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Executive Corner: Steve Wright, 2012-13 ARTBA Chairman

  
  
  

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In Executive Corner, we talk with senior officials in transportation and construction to get their insight on the past, present, and future of their industries.

Steve Wright is the president of Wright Brothers Construction Co., Inc., based in Charleston, Tenn. He served as 2012-2013 chairman of ARTBA, and he recently spoke with HCSS about his term and what he sees for the future of the industry. 

What’s been the biggest thing you’ve learned about the industry in your term as chairman?

That the problems are the same all across the country. You know, by and large, no matter which state you go to, the challenges that are faced by the industry are pretty much universal.

What kind of challenges do you think the industry’s facing right now?

It’s regulatory. The regulatory challenges, funding challenges, planning and design challenges; where to put it, what to build, what’s appropriate, how to fund it. And then fighting the battle — battle’s probably not the right word — but trying to reach equilibrium with all the regulatory agents. There are so many that reach into your business every day that it takes an awful lot of money off the top just to do things that on the face you may not understand why it’s necessary.

Where do you think ARTBA has made the biggest inroads during your time as chair, and how did that happen?

Well, they work on all fronts. It’s a neverending battle to fight for funding. So, yearly appropriations, and the need for the transportation bill, is one of those things. If you’re not in front of the legislators, you can either be on the agenda or on the menu, and we prefer to be on the agenda.

We had this great YEDP program, the Young Executive Development Program, that had a record class this year. And we’ve filed (approximately) 20 regulatory filings with various agencies over the last 12 months that have hopefully been impactful, and been involved in a couple of court cases to fight the regulatory battles.

Could you tell us more about the YEDP?

The YEDP is a week-long, concentrated class that’s designed for the up-and-coming leaders in your company to expose them to the transportation system, how it’s funded, how the laws are made, and to see a little bit about the inner workings of the federal side of the program: how it’s managed, funded, and regulated.

What do you think was the biggest surprise of your time as chairman?

It’s surprising how many people you know. I wouldn’t have thought I knew anybody in Wisconsin, being from Tennessee, but you get there and you know people. Just what a small community the contracting community really is. The transportation industry is a small community: no matter where you go you know people and are kind of amazed by that.

Do you think your time as ARTBA chairman has had any additional impact on Tennessee or your business?

I would like to think it has, but I couldn’t show you how. I don’t know how it would have, no more than it impacted any other state. We worked hard for funding for everybody.

Your daughter’s also with your company. Do you see her being involved in a role like yours with ARTBA in the future?

That’s kind of up to her. If she attends and participates, I’m sure it’s possible.

What’s one thing you’d want to tell the next chairman?

Good luck, I guess. (Laughs.) I know Doug (Black) very well, he’s a great guy. He understands the programs and the needs and will do a great job. The staff is very, very good, and they take care of most everything. All you gotta do as chairman is to show up and smile and be the face.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Mobile Policies in Construction

  
  
  

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HCSS chief operating officer Steve McGough penned a column for a special Technology section of the July 15/22 issue of ENR discussing a major tech trend that’s changing job sites: “bring your own device,” or BYOD. (Sometimes called “select your own device,” or SYOD.) As sites and offices become more integrated with technology, it’s important that job-related software work across a variety of devices and platforms. Here are some more highlights from the piece:

Smart technology for the construction business isn’t a one-device-fits-all environment. As BYOD becomes more common, it’s imperative that construction software work equally well on a laptop, a tablet, or a smartphone. To that end, HCSS products work across devices.

Cloud service — where computer programs and data storage are outsourced to another company’s servers, saving you the expense of buying and managing them — is becoming an indispensable part of the job. It lets companies save time and money, and it also allows for an extra level of data backup and protection. That’s why HCSS Cloud Apps is constantly improving.

For more tips and the full article, click here

COO Steve McGough Talks Cloud Computing With "Transportation Builder"

  
  
  

Our COO, Steve McGough, has an article in the May/June issue of Transportation Builder that’s all about how cloud computing can revolutionize the construction industry. Here are some of the highlights:

What is cloud computing? Put simply, it’s when software and other resources are delivered to you online instead of stored locally on your computer. As Steve says, “I like to think about cloud computing as being similar to electricity. We use electricity to run our offices … but we don’t own or manage the power plant and the electrical lines.”

Is it safe? Yes. Computing technology has grown by leaps and bounds since the early days of the Internet, and it’s now possible to securely store your software and personal data “in the cloud” without having to worry about it falling into the wrong hands.

Does it really save money? Yes, and it’s because you’re outsourcing so many things — like hardware, servers, and staff — that you used to have to keep in-house. For instance, instead of buying your own server and maintaining a system for company email, you can now rely on cloud-based services from providers like Microsoft or Google that have the same functionality as your old email system at a fraction of the cost.

Read the full article and get more tips here.

 

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HeavyBid Tuneup Lessons with Trainer: Arthur Nix

  
  
  

HeavyBid Trainer Arthur NixOne of our HeavyBid trainers, Arthur Nix, was recently tasked with trying to "tuneup" HeavyBid and return it to a best practices setup. As one of the HCSS HeavyBid trainers, Arthur works with HCSS customers on a yearly basis to review all aspects of their HeavyBid software and provide more training on new skills and on time saving features.

Arthur is just one of our many talented HeavyBid trainers that provide this best practices service. While you may only see one of our Trainer's on a yearly basis, there's no need to wait on finding our about these valuable time saving features.

Not only is Arthur a talented trainer but he is a very skilled blogger and has already started to line out some tuneup lessons for the HeavyBid masses!

Here are a few lessons to get you started, be on the lookout for more to come.  

HeavyBid Tuneup - Introduction to Upcoming Lessons

Tuneup Lesson 2 - Workers Comp Option (Estimate Specific)

Tuneup Lesson 3 - Tools>Preferences Features>Estimate Preferences

Tuneup Lesson 4 - Tools>Preferences Features>User Preferences

Tuneup Lesson 5 - Tools>Preferences>System Preferences

 

Let us know if you found this helpful or have a question for Arthur. 

The Dispatcher Quick Tip: Control Past Moves for Manual Dispatches

  
  
  

Don't need to see move confirmations?

For Manual Dispatches, you can turn off the confirmation window if you want to quickly make moves that have already happened. In User Preferences > Magnet Board, just check the Do not show confirmation when moving magnets. Any manual moves will happen instantly, without a confirmation popup.

Learn More about The Dispatcher

The Dispatcher Quick Tip: See All of your Resources at a Location

  
  
  

Quickly see current and future resources at a location

Need a quick way to zoom into a location on the magnet board so you can easily see all of the resources at that location? To see a more detailed view of a Location in the Magnet Board view, click on the magnifying glass icon in the upper-left hand corner.

Learn More about The Dispatcher

The Dispatcher QuickTip: Create Multiple Versions of a Report

  
  
  

Multiple versions of a report in batch reports

Did you know you can add a report to batch reports multiple times? This allows you to send out multiple copies of the same report, each with different options, and have them go to different individuals. You can also rename each copy of the report by right-clicking on it and selecting “Rename.” The report will also use this name as its report title.

Learn More about The Dispatcher

The Dispatcher QuickTip: Setup Automatic Status Changes for Resources

  
  
  

Automatic status changes when moving resources

You can setup Dispatcher so it will automatically change the status of a resource when you move it to a certain location type.  For instance, you can have the system automatically change the status of equipment to “Available” when you move it to a “Yard.”  You can set this up by going to setup > location > types.  Select the location type from the left, then on the right side, check the box for “Changes” and then select either “All, Equipment or Employees” and the status you want them to change to when moved there.

Learn More about The Dispatcher

The Dispatcher QuickTip: Quickly View Meter & Mileage Data

  
  
  

View equipment hours across a date range

Use the GPS Equipment Hours located under Reports >Standard Reports > GPS to quickly view meter and mileage data for your GPS-enabled equipment. For the selected date range, this report provides starting and ending meter readings, miles traveled, working, idle, and total run time


Learn More about The Dispatcher

The Dispatcher QuickTip: Create Custom Dispatching Reports

  
  
  

Custom reports

One feature that gets overlooked is the customizable reports in The Dispatcher. If the built-in reports are not what you are looking for in a report, you can create your own report by going to Reports > Customizable. At the bottom of that window, click the green button to add a report to the customizable reports. Right click on the Add Columns bar to get started. Custom fields can be added to create your own custom report, and the report can then be saved for future use.

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