Problem Solved?

Laura M. Porinchak / July 2018

Before I start talking about all the wonderful things in this issue of AWCI’s Construction Dimensions, I have a question for you: Do you miss Problem Solved? In case you’ve forgotten, Problem Solved was once the last page of this magazine. It always posed a quick work-related question to our readers; sometime it was technical (best way to achieve a Level 5?), other times it was personal (hire your brother-in-law?).
We dropped that department about a year ago to make room for the extra special articles that focused on AWCI’s centennial, and we haven’t brought it back yet. Part of the reason for that is because no one has told me they miss it! I usually hear from readers when they are upset about something we have published. (Thankfully, that hasn’t happened in a long, long time.) On the flipside, if a regular piece was among your favorites, and suddenly it’s gone, do you not get upset about something we have not published, or is it “out of sight, out of mind”? Do you have other ideas for departments that engage readers? Let me hear from you! You’ll find me on LinkedIn and on Facebook, and you can also send me an email:
OK. Now let’s take a look at our July issue. We start with a look at productivity on the job site during a time when you’re probably short-handed and have looming deadlines. The article beginning on page 34 contains interviews with AWCI member contractors from around the country. We asked about the factors that affect productivity—both positively and negatively, how training figures into the productivity equation, how productivity is measured, what works and many more questions that may help you identify and solve productivity problems your company may be facing. (A question or two about productivity might be good for a resuscitated “Probem Solved,” assuming you want to bring it back. If you have questions in mind, send them my way!)
We know there are a lot of issues that may keep you awake at night, and AWCI’s new president, Jerry Smith, knows about those nights. That’s why he’s making it his goal as president—a position he occupies as of July 1, 2018—to talk with as many people as he can to tackle issues like the labor shortage and training, OSHA, self-performing GCs and other concerns that might have you counting sheep at the end of the day. The article that starts on page 42 outlines Jerry’s plans for his year as AWCI’s president and also provides some background on how he got to where he is today.
The next article, which begins on page 48, might sound a bit scary to you, but stay with me. Steve Saucerman, who has been writing for us for several years (decades?), has quite the funny bone, so don’t be afraid of his idea to open your books to your client in an effort to build trust and earn a lot of business. Yes, he’s talking about your accounting books; as he says, “information that would historically stay under wraps.” He has tried it, and he says it works—if the right parties are involved. In this article, he offers tips for moving forward as well as provides cautionary advice. Give it a read.