The Garrison Report
Thursday, 01 December 2011 00:00

The 2011 Year in Review
by Ted Garrison

Typically, in this annual report, I highlight what has happened during the year, but during 2011, not much occurred within the construction industry. So I have decided to identify the obstacle to improvement. The construction industry has had another tough year in the United States with 2011 annual volume hovering around the $800 billion mark all year. The employment numbers reveal the pain. Residential construction employment is down to about 560,000 workers from a peak of around 1,000,000 in 2006. This is a drop of 46 percent. The good news is that the 560,000 level has been stable since about mid 2010.

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Tuesday, 01 November 2011 00:00

What Do You Need to Do to Sell More Construction Services?
by Ted Garrison

During seminars, I usually refer to the need for contractors to focus on value, instead of attempting to compete on price. When you compete on value, you are able to use your innovation, which allows you to differentiate your services from the competition’s. When the construction industry competes on price, it is competing as a commodity. It doesn’t matter that you don’t think what you offer is a commodity or, in fact, that it isn’t a commodity; if the owner is purchasing your service based on price, he thinks your product is a commodity and that is all that matters.

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Saturday, 01 October 2011 00:00

Best Value versus the Low-Bid Award
by Ted Garrison

Every client would like its projects built for the lowest capital cost along with the best life-cycle costs and the best functional performance. That’s just logical. The question is how to best achieve that result. Unfortunately, conventional wisdom about competitive bidding has created barriers that prevent the achievement of the desired results. Of course, competition produces better results when the client rewards for the desired result. For example, when the fastest runner earns the gold medal, speeds keep increasing.

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Thursday, 01 September 2011 00:00

The Construction Industry’s Downstream Supply Chain – a Missed Opportunity
by Ted Garrison

The construction industry’s failure to manage its downstream supply chain effectively is a huge missed opportunity. Correcting this situation could potentially decrease construction costs by 30 percent or more by eliminating inefficiency and waste. A challenge to correcting this situation is overcoming the misunderstanding that there is not much that can be done to improve the industry’s downstream supply chain because of the nature of the industry.

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Monday, 01 August 2011 00:00

How to Fight Through a Tough Economy
by Ted Garrison

We all know the construction industry is facing tough times. We have all heard the comment, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” That’s great but what do we need to do to get going? First I would suggest the industry stop whining about how poor the construction economy is. That does nothing except get people upset. Instead, people should focus on the fact that the United States construction market is still a $753 billion industry according to May figures. That’s plenty of work for any contractor. The question is how do you get your share at profitable rates?

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