Monthly Archives: August 2012
Posted on August 17, 2012 by FMI CorporationDoing What You Promised, On Time By Stephen Boughton So many people are urging contractors to refrain from defaulting to the tag line “on time, on schedule and on budget,” that talking about it has almost become a cliché in its own right. Make no mistake, the advice still stands. The real question is, “How does a construction company demonstrate a real and higher-order understanding of, and commitment to, a client’s needs, not just lip service?” The answer lies in proactively managing customer service — the third and final “piece” of the business development jigsaw (alongside marketing and sales), and the one which is so often taken for granted. Executing and delivering a project is where contractors feel at home. After all, this is where the rubber hits the road — where we get a chance to do what we do best, build something. It is the other two “pieces” of the jigsaw that are seemingly so foreign and pose the greatest challenge to most companies — handling the “black art” of marketing and efficiently managing our resources to nurture leads, develop selling propositions and close deals. (i.e., sales.) The reality is all too often very different. While customer service is the easiest and most tangible component to grasp mentally, only very skilled contractors do a great job of truly bringing the concept to life within their organizations. Faced with today’s pressure on margins, it is easy for employees to focus on production, not on customer service.
Posted on August 3, 2012 by FMI CorporationFinancing Energy Efficiency Projects By Tim Huckaby Buildings use more than 70% of the electricity generated and more than 40% of the natural gas used in the U.S. The existing U.S. building stock is extremely energy inefficient. The DOE’s Energy Information Agency estimates that 30% of energy used in commercial buildings is wasted. In a 2009 report, McKinsey & Company estimated that energy savings worth $1.2 trillion are available if the full amount of economically viable and commercially available energy efficiency projects is implemented in the U.S. through 2020. Achieving these savings would require an upfront investment of $520 billion. Of course, not all economically viable and commercially available energy efficiency projects will be built, and it will take a number of years to approach the deep market penetration referenced in the McKinsey study. At the same time, energy efficiency technologies and applications are advancing at a rapid pace, resulting in an ever-growing market. As is often said in the industry, energy efficiency is the “low hanging fruit that continues to regrow.”