Category: ‘Uncategorized’

Construction Software Selection and Internal Input and Feedback

November 8, 2017 Posted by kyu7

Any company that is beginning the process of selecting and implementing new construction software hopefully understands the need to have adequate leadership throughout the process. An individual or team must be selected to lead the process of evaluating, selecting, implementing, customizing, and training end users to use the new software. These people need to have a large amount of knowledge about how the company operates as a whole, including intimate knowledge of all processes, as well as a good understanding of construction management software functionality. As such, I have compiled the following lists of individuals that should be included in this team, or should at the very least be consulted with if they cannot dedicate the proper time to the entire process. Additionally, I have listed several factors that should be a part of any software evaluation.

Input and Software Selection Team Members that are Good to Have

While larger companies will have the advantage of being able to assign one individual to oversee the entire software selection process, all companies will need to get input from multiple areas of the company. The following segments of the entire organization should be included, to some extent, in the new software identification and evaluation team. Some of these members will need to be permanent members of the team while others can be consulted on an “as needed” basis. To what extent members are “as needed” or permanent will very depending on the company.

– End-users

– Management (all levels in large companies)

– Accounting (they need to provide input on how the new software will impact their operations)

– Payroll – Regardless of if your company has an internal payroll department or uses an external payroll service, they will need to provide valuable input in terms of selecting new construction accounting software.

– IT (Information Technology) – Your IT department will play an integral role in installing the new software while allowing the company to not miss a beat. Thus, they will need to know what is required from them for any potential software solution to identify areas where current hardware may not mesh with the new software.

– Other interfacing departments

– Sub-contractors

– Suppliers

– Vendors (once selected)

– Other members that are deemed necessary, which will vary depending on each unique company

Factors that All Companies Need to Consider and Evaluate

While smaller companies will likely not benefit from having a full team dedicated to selecting new software, there are still things that all companies much consider when evaluating new construction software.

At a minimum, even smaller construction companies need to give their best effort to performing the necessary in-depth research into the various facets of construction software, including:

– The number of varieties of each product and what makes each version unique

– The number of available vendors

– Product history – look for testimonials from trusted sources or check construction software reviews

– Vendor history – testimonials

– Product functionality

– Product protocols

– The necessary steps require to integrate the new system with current processes

– Product interface – this will come down to personal preferences more than anything, but is important that you choose software that is the most user friendly for your set of users. Again, this will vary based on your unique company.

How Can Construction Software Help Me?

November 8, 2017 Posted by kyu7

Construction software is specifically designed to deal with the special needs of a construction project. There are several dynamics to consider when undertaking any build. Construction software can be used on something as simple as a project that remodels a kitchen to something as complex as building a skyscraper. Materials, labor, expenses, layouts, financing, etc. are all considerations and are necessary to keeping a construction project on time and on budget. So, what are some of the things to look for in a good construction software program?

Many of the features included in most construction software programs relate to the financial aspect of a build. Contractors can keep a close eye on the budget and the progression of the construction. They can also keep an eye on employees, payroll, account adjustments, and essentially map where the money comes from and where it goes to. Productivity, costs, materials, labor, etc. can all be tracked with this type of software. Not only will a good construction software program allow for the viewing of the entire picture, but it will be able to let the user focus in on the individual pixels (so to speak). Some programs have analytics built into them that can help contractors give accurate estimates to clients, provide data points that can be tracked and trends that can be used to get better deals on labor and materials.

Construction software, however, is only as good as the people who use it. Employees need to be trained to input appropriate data into the software so that information is reported to the overseers of a project correctly. In this way, they can make the necessary decisions about the build to make things more efficient. As an example, an employee may take 10 2x4x8 boards out of inventory and inputs that into the database. The person looking at that data knows how many boards are left in stock and can also surmise that the employee who took the boards should be close to finishing that part of the project.

Construction software can be as expensive or inexpensive as needed for the project involved. There are companies out there whose sole purpose is to analyze a projects need and design construction software around what is needed. For large companies, this may be a calculated expense that saves money in the long run. However, for a small construction project, a simpler over-the-counter program may be all that is needed.

No matter how you look at it, the unique information that is involved with a construction project needs to be recorded, tracked and analyzed. Any good contractor should know that. Inventory needs to be monitored, tracked, the amount of materials purchased needs to be estimated, materials may need to be reordered, etc. If there are extensive problems with inventory, there may be a potential theft problem that construction software can alert the user. Budgets also need to be met and tools, materials, rentals and any other expenses a construction project has can be recorded specifically for budgetary purposes. Finally, the employees need to be paid. Construction software can monitor time cards and payroll as well as schedules and deadlines for all concerned.

Construction Software is For the Little Guys Too

November 8, 2017 Posted by kyu7

Construction software is not just for the construction giants! Construction software is for the little guys too! The local lawn service provider who hires summer help, and might have 20-30 customers to provide services for; or the guy who plows out residents and local businesses during winter; or the small home-improvement company with a half-dozen employees; and other similar operations, can all benefit from construction software functionality.

It is impossible to say whether or not the price of purchasing and implementing a construction software program in an operation such as those described above would be worth it in all cases since such an evaluation would require complete evaluation of the particular business model and business processes and procedures. As such, let’s just say that “automation is key” wherever it can be easily and effectively applied within an existing business model.

If the business model must be totally revamped in order to fit it to available construction software functionality (out of the box), it might not be the right time to implement. Instead, the first thing to do is to restructure the business model to incorporate the industry’s known best-practices. That way, the construction business will more likely line up with construction software.

The little guys usually manage quite well in their own ways. Perhaps they use an Excel spreadsheet, or an Access database, or maybe a small-business management software package. There are inexpensive, quite user-friendly, and even quite functional small-business software packages available; and some include specific construction-oriented functionality.

The little guys probably don’t need to think about the high-tech RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tagging of their materials or supplies; nor do they need to be too concerned about real-time communications functionality of construction software. No, the little guys manage well enough to satisfy their small business needs with some of the small business construction software available today.

The most important question a small construction company needs to answer before running out and buying a construction software package is “Will a construction software package enhance and improve my business enough to warrant the cost of purchase and implementation?” That might sound like a “no-brainer” question, but it encourages the company to look closely at current affairs; current processes, procedures, record keeping, communications, and more. And anytime business managers and owners take the time to do that is usually time well spent.

Plan Effectively, and Get Things Done More Quickly With Construction Software

November 8, 2017 Posted by kyu7

Planning is an integral part of our lives, may it be for our business or for everyday activities. Planning makes things a lot easier to handle and more organized to sift through. With the way current technology is growing in leaps and bound nowadays, it is not a surprise anymore that technology allotted something for planning and effective management. We would particularly explore one aspect of business and activity where effective planning is crucial, the construction aspect.

Construction involves the workmanship and material that result to something being established or put up. It can also refer to the industry of creating and putting to life the structures put on paper, building. Construction has always been a part of human nature, for it is when we build something that we are able to create something of use to us. In our modern times, construction is usually associated with industrialization and the urban life. When we think of construction, we think of big buildings and large structures. Indeed, because construction implies a very sophisticated and larger aspect of building nowadays, planning and management may not be carried out effectively all the time. With what one has to think about in terms of size of structure and aspects of structure, which is quite understandable. This is where Construction software comes in handy.

What is Construction software?
The Construction software is a software program that mainly helps you in simplifying construction aspects in order for you to plan effectively and decide quickly. Construction software usually involves projection and calculated estimates that would help point you in the logical direction with regards to areas of your construction business. A lot of construction businesses cater to this kind of software program nowadays because it helps manage a construction project smoothly, thereby ensuring raised profits.

Why would I want a construction software program?

Easy planning and action-taking.
A good construction software program offers you effective estimates and projections in the areas of your construction. Thus, opportunities for sale are put to the greatest advantage, because planning becomes a lot easier, also resulting to quick action-taking.

The impressing factor.
One can always manage to impress potential clients by giving them accurate estimates of construction projects. A construction software program helps you give accurate estimates which you can then present to your potential customers. And in business, impressing customers usually mean great sales opportunities.

Scheduling and budgeting need not be tedious.
Scheduling for construction activities can usually take a lot of time when you do it manually, for it is important to consider a lot of factors in the construction business when you try to schedule. The construction management software helps you schedule all your construction activities effectively to ensure that you get things done time and by schedule. Budgeting is also a very important part of the construction business, for you have to make sure that everything is on budget to maintain credibility and reputation. The software program can help you project actions that you need to adhere to in order to keep within the budget constraints.

What Is A MAI Appraisal?

April 15, 2017 Posted by kyu7

 

MAI evaluations are among the most looked for after examinations in the business land world. MAI remains for Member of the Appraisal Institute, an exchange association which screens appraisers and holds them to a higher standard than appraisers who are only authorized and don’t have a place with such an association. There are other evaluation exchange associations dynamic in the realm of land. Notwithstanding, MAI is the best known, and in this way the most well known.

In fact, there is no such thing as a “MAI evaluation.” There are just examinations performed by an appraiser who has finished the MAI Appraisal Institutes class offerings, and holds this assignment. Be that as it may, it’s frequently considerably less demanding to allude to the evaluation itself as being confirmed than to hold to details.

An appraiser who has earned the MAI assignment is fit the bill to and experienced in the execution of both private and business properties. Numerous different appraisers are met all requirements for private property. At a certain point, banks were probably going to require that an examination be finished by a MAI guaranteed appraiser, or an individual from another exchange association. Nonetheless, this has been unlawful since 1989, as there is not government direction of these associations. Still, guaranteed evaluations can expand the odds of a great loaning circumstance, since the moneylender will feel more good. A MAI ensured evaluation offers loan specialists a dependability that permits them to be sure about their speculation.

A business examination by a MAI affirmed appraiser can incorporate numerous things. By and large, it will give an outline of the group, neighborhood, and general zone in which the property is arranged, and in addition a point by point portrayal of the site and all structures it contains. Zoning investigation, an examination of the most astounding and best use for the property, and an inside and out exchange of the property’s estimation from a few diverse methodologies will likewise be incorporated. The appraiser may likewise make a proposal of which valuation is most suitable as he would like to think.

Appraisers have a tendency to be traditionalist in their appraisals. In any case, this does not imply that one will get a low evaluation. A MAI guaranteed examination firm expect obligation if the evaluation is too high, and the property can’t be sold at the cost they suggest. The firm additionally accept risk if the cost is too low and the property is sold for too minimal expenditure. Along these lines, appraisers have a personal stake in ensuring that their appraisals are in the center range. Which deals an appraiser places the most accentuation on will depend in the sort of market. In a rising business sector, accentuation will be set on higher late deals, and in a falling business sector, that accentuation will go to lower late deals. A decent appraiser is keen on giving customers the most exact gauge conceivable.

Are Homeschool Curriculum Packages Worth Using?

April 11, 2017 Posted by kyu7

Have you ever imagined what it was like to homeschool in the early 1980s? Most families were forced to either make their own homeschool curriculum or choose from a handful of available Christian homeschool curriculum packages. Complete with workbooks for multiple subject areas and accompanying teacher’s guides, quizzes, and tests, homeschool curriculum packages helped parents feel confident in providing a comprehensive, rock-solid education. What’s more, the well-organized and structured lesson plan format made homeschooling more acceptable to questioning school officials and skeptical family members.

Times have changed, however, and today’s families enjoy society’s more accepted view on homeschooling, as well as hundreds, if not thousands, of homeschool curriculum options. From freebies on the Internet to curriculum companies offering preschool or single-course curriculum in math, reading, or science, homeschooling families have an abundance of resources to create a customized homeschool curriculum that perfectly matches their child’s learning style. With so much at their disposal, is there still a need for homeschoolers to continue using the classic homeschool curriculum package? You bet! Here are some reasons why:

Although time and technology have changed homeschooling, parents still experience the same self-doubts and insecurities when choosing homeschool curriculum for the first time. Unsure of their abilities to teach academics and how to start, first-time homeschooling parents can alleviate fears and find success using time-tested homeschool curriculum packages. Like the outline of a research paper, step-by-step teaching directions and easy-to-follow curriculum guides provide the foundation on which to build one’s teaching confidence. Eventually, homeschooling parents learn how their child learns best and feel secure to deviate from lesson plans and add creative supplemental resources to enrich their homeschooling day.

The expense of homeschool curriculum packages may seem like a detriment when choosing homeschool curriculum. However, families with more than one child should keep in mind that non-consumable curriculum, such as computer-based, CD-ROM curriculum, can actually save a family more money over the course of several years. In addition, most homeschool curriculum packages usually cost less than individually purchasing the core subjects of math, science, language arts, history and geography, and Bible. Plus, many top-name publishers make it easy to customize packaged curriculum. Receiving the same discounted pricing, parents can mix and match when a child needs a higher or lower grade level in a particular subject area.

Since the department of education in most states recognizes homeschool curriculum packages offered by major publishing companies, homeschooling parents can avoid the hassle of submitting scope and sequences or lesson plans, and they can meet other curriculum requirements for state homeschooling laws.

Children transitioning from a public or private school to a homeschooling environment will find it easier to adjust using homeschool curriculum packages. Replicating the traditional school model, the curriculum provides a more familiar learning approach.

Teaching with all-in-one homeschool curriculum packages also eliminates the concern homeschooling parents have in addressing learning gaps. Consistently using one curriculum ensures children are learning information that builds on itself in each subject area. Plus, parents find that many subjects within homeschool curriculum packages complement each other to provide a complete, comprehensive education.

Five Things To Look For In An Online Christian Curriculum

March 11, 2017 Posted by kyu7

Thinking about using an online Christian curriculum program to home educate your child? For many parents, this educational option provides a unique opportunity for their child to receive an affordable, quality Christian education. However, whether parents are supplementing a few courses along with other homeschool curriculum or enrolling their child in an entire distance learning program, there are some questions to answer before choosing an online Christian curriculum program. To determine which is best for your child, consider these five important questions:

Is the online curriculum truly Bible-based?
Many distance learning programs offer online curriculum that does not present Christianity favorably or even relate their subject matter to God. Since having a child taught through the lens of a Christian worldview is an important consideration, Christian parents would be wise to research online homeschool curriculum reviews before purchasing curriculum. Opinions and advice from other homeschooling families will provide helpful information in choosing the right online distance learning program for your family.

What curriculum formats are offered in the online program?
There are several curriculum options offered in online homeschool programs, such as:
• Web-based – Where all materials are available online and completed over the Internet.
• Computer-based – Where curriculum includes ebooks, satellite broadcasts, or CD-ROM materials sent to your home.
• Traditional – Where some materials are online, but most of the classes use conventional, print-based workbooks.

Is the online curriculum student led or teacher directed?
• Student-led curriculum allows a child to work independently at his own pace. The child usually interacts only with the material and receives computerized feedback that corrects and grades his work.
• Teacher-directed curriculum provides a child with access to a teacher and the material. Personal, one-on-one interaction is available with tutors. In addition, some online school programs provide forums or discussion boards to interact with other students. The child normally works independently and has flexible deadlines for completing assigned lessons.

What lesson assignments and evaluations are offered?
When determining what online Christian curriculum to use, parents should think about what types of assignments they want their child to do for each subject. Does the curriculum offer fun-filled projects, multimedia tutorials, and other online learning tools? Plus, what criteria is used to determine if a child has learned the subject matter correctly. Will tests and quizzes be mostly multiple choice and true or false questions, or does the online curriculum also offer short answer and essay writing tests?

Is the online Christian curriculum program accredited?
Although accreditation usually doesn’t play a major role in elementary level grades, some families do want their older children to receive a degree from an accredited institution. While the curriculum itself is not accredited, an accredited distance learning institution is able to provide an official high school diploma that does offer more recognition of a child’s academic achievement to colleges. However, many of today’s universities are much more favorable to home education and accept a child for entrance based on a homeschool transcript and ACT or SAT test scores.

Finding an online Christian curriculum program doesn’t have to be difficult. Simply use these five questions to help narrow down your options, and you’ll be sure to find the online distance learning program that fits your family’s home education needs perfectly.

A – Z Theme-based Curriculum For Early Childhood

February 11, 2017 Posted by kyu7

When it comes to teaching preschoolers, theme-based units are not only fun, they’re also great for integrating learning across several subject areas. Language, literature, math, science, history, geography, music, art, and Bible topics are easily included within a topical unit study which enhances early childhood education in a child’s area of interest.

Using these three steps and the helpful A-Z list of ideas below will help you create an effective elementary thematic unit program for your child.

1 – Identify Your Theme
Integrated learning units usually center around a specific theme or topic, such as safety, belonging, animals, or food. Very often, a piece of children’s literature or a particular Bible passage will serve as the core of a unit. Questions you should ask yourself when planning your theme include

–What do I want my child to learn as a result of participating in this unit?
–Is my child naturally curious about this topic?
–Does my child have some previous background knowledge about this theme?

2 – Create Theme-related Activities
Thinking of ideas for specific activities within the theme requires brainstorming. If you’re having trouble coming up with ideas, brainstorm together with a friend and consider these questions:

–What learning activities or play fit naturally into this unit?
–Are the learning activities developmentally appropriate, not too hard or too easy?
–Are the activities purposeful and worthwhile? (Just because an activity is cute or crafty doesn’t mean it’s a good reason to include it in your preschool lessons.)

3 – Implement the Theme
You’re now ready to implement the creative unit study you’ve designed for your preschooler’s early childhood education. To make learning more fun, ask yourself the following:

–What’s an intriguing way to introduce the unit?
–What books, manipulatives, curriculum, and other learning resources do I need?
–How will I end our theme-based unit study, evaluate its success, and assess my child’s development according to its standards?

Suggested theme topics for your preschooler’s early childhood education curriculum:

Alphabet
Ants
Apples

Body Parts
Birds
Butterflies

Colors
Circus
Cowboys

Dinosaurs
Ducks
Desert

Easter
Elephants
Eggs

Fire Safety
Friendships
Flowers

Gardening
Germs
Grocery Store