Is your business ready for change? That’s the question Troy Johnson, president of Harmon Inc., asked attendees at the Building Envelope Contractors (BEC) Conference in Nashville. The event, which runs through March 6, is being held at the Omni Nashville Hotel. It is organized by the National Glass Association.

Is your business ready for change? That’s the question Troy Johnson, president of Harmon Inc., asked Building Envelope Contractors (BEC) Conference attendees.

“My goal with my session was to start a conversation about the challenges the construction industry has,” he said. His discussion covered the changing landscape of construction and manufacturing following the pandemic and its aftermath.

“I think construction is the greatest industry of all time,” he said. “… But as great as our industry is, we have some things to think about. We have regressed.”

Inefficiency is weighing down the construction industry, especially when connecting with stakeholders. Johnson explained that the causes are varied, including the lack of investment in technology transformation, reliance on people, lower barriers to entry, increasing competition, and unaligned incentives, among others.

Supply chain challenges, inflation, financing, geopolitics, demographics, climate change, among others, are stressors on the industry.

“Stress is forcing change,” said Johnson.

According to a 2020 McKinsey & Company report, the future dynamics in the construction include a product-based approach, changes in how the value chain operates, consolidation, investment in technology, human resources internationalization and sustainability.

“These changes are going to allow for a lot more productivity,” said Johnson.

Johnson added that, in the future, new entrants will become the disruptors and agile companies will win. However, people will continue to matter. New technologies will amplify the value of talent.

“It’s going to help us fill the scarcity gap,” said Johnson.

Agility is the key for glass companies in preparing for the future. Companies also need to have organizational health, a strong operating system and a focused strategy. Johnson said this means defining roles within the company, cultivating a deep understanding of the industry, pivoting to new technologies and leveraging current data.

How to Manage Delays to Maximize Profits and Avoid Exposure

Vic McConnell of Smith Cashion and Orr discussed how glazing firms can protect themselves in the event of project delays. In a session entitled “How to Manage Delays to Maximize Profits and Avoid Exposure,” McConnell said the first thing firms need to do is read the contract and study the clauses. Firms also need to speak up when there’s confusion. “I can’t stress enough how important communication is,” said McConnell.

Firms need to provide regular scheduling updates. McConnell explained that if there are any delays or obstacles, such as a third-party ones, that impact work, firms need to detail those delays to protect themselves. Several forms of delays exist, including critical, excusable and non-compensable ones. There are also non-critical, non-excusable and compensable delays.

McConnell added that there are also concurrent delays, which occur on project sites when two or more separate delays occur during the same period on separate critical paths. An example includes a requested design change, which causes a delay, but a contractor delays the change by repairing a defective product.

McConnell said that legally, courts recognize the value of CPM scheduling for proving and rebutting delay claims. He explained that documentation, such as photographs, timesheets, accounting and daily reports, is vital. The reports need to include manpower, equipment, major work activities, delays and weather, among others.

Strategies to ensure compensation for glazing firms experiencing delays include prompt written notices of events and the submittal of a formal claim. McConnell said if the contractor or owner denies the claim, reserve your rights, proceed under protest and invoke dispute resolution.

Overall, the key is to document everything.

The BEC Conference continues through March 5. Stay tuned to and follow USGlass Magazine on social media for more news and updates.




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