

Wearable Technology

We all know the hazards involved in a construction site. And with the advent of wearable tech that can monitor a person’s vital signs, you can expect construction companies to assimilate these health-tech with worker safety. A smart watch may alert health personnel if a person’s blood sugar has dropped or if someone’s heartbeat is going dangerously fast. This way, workers in remote locations can easily ask for and receive first aid assistance.

More and More Automation for Construction Sites

Constructions in 2016 will surely be marked by high automation and high quality. Every year, we see more and more of those modular construction projects that take a fraction of time to build compared to typical builds. 3D printing is also poised to create a bigger impact in the manufacturing of materials.

Cloud Adoption

While some businesses have long been harnessing the benefits of cloud computing, some are still yet to follow. This year, we’ll probably see more and more companies adopting cloud storage and cloud strategies. For the construction industry, the cloud offers process streamlining, stakeholder accountability and critical mobile access.

Stringent Tech Security

Hacking, viruses, malware, these are threats to any kind of business. As we become more tech-savvy and tech-reliant in 2016, companies are now becoming more aware of the risks that comes with network and security vulnerabilities. It’s a must to protect our proprietary data, financial info, and client credentials. Even blueprints and plans need to be safeguarded whether you’re on physical or cloud storage.

Planning and Management Software Become More Important

Mobile (remote) collaboration and automated project status reporting will continue to be a necessity for construction companies. And because of this, project management software and scheduling applications will continue to be in demand this year. As clients become more impatient, they want projects done fast and demand for instant information.

What about you? What do you expect to see more of this year? Do you have any new tech adoptions or breakthrough discoveries to share with us?

If you’re interested in knowing more about Automated Trackers’ patented project management and scheduling tool, click here to get a free online demonstration. 

Home-Buyers Don’t Want Fast, They Want Instant

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Once upon a time, our definition of “fast” meant overnight FedEx deliveries. People were even willing to pay premium for that kind of service. But the thing is, customers no longer want “fast”.

In a word where Google offers answers to just about any question within the span of a few blinks, where you can easily download an app if the need arises, where high-speed networks are the norm… your business has to keep up!

The web and the latest advancements in technology have conditioned us into thinking that we can get what we want, whenever we want, wherever we may be (as long as there’s good signal).

On-Demand Builder

So of course, clients expect you to be an on-demand homebuilder, an on-demand project manager. They demand responsiveness. After all, building a home is probably one of their biggest investments ever. An immensely critical decision. Something that is circling their minds 24×7.

Communication

So how will you address it? Email takes forever. Voicemail takes too long. People are even developing aversion to phone calls. These days, people would much rather text, chat, Viber, Whatsapp, Snapchat, and so on. Digital conversations. Conversations that immediately go back and forth.

This becomes very tricky for builders because we all know that our clients don’t necessarily understand the meaning of  “business hours”. Out-of-office communication for us has long been the norm. Today, they just want it done much, much quicker.

Sharing Files

File-sharing apps and websites have become prevalent in recent years. Clients want quick access to files. And in addition, these files have to be within reach on different devices. If you’re talking about revisions or changes in the design, they want to be able to see it whether they’re on their phone, tablet, laptop or desktop.

Schedule Updates

When a client ask you about the progress of their home, you have to be able to answer confidently almost instantly (more so if you are face to face). Taking too long will hurt your credibility. Giving vague answers will plant doubts in your client’s mind. As a responsible homebuilder, you should incorporate effective project management tools in your business, so that answers are readily available to you in just a few clicks. Since your customers demand information fast, you have to prepare accodingly.

One of best tools for this is SAM - The Superintendent’s Automated Manager. SAM will veer you away from messy and complicated paper schedules, ensuring that everything is digitized, editable and quickly within reach. It will help you to keep key personnel updated on project milestones, as well as with schedule changes. You can input tasks, deliveries and meetings in SAM, and even get project reports at the push of a button.

Keep up and Stay Ahead

Technology is ever-changing and customers are getting more demanding. If you don’t evolve with them, your company will get left behind. So today put yourself in the shoes of your clients and imagine how they crave and ask for information. And always remember that these days, just “fast” is no longer acceptable.

US Homebuilders Reach Highest Confidence Levels Since 2005

Things are looking bright. The steadily improving US housing market is affecting home-builder sentiment in a positive way. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) released a statement last July 16, 2015 saying builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes hit a level of 60 on the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). For reference, a reading over 50 means that most builders generally see conditions as positive. The reading for June was upward one point to 60 as well. This bodes well for the market since the last time the HMI reached this level was way back in November 2005.

NAHB Chairman Tom Woods said, “The fact that builder confidence has returned to levels not seen since 2005 shows that housing continues to improve at a steady pace.” Woods further added that as we head into the second half of 2015, we should expect a continued recovery of the housing market.

Stronger sales and continued job growth, these are two of the reasons for the extremely positive outlook of US homebuilders. According to NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe, despite this, builders still face a number of challenges including shortages of lots and labor.

Recovery is continuous process however. “This month’s new-home sales report is consistent with other government data and rising builder confidence that indicate a continual recovery of the housing market,” added Crowe. “The uptick in existing-home sales bodes well for builders, as it shows that the sellers are able to buy a new home.”

The market is looking bright and the industry is very optimistic. The question now is, what are your plans on how to ride this wave?

Notes: The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index is strictly the product of NAHB Economics, and is not seen or influenced by any outside party prior to being released to the public. HMI tables can be found at nahb.org/hmi. More information on housing statistics is also available at housingeconomics.com.

 

The Better Construction Manager: Why You Should Stay Organized

What Makes a Good Construction Project Manager?

A single home construction entails hundreds, if not thousands, of tasks. No task is too big or too small. Everything has to be done on time – in a way that is best for both the homeowner and the contractor. And when several projects happen at the same time, chaos can break loose if you’re not prepared for the challenge.

So wait, how can you be prepared? What separates the best construction managers from the lousy ones? The answer lies in one word- Organization. Being organized.

Benefits of Being Organized

But why is it important again? Why can’t we just wing everything and let the dice fall where they may? To remind you, we’re listing down the top benefits of staying organized.

Focus – An organized person removes clutter, distractions, and hindrances. Basically, anything that isn’t helpful gets put away in its proper place. The result? Laser-focus. Once you declutter, whether it’s your work desk, email inbox, tools cabinet or your mind, it’s much easier to think. It’s easier to focus on the task at hand, as well as the bigger goal.

Double Productivity - You can even triple it! With less time and mental resources wasted, you will have more time for more important tasks. You will have more brainpower left to properly delegate your team, think of solutions to pressing issues, or even stay ahead and craft effective contingencies.

 

Positive Business Image - Who would you rather work with: a frazzled project manager or a calm one who is always on top of his or her projects? If your team sees you being all organized and in charge, they will be inspired to follow suit. Clients who see how organized you are will also correlate it with professionalism. This can roll over to positive recommendations which can lead to more projects.

Lower Stress Levels – A clean desk, an organized calendar of activities, a carefully planned week, teammates who know exactly what they need to do, and more time on your hands… all of these equate to less stress! An organized manager is not only more successful, he or she is also much happier. Hey, if there’s a way to delay the onset of more wrinkles, we’re all game for that!

Want to find out more about how you can coordinate your projects with ease? Click here to learn about SAM- The Superintendent’s Automated Manager. It’s time to be the better construction manager.