The Indiana Construction Roundtable, in partnership with the Associated General Contractors of Indiana, recently hosted a panel discussion on the importance of building a healthy relationship between construction end users and general contractors throughout any major construction project. The participants emphasized that the relationships built before, during, and after any project are among the most important aspects to the final product.
“Relationships are the connective tissue for success,” said Todd Butron, Chief of Staff and Deputy Mayor for the City of Westfield. “You want to select a contractor you have had a positive experience with or have positive recommendations from other business leaders.”
Building and maintaining these positive relationships are some of the most important aspects of the modern construction firm today and the panel agreed that there is one factor that exceeds all others. “Relationships are built at the speed of trust,” said Jeff Hagerman, Chairman of The Hagerman Group.
The panelists agreed that trust must be earned. “When you talk about building trust, we are not perfect, we have issues during projects,” said Mike McCann, President and CEO of Pepper Construction Co. of Indiana. “When you build trust is how you act or react to issues on a project. How we react to the bad situations that builds real trust.”
Almost every major construction project is going to have setbacks of some type, but finding solutions and communicating effectively with the owner is critical. “In any major project there are going to be mistakes,” said Jason Deadmond, Capitol Project and Engineering Manager for Indianapolis Power and Light. “But if you bring them to me immediately, and we have time to fix them, they are forgotten by the end of the project.”
Every panelist was emphatic that trust is not only the easiest way to build a strong working relationship, but also easiest way to lose one. “I had an experience in the past 12 months where something went wrong, and I found out about it weeks later,” said Burtron. “That creates this cloud of doubt that persists through the rest of the project.”
When issues do arise, it is essential to be forthcoming so that they can be resolved in a timely manner. “Communicate difficulties early and often, so we can do things to fix them,” offered Scott Clark, Engineering Leader for Dow AgroSciences . “Communicating difficulties later does not allow us to address issues.”
Deadmond noted that from an owner’s perspective, the GC leadership is typically not on site every day, so it is important to have at least one key person there each day as a point of contact should a problem arise. “Owners can be very difficult and demanding, when the rubber hits the road, that is when people’s true colors come out.” He said. “Having someone trained with an ability to deal with that situation is essential.”
All of the general contractors were in agreement that this is the reality of the industry and they have a mission to instill a culture within their companies that looks to put integrity, honesty, and communication right up front as cultural imperatives. “We are in the service business and we have an expectation within our company that we approach every project to build a client for life,” said Hagerman. “The expectation is that we have that mindset and that culture, and expect to be their construction solution provider for decades to come. This reality and vision starts with training that relationships are everywhere.”
The relationship between owners and GCs has been evolving in recent years. Contractors are now, more than ever before, actively participating in projects all the way from the beginning stages of conception to the completion of the project. “We want to be project leaders, not project witnesses,” said Lee Carmichael, President and CEO of Weddle Brothers Construction Company. “With integrated project delivery, everyone is now involved, shares in the success and collaborates on the entire scope of the project.”
McCann added, “We are seeing more negotiated work, and are seeing clients who value hiring a partner earlier in the process, as opposed to design-bid-build. I want to see this continue because I see it as where we can build relationships and add more value for clients. There is a high degree of leadership that is required, more responsibility, and higher risk, but with that comes a greater degree of opportunity.”
As the nation and Indiana successfully rebound from the turmoil and turbulence of the recession, opportunity continues to present itself, and the state continues to grow. In order to help build Indiana’s future, it is important that these dialogues occur, and that the conversations and relationships between all involved groups evolve together. The ICR would like to thank all of the amazing panelists and enthusiastic guests who attended our panel. The next ICR Educational Event will be held on November 15th at Indiana Landmarks, and will be focused on CM at Risk, featuring prominent GCs and University representatives.Read More
The Indiana Construction Roundtable Foundation has gotten Governor Pence to officially declare October Careers in Construction Month in the State of Indiana. Careers in Construction Month will become an annual event held each October to increase awareness of the construction trades and appreciation of construction craft professionals and the entire construction workforce. To celebrate this month we will be contacting more than 1,000 school across the state and giving them information about why careers in construction are an excellent choice for their students.
Also during the month of October we will be hosting another Construction Career Fair to help people start entry level careers in construction. We hosted our first Construction Career Fair in August and had over 100 people attend who were looking for work in the construction industry. So far, more than 35 of those who attended have started working with a company who exhibited at the event. October’s career fair will take place on October 27th from 10-1pm at the MLK Community Center at 40 West 40th Street in Indianapolis. If you or your company is interested in being an exhibitor, please email ICRF Executive Director, Ali Brown, at email@example.com.
The ICRF is also excited to announce the date of our High School Construction Career Symposium. This annual event attracts students from across the state who are interested in construction careers and allows them to learn through hands on activities about all the different career pathways. Our event will be held this year at the Ivy Tech Noblesville Campus on December 13th from 9:30-2pm. The ICRF has space for exhibitors both inside and outside, so if you would like to bring heavy equipment to show off, they have you covered. They are expecting 800-1,000 students who are in building trades classes or who have said that they would like to work in the construction industry. Exhibitor spaces are available. Please email Ali Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to reserve a space.Read More
ICR Event Series: Perspectives on Project Performance
The long-term success of the Indianapolis Metro Area depends upon its ability to successfully expand and grow into the 21st century and beyond. Ensuring that a dialogue exists between the City’s different key design/construction/real estate stakeholders enables us to build relationships and more clearly defines the path to success that leads to long-term growth. Multiple Institutional Anchors exist in the region, and as they succeed, so do the communities around them. But, what do the long-term goals look like for an institutional anchor like IU? What do these goals look like for the Indy Chamber of Commerce? What do they look like for key developers? These are important questions! Ensuring that the short-term success for a project also leads to long-term value for all involved is equally important!
This ICR Education Program is going to look into many of the Indy Metro Area’s most prominent projects. They all contain a significant degree of complexity and logistical steps. When navigating through these long-term relationships, parties in these projects are all trying to fulfill their definition and expectations of a successful project. The ICR Program will answer the following questions:
Where do these expectations and definitions of success intersect?
Where do they differ?
What leads to a successful project?
What causes projects to fail?
How can we make the process better?
How do we create win-win-win scenarios for Owners, Contractors, and Community?
Please join us for this important dialogue on the long-term success of the Indianapolis Design/Construction industry.
Current Panelists Include:
Michael Huber, President, Indy Chamber
John Lewis, Associate Vice President for Capital Planning and Facilities, Indiana University
Betsy McCaw, President, 16 Tech
Jeff Kingsbury, Managing Partner, Greenstreet LtD.
Grant Goldman, Sr. Vice President of Development and Construction, Ambrose Property Group
Brent Crum, Director of Business Development, MSKTD & Associates, will be moderating the event.
Tuesday, July 12, 2016 from 7:30 AM to 9:30 AM (EDT)
Indiana Landmarks – 1201 Central Avenue, Indianapolis, IN 46202
The Indiana Construction Roundtable is proud to host its 6th Annual Conference on October 5th at Ivy Tech in Indianapolis, Indiana. This event gathers leaders throughout Indiana from the construction industry to discuss the challenges facing the states construction industry. Those who attend are sure to leave with a renewed sense of pride in their industry and ideas for improving operations in the coming year.
Education is the primary focus of the ICR Annual Conference. This year’s conference will be focusing on a “Culture of Success.” In serving the needs of the industry’s consumers, the quality of work is always of paramount importance. Strong companies know that quality work comes from quality individuals. A company that; invests in the present and future success of employees, provides efficient and healthy incentives for performance, and facilitates a mission, set of values, and standards that workers are bought into, regardless of position, empowers itself to surpass its goals, and succeed.
Ticket and sponsorship packages are available online, contact Association Coordinator, Mike Thibideau, at email@example.com, with any questions or for more information.Read More
ICRF Executive Director, Ali Brown,
Dear ICR Members,
We are days away from finishing the first year of the Indiana Construction Roundtable Foundation. It has been an exciting year; we launched Build Your Future Indiana, met with students from across the state, had commercials air in all 92 counties, and increased the public’s knowledge of the construction industry and the great opportunities that lie therein.
As we begin out second year we are beginning a capital campaign to help us fund the current program, apply for grants for other programs focusing on construction industry workforce development, and pursue continued funding from the state. We would love to have your support. You can donate online today at our new website www.indianaconstructionfoundation.org. Please invest in the future of our industry!
Indiana Construction Roundtable Foundation
The Foundation exists to advance our industry by attracting quality young people to the construction industry, helping us meet our workforce demands. They are a relatively new organization, coming up on our one year anniversary on July 1st. They are currently running a program called Build Your Future Indiana, and have accomplished some amazing things in their first year.
The ICRF is teaming up with Building Excellence to highlight the amazing work the construction industry is doing to address the construction workforce gap. Some of the Foundation’s first year accomplishments include;
- Reaching more than 20,000 people where they are (through in school meetings, tradeshows, job fairs, and education based events).
- Commercials have been viewed 1.1MM times online alone.
- Over 1/3 of our audience has been women.
- Successful launch of a state-wide ambassador program, featuring 76 industry professionals covering a wide range of construction careers, who are actively meeting with students in their classrooms across the state.
- Statewide Television Campaign – 30,000+ commercials aired in first year.
- Have provided materials representing our industry to 1,080 schools across Indiana.
- Indiana.byf.org has had 10,000+ individual website users.
- Social Media Presence that is connecting students to careers and job shadowing experiences.
The ICRF would love to feature programs in our Building Excellence section that are working to build up the future of our industry. If you, your company, or a group you belong to is running a program and you would like it to be featured, please contact ICRF Executive Director, Ali Brown at the email or phone number below.
If you or your company is interested in helping out, please check out their website to volunteer and to donate to the Foundation’s efforts. Go to www.indianaconstructionfoundation.org. Please don’t hesitate in calling or emailing Executive Director, Ali Brown, with questions or comments; firstname.lastname@example.org or (317)805-1037.Read More
As of May 9th, Mike Thibideau is serving as the new Association Coordinator for ICR and the ICR Foundation. Mike will be splitting his time between the two organizations and working on special projects, events and initiatives.
Mike graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in Public Policy and Public Administration, and has worked in Community Engagement and Association Management for the past 5 years. He most recently was serving as Director of Chapter Services for Psi Upsilon Fraternity. He enjoys woodworking, skiing, percussion, and cooking in his free time, and lives in Carmel, IN.
Mike is very excited to join the team and commit his experience to the ICR and ICRF. Mike will be at ICR events, so be sure to stop by and introduce yourself.Read More
The ICR and ICRF offices will be moving north to 8909 Purdue Rd. Suite 130, Indianapolis, IN 46268, as of May 26th! Please direct all new correspondence to the new office address. All staff email and office phone numbers will remain the same. Contact Mike Thibideau with any questions at Mike@indianaconstruction.org.Read More
Don’t miss out on this year’s ICR Sponsorship opportunities! Below is a PDF files with application that your company can fill out. Note: Sponsorship’s come with a one year membership included in the pricing.
- We are currently in the process of rolling out a new standard for quality that closely parallels the process that the Coalition for Construction Safety utilizes for safety. The rollout for this program occurred on December 10th, and will continue throughout the year in 2016.
- In October, the ICR hosted our 5th annual conference. This half day event attracted 250 leaders from our industry, while focusing on workforce development and addressing the needs of our industry. The event featured 24 guest presenters, and provided unmatched education and networking opportunities. We will continue to improve on this event in 2016.
- In November, the ICR hosted 450 high school students, who had an interest in learning about a career in construction. The event drew a records attendance, and offered the most engaging and interactive format in our event history. Moving forward in 2016, we will be applying the model that we utilized at this event, and hosting similar events throughout the state. This year, the ICR formed the ICR Foundation which is entirely committed to the workforce shortages and to promoting our industry to students throughout the state. Beginning in January, you’ll start seeing a mulita-media marketing campaign called Build Your Future Indiana.
- This year, the ICR hosted eight interactive membership meetings which featured our owner members, and focused on facilitating dialogue between owners around the state and the A/E/C industry. The change to event format increased our attendance by 600%, and helped to significantly grow interest and membership for the ICR. Plans are already underway to keep this same type of engagement with our 2016 events, while improving on the format.
- The ICR Mentor Protégé Program has been working hard to partner disadvantaged businesses with mentors to build a stronger and more diverse workforce. This program is invaluable to those who participate. This year, we changed the format for the program’s quarterly meetings, which doubled the participation at our quarterly meetings. In 2016, we will continue to add partnerships and build on our success.
- The ICR has volunteers engaged in ICR’s activities throughout the year with our Education Committee, Membership Development Committee, Mentor Protégé Advisory Board, Workforce Committee, and Industry Outreach Committee.