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Ike's Newsletter September 18, 2020

Executive Director's Report

Economist Reveals Markets to go After – Expect to see bids for data centers and distribution facilities close to high residential areas, according to Ken Simonson, the Economist, who spoke to a joint session of ASAMW and CFMA members on Sept. 8th.  School construction will be needed to meet the number of students in the area, with private and charter schools in demand.  Over the long term, owners will be reluctant to start new construction, high-end residential will suffer, office space will drop sharply and the DMV will see the effects of a decrease in business travel.  Please send an email to [email protected] to receive a copy of the deck used in this presentation. 

Are you Working in DC? Several members met with DC Council Members Robert White and Kenyan McDuffie to discuss the concerns subcontractors have about working in DC.  One of the points made was that those contractors who attempt to abide by the laws are more likely to receive audits resulting in fines than those who choose to skirt the laws.  Wage theft is a major issue.  Thanks to Cindy Athey (Precision Wall Tech) for orchestrating this meeting.  The Survey about technology mentioned below will include questions about working in DC. Click here for the Survey. If you would like the notes from this meeting, please send a request to [email protected].   

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Ike's Newsletter September 4, 2020

Executive Director's Report

Meeting with GC Partners - The ASA of Metro Washington Board met with its General Contractor Partners on Wednesday.  Here are some highlights:

  1. Contracts - Timing is a major issue here.  If the subcontractor has an issue to raise about the subcontract (boilerplate language), do so before the bid.  Do not come at the last minute or after the bid with changes.  The GCs in the room are willing to listen to Sub’s suggested changes.  ASAMW is working on a subcontract Rider that each GC Partner will review and consider.  In most cases, large national GCs cannot change the boilerplate in their subcontract without consulting their counsel, but will listen to our proposed changes and go from there. 
  2. Bidding – There seem to be misconceptions about what is bid-shopping and what Best and Final really mean.  ASAMW will consider programming to discuss how each group perceives how we bid jobs in the DMV.
  3. Change orders, on-site issues and close out – Change order negotiation and subsequent payments remain a problem that must be addressed, and ASAMW will continue to educate proper handling of the change order process.  Subs who are notified of a back charge long after their scope is completed should not accept it, but address their concerns with the GC (this issue is being addressed in the ASAMW Subcontract Rider).  On-site management (Foremen/Superintendents) must own their scope and the work of any lower tier subcontractors, and on-site management must remain on the job site full time, as required in the subcontract.  Subs who sub out their work cause significant on-site issues, and ASAMW will support efforts to prevent wage theft in the construction industry. 
  4. COVID-19 – Payment is quicker in some cases (government) but slower in others.  Zoom meetings are more efficient in many cases. 
  5. Technology – ASAMW will provide a list of most-used technology and ask that GC Partners consider this list for their use so that Subs do not have to learn a new technology on each project. 
  6. Government – ASAMW will monitor legislation to make sure laws are not an impediment to efficient construction. 

The final report from this meeting will be available to all members after it has been reviewed by the Board and the GC Partners for accuracy. 

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Ike's Newsletter August 21, 2020

Executive Director's Report

Where is Construction Heading?  In order to keep you highly informed on the best prognosis for the future, ASAMW and CFMA will have Chief Economist Ken Simonson of AGC share insights into the current economy in the DMV on Sept. 8th.  Click here for more information.   

The June Dodge report indicates that construction starts continue to slide, down 38 percent for the year as compared to the same time last year.  Nonresidential was down 44 percent and residential was down 31 percent in the DMV in June.  

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Ike's Newsletter August 7, 2020

Executive Director's Report

Retainage – Are you Utilizing the Law? Please make sure you are getting retainage according to the law.  What do your records show in outstanding retainage?  Here are some helpful hints:

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Ikes' Newsletter July 24, 2020

Executive Director's Report

What is Payment Pain? Click here for an article that you should read.  Every now and then someone comes along who knows how to cogently express the pain subcontractors go through in order to get paid. This public project report will resonate with all members. 

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Ike's Newsletter, July 10, 2020

Executive Director's Report

Procore: Are They Being Fair? Members were notified by both ASAMW and ABC of a problem with Procore’s billing in a message last week.  It does not appear that their practices are changing according to some members.  The new billing method could result in a company paying the required percentage on work already completed and then paying again.  If you use Procore, please check with your accounting staff to see if this is true in your case.  We would like to build a case for all subcontractors and would appreciate any information you have. Google reports, “Procore Technologies Inc., a construction software company that filed in February for a U.S. initial public offering, postponed those plans and instead completed a private funding round, according to people familiar with the matter.”   

Productivity Impacted 20% by COVID 19 – You expected it and now NECA and its foundation have proven in the electrical industry that “Early measurements of the impact of this pandemic suggest that construction productivity has been impacted nearly 20%.”  This has a major impact on profitability and contractors should seek “equitable adjustments that adequately compensate them for the impact.”  For instance, 7% of labor hours is lost on pandemic mitigation activities.  Additionally there is a 12.4% impact on “Vertical Construction productivity.    

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