Our Most Valuable Asset
Working closely with the signatories to our Collective Bargaining Agreements to assure a smooth transition from current to new accords that will carry us forward over the next few years is both satisfying and intensive.
I’ve pointed out before, that as a labor-intensive trade our union labor workforce is our most valuable asset and we have to treat it as such. Successful negotiations have to blend the needs of our workers with the profit-making capability of our contractors to survive in today’s competitive market. Survival is an ongoing process. We are being challenged constantly by the non-union sector and its advocates making it imperative that we stay on top of our game in labor management, customer relationships and the advancement of the industry. The ongoing changes met within the competitive environment we face require our adapting to meet a constant and continuous demand for improvements in both organizational development and technological innovation. “Smart” is a new word that’s come into our vocabulary recently describing construction, to include investors, builders, workers, and insurers. “Smart” can describe hardware and software as well as an attitude created to generate more efficiency, therefore increasing productivity and, ultimately, profit. I wonder how many of our contractors have looked into how Building Information Modeling (BIM) impacts us directly as design-build becomes more popular. How many of us have paid attention to drone technology? While still in their early stage, drones have already been approved by the government to be used in certain circumstances. New innovations are important to consider, but all of them carry costs and risks that have to be figured into our negotiations. Reports show the construction sector lags when it comes to innovation. That’s understandable though short sighted. Margins are tight and businesses have to operate profitably today, yet if we don’t innovate we’re in danger of undermining our collective ability to compete. The perpetual changes met within our highly competitive environment require changing of management processes that will meet a constant and continuous demand for improvements in organizational development and innovation. Hopefully, our negotiations will conclude soon, and find favor on both sides of the table. When this happens, we should be in a far more sustainable position to meet the ever-growing need for sharp, competitive bidding. – John DeLollis