2018 Construction Forum Highlights

The Unified Group held its 2018 Construction Forum April 25th-28th in Fort Myers, Florida where B&I Contractors hosted the group for a tour of their impressive facility.  There were over 30 attendees from 17 member companies present.

The first day we learned about how B&I Contractors implemented Lean initiatives and processes from John Castro (B&I Contractors) and then Lee Hahn (B&I Contractors) shared their fabrication process in order to prepare the group for what they would be seeing on our tour.  The group then headed over to B&I Contractors for an overview of their organization given by President, Gary Griffin and a tour of their office, sheet metal, plumbing, piping and electrical fab shops.  They are a large contractor, over $100M and it was great to see how they operate and share best practices.  The day finished off with a panel discussion so that members could ask more questions about what they had seen during the tour.  "My first time with The Unified Group and I love it.  I loved getting to talk shop with other companies and not having to worry about giving up any secrets." Randy Friend (VHV Company)

On day two, Ashley Fernandez (B&I Contractors) shared how they are tracking labor and then Brian Bingham (MSS) and Tyler Jeffrey (Air Comfort Corp.) demonstrated how they are measuring productivity and facilitated a group discussion around different ways members measure this.  Tim Smerz (Air Comfort Corp.) facilitated a session on training and mentoring and we shared how members are defining their future leaders and bringing them up through the ranks via different types of in-house and external training.  The day ended with a panel talking about contract management and how they process, execute, handle killer clauses/waive of liens and how documents are managed and inflation communicated to the field.  "This group can help educate, grow and strengthen the industry through a continued use of collaboration and shared best practices for improvement." Dave Schoendaller (Glassman Corp.)

On day three, we discussed financial metrics to track in construction and had small breakout groups to share on ideas on how and what members are tracking.  Bobby Grimes (A&G Piping) led a Safety Best Practices segment and shared how A&G Piping is working with OSHCON to improve their safety program.  Jon Murphy (VHV Company) discussed how they are working with vendors to create savings and rebates to have a successful purchasing program that has saved them $181,526 in 2017.  Best ideas on process and technology were shared throughout the session. "The best part of the meeting was the sharing of ideas and best practices from company to company and seeing ways to improve or change." David Cupp (Blauch Brothers)

Thank you to B&I Contractors for hosting the group and for an amazing tour of a top-notch organization and to our task force for all of the work they put into planning the session; Jason Grabowski (B&I Contractors), Ashley Fernandez (B&I Contractors), Bobby Grimes (A&G Piping), Quinton Selin (MSS) and Jon Murphy (VHV Company)