Blogs

A True Austinite: In Memorium of Floyd “Brownie” Higgs

As each of us goes through our careers, we encounter individuals who, by the sheer force of their spirit, make our profession and our work lives better. If we’re lucky and end up in the right places, we may encounter more than one or two of these special individuals.

How Early, Clear Communication of Strategy Streamlines Projects

Sometimes, things seem to be more complicated than they really should be. Right? Whether it is home, work, church groups, etc., things just seem to get more complicated than necessary. 

Why is that?

Three Common Delays During the Site Certification Process

From Austin Consulting

Site certification is becoming an increasingly popular topic of interest for local and regional economic development organizations (EDO’s) as it enables communities to market sites within their territories as being “shovel-ready”, “pad-ready” or “certified”. In order to obtain one of these designations, communities typically employ a third party site selection consulting firm and undergo an extensive due diligence process to ensure that risk is minimized for prospective clients. Site selectors conducting the due diligence work typically promote that a site can be certified within a 90-day timeframe, which appears doable for local EDO’s. This timeframe does not, however, include setbacks that can occur during this process, ultimately delaying that timeframe. Up-front planning and proactive management allow for an efficient certification process, enabling EDO’s to market their sites to prospective clients more quickly.

Continuous Improvement: What We Can Learn From Project Personalities

It is interesting how each project develops its own personality.

Some projects have a very positive personality. Communications are great. The project chemistry is great. Everyone on the project seems to click. Other projects are sleepers. They just seem to get done without anyone who is not involved noticing. Then, other projects have more challenges to them. They demand the attention and focus of management and other resources beyond the normal project team.

The Benefits of Unplugging

Quitting something “cold turkey” is very difficult to do, unless the thing you are quitting is no longer available. There are 168 hours in a week. If we get an average of 7 hours of sleep per night, that leaves 119 waking hours. So, if we are working 40 hours per week, it is one-third of our waking hours.

A Lean Approach: How Planning and Understanding Provide Customer Value

I attended a seminar this past week on Lean strategies. The speaker pointed out that while Lean is often thought of as a manufacturing strategy, it is applicable to any series of tasks that make up a process. So any such process, whether it is the manufacturing process, the process for running a loan application through a financial institution, or the process for designing and building a building, is a candidate for applying Lean principles.

One-Time Impact Fees: The Multiplier Effect, Part 2

By: Jonathan Gemmen, Senior Location Consultant with Austin Consulting

Last month, we discussed the concept of impact fees and the steps that expanding firms can take to avoid them. This month, we will focus on the significant cost implications that water and wastewater (sanitary sewer) impact fees can have on new industrial operations, especially those using a significant amount of water and discharging a significant amount of wastewater.

There’s No Place Like Home: Creating a Desirable Business Culture

Two unrelated news stories this week have me thinking about what they have in common.

These stories both have to do with Cleveland and show how this town is on the upswing. The Republican National Convention will be held here in 2016, and LeBron James is coming back to Cleveland. In both cases, there is an underlying statement that this area is growing and has a lot to offer. It is, simply said, a desirable place.

How Upfront Project Planning and a Design-Build Approach Benefits the Customer

The most recent issue of Engineering News Record (ENR) featured two articles that referenced improvements being introduced into the planning of projects. The first article noted changes in the AIA family of contracts, which include terms and conditions that are “designed to protect the Owner’s criteria for a project; [and] enhance the design in design-build, including a requirement for preliminary design by the design builder…”

It's All About the Fundamentals

 

Recently, an experienced sales professional told me he was focusing on making connections and he wasn’t going to go out on any “milk runs” until he had a live prospect. Email and networking on the phone was his strategy for connecting and prequalifying leads.

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