Harmon Terminates 24 Hour On-Call Service
Business; Dismantles Program
Bloomington, Minn.-based contract glazier Harmon Inc., part of Apogee
Enterprises, announced it has sold off the individual locations of its
24-hour on-call service businesses and will no longer focus on this area.
According to the company announcement, the 24-hour-on-call service business
for commercial buildings did not complement the company’s strengths and
did not contribute to the future strategic growth goals.
Since the beginning of 2011, Harmon has been evaluating
the success of the on-call services.
“It was just too distracting,” says Thyra Nelson, marketing
manager for Harmon. “We are focused on projects and there was a lot of
time and resources that went into the 24-hour piece that wasn’t necessarily
benefiting any of our key customers. It was something we had always done,
so we just kept doing it.”
Nelson explains that the service business was not sold to
one individual company, but instead the program was dismantled.
“We sold the business office-by-office because no one is
a 24-hour nationwide commercial glass service company,” says Nelson. “So
in some offices there was a key player in the market that was interested
but [in other] offices there wasn’t. So we sold them office-by-office.
We sold where we could to companies that were interested and some offices
we just discontinued depending on the volume.”
Harmon will continue operations in 12 locations throughout
the United States focusing on the new construction and renovation markets.
According to the announcement, the transition from the on-call service
market will not impact the company’s current project commitments and the
reallocation of resources will increase its capacity for the core project
BIM More Popular with Contractors than Architects
More contractors than architects are using BIM: 74 percent compared
to 70 percent, according to the surprising results of a recent McGraw
Hill Construction study. On average, 40 percent of those using BIM have
made a commitment to complete 60 percent of their work through the modeling
system. This percentage rose 44 percent since 2009. The report also noted
49 percent of BIM users have five or more years of experience working
with the program.
ABI Gains Positive Ground, First Time in Five Months
The Architecture Billings Index (ABI) shows positive growth for the first
time since March, according to the latest report from the American Institute
of Architects. The ABI inched nearly three points up. August held an ABI
score of 50.2, in comparison to July’s score of 48.7.
The ABI reflects the approximate nine to twelve month lag
time between architecture billings and construction spending.
Construction Jobs Increase for September; Unemployment
A total of 5,000 construction jobs were added nationwide in September
resulting in 5.523 million employed in this market for the month, an improvement
from the 5.518 million employed in August, according to data released
by the Associated General Contractors of America. Despite September’s
employment gain, the month recorded an unemployment rate of 11.9 percent
and was 5,000 lower than in September 2011. Construction employers have
hired 2.2 million fewer people than they did six years ago.
Both the residential and non-residential construction sectors
saw an increase in new hires during September. Residential building contractors
added 1,100 jobs in September and have gained 3,200 for the year, while
non-residential building contractors also added 1,100 jobs in September,
but lost 12,400 during the past 12 months.
Dodge Momentum Index Falls in September
The Dodge Momentum Index was 94.7 for the month of September, a 0.8-percent
drop from 95.4 in August, according to McGraw-Hill Construction. Although
the longer term trend shows growth, the index is experiencing a short-term
pause due to the presidential election, year-end expiration of the Bush
tax cuts and automatic spending cuts, according to the report. The commercial
segment was affected more, dropping 5.4 percent in September rather than
the institutional building sector which rose by 4.0 percent.
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