Episode 12: Tech and the Trades (With Rob McKinney)

Episode 12 July 02, 2021 00:38:39
Episode 12: Tech and the Trades (With Rob McKinney)
The Quit Getting Screwed Construction Podcast
Episode 12: Tech and the Trades (With Rob McKinney)

Jul 02 2021 | 00:38:39


Show Notes

With the help of tech expert Rob McKinney from eSUB and The ConTech Crew, Karalynn dives into trades, tech, and how the two can gain quite a lot from each other when their conventionally "different" worlds collide! Listen to Rob break down the stigma that working with your hands means you can't be tech-savvy too by discussing apps, websites, and other technology that stand to benefit every contractor's documentation process. So much great information here, so make sure you tune in!

Find eSUB at: https://esub.com/ 

Listen to Power to the Trades: https://esub.com/power-to-the-trades-podcast/

Tune into The ConTech Crew: https://jbknowledge.com/thecontechcrew 

Check out our Website, www.subcontractorinstitute.com, to learn more about what we do.

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LinkedIn: The Subcontractor Institute

Quit Getting Screwed was recorded on Riverside.fm and is distributed by Castos.

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Episode Transcript

Speaker 1 00:00:12 Welcome to the quit getting screwed podcast. Well, we'll talk about everything related to contractors, construction and information to help you run better. Okay. Hey, good morning guys. And welcome to the quick getting screwed podcast, where we talk about all the ways not to get screwed in the construction industry. And today with me, I have Rob McKinney. Who's really on the cutting edge and the future of the construction industry and that being, making it digital, making it on the cloud. So you don't have to have rooms full of stacks of papers, especially cause you're afraid you're going to get sued and you want to have all that paperwork. Well, he's got a way that you can have it all on your computer, that it's all there for all your, for your projects and you don't have to worry about a fire or losing it because it's all on the, all on the cloud. So good morning, Rob. How are you? I'm doing great. Carolyn, how are you? Good. Thanks so much for being on the show. Yeah, absolutely. Speaker 2 00:01:07 It's always good to spread the good word about technology, you know, the construction space. Speaker 1 00:01:11 Gotcha. So before we get into all that, so tell us a little about yourself, where you started and how you got to where you are now. Speaker 2 00:01:16 Uh, it's been an interesting ride. I've been in this amazing industry. Actually this year, I'm celebrating two decades. Believe it or not. So for people that haven't heard me speak or maybe on a podcast, my name is Rob McKinney, also known as the con app guru, which is a name I came up with, uh, sitting on the back porch one night late tonight when I was working on some blogs. So I got into the industry back in 2001 as a safety director, a site safety director, I was on three different projects for self performing contractor over in Georgia. We did a lot of concrete work and other types of things. And I was as green as a green horn can get, if you know what I mean, I, I didn't know anything about construction, but I was hired by a gentleman that had a need for safety. Speaker 2 00:02:00 And it was kind of as bad as this will sound the old school mantra of, Hey, did you go to college? Yes, sir. I did. Can you read? Yes, sir. All right, cool. You can be a safety guy. And one thing after another, I, I, you know, I did my first 10 hour, then a 30 and quickly within a year, I went through several hundred hours of training while at the same time, you know, seasoned safety pros that basically figured out like, Hey, you really don't know what you're doing. Nope, but they hired me. So I mean, you have the choice of there's no safety director or me that's trying and wants to do the right thing and let's figure this out. So, you know, fast forward, I spent 14 years in the construction industry as a safety director, quality director, warranty manager, training director, drug-free workplace coordinator. I did all the jobs that most people in the construction industry back in 2001 did not want to do. Uh, and you can imagine I was not popular on job sites when I would show up for some reason. Speaker 3 00:03:01 So I can Speaker 1 00:03:02 Imagine, I don't think I don't. I'm sorry. I don't think you're any more like today than back then. No, no necessary. Speaker 2 00:03:09 It is. You know, I can't tell you how many times I was told by executives that, you know, you, you know, you're the safety guy you're a necessary evil. Right. And I said, well, yeah, like the insurance, like the attorneys. Yup. Yup. It was, uh, you were the least popular person until the, you know, what hit the fan and then they wanted you on the job site medially to make it go away. I know one of the more interesting ones I ever remember, we had a project in downtown Atlanta, they had called in their utility locate, but you know, gas lines are a funny thing. Right? Do they always put the tracing wire in there too? Does that metal? Well, no. It was a plastic gas line under a sidewalk. Not located, not, no, not discover which funny. There was a restaurant on that property before we took it over that you kinda think we would have known, but anyway, so they popped the gas line after call it in. They shut down, you know, a four block radius it's on the news. Like I'm literally looking at the video feed from the helicopter and the superintendents calling, just losing his mind. Like, you gotta get down there, you gotta help me. I'm like, dude, you got a four block radius locked down. I can't get anywhere near you. Call Atlanta gas light. Yeah, exactly, exactly. Speaker 3 00:04:28 It's wild times. Speaker 1 00:04:30 So how did you get from the safety to tech? Speaker 2 00:04:33 Like a lot of construction work flows. I managed a lot of paper, toolbox talks, safety meeting forms, inspection forms. I probably had 20 different forms that the crews had to fill out that back then were paper. So I would get these weekly toolbox talks, these weekly inspection forms, these accident forums, and have to try and review this. And in a back in the day, crunch the numbers and enter my, put all this into a spreadsheet to try and present to management every week of, okay. So if we had 15 superintendents, this is how many did a toolbox talk or did not. This is how many did their inspection on their specs and here's the issues that we're finding. And it was a struggle. So when the smartphones really started to take off, I mean, we had our crack berries. If you remember those amazing devices we had, we had the big brick phones. Speaker 2 00:05:23 No that was working. But when the tablets came out, the first iPad, you know, a lot of people looked at it like, oh great. I can watch a movie. I can play a game. Well, I started experimenting around of how can I get forms digital forms on here to make my life easier as the safety director. So, you know, it was kind of the gateway drug of, I was trying to digitize safety forms to understand better what was happening to actually have data, to look at it. And then when I figured that out, the company started asking, can you go, can you do that with a, with a daily report? Yeah, yeah. We can do that. Can you do that with card? Yeah. Yeah. We can do that. So starting in 2013, when I was experimenting, that's what I kind of made the transition from being a safety director to this term, the construction technologist, which I still candidly tell people that meant I was smart enough to go to my apple store search for keywords like safety, quality construction, find an app, try it. Speaker 2 00:06:20 And if it worked, Hey, we're onto something where, you know, back in the day, I remember finding little startups, like companies called plan grid that became, you know, a worldwide name, uh, safe site Raycon photo in note ball, I was experimented a lot of apps and the idea was the first was safety, the forms we got to digitize, then the time cards, then the dailies. So within a year I converted my original five workflows, which was the safety forms. The dailies, the time cards, the photos, because photos, bill say, well, photos digital. Well, you probably remember. We used to have these cameras that had film. And if you open the back and you know, it saw the light before, supposed to oops. And then we had how many pictures? Oh, bright or Polaroids, you know, we had boxes of old faded photos. And then I, the first camera was ever given in construction. Speaker 2 00:07:19 If you remember, there were these great Sony cameras and it had that little floppy disc and it held for baby five photos. You know? So I was converting those. And after a year or two, we converted a lot of workflows were having success. But then I started speaking locally at AGC chapter. So the agency of Georgia kind of helped me start speaking. I also spoke down at the OSHA training Institute and people were encouraging me to speak more, create a blog. So I created the content guru site. I started writing about apps and because I was experiment with any app, I can get my hands on. And one thing led to another, met a gentleman named James Bennom, who owns JB knowledge. And I traveled the country with him for three years as a technology consultant, we met with lots of construction companies, trade contractors, general contractors, construction managers. Speaker 2 00:08:10 We create a little thing called the content crew podcast. That's six years old. Now that we've interviewed hundreds of people, the contact road show. So I've been on a really interesting journey over the years of being a safety person, a quality person that got into technology in the last five, six years have been really heavy on the tech side of trying to either consult construction companies of how to use technology to improve their business or working on this side now at software. Well, this is how construction people think this is how they buy things. This is how they build, this is how the workflow goes. You know, and there's really big difference that I've tried to explain to the software companies, uh, you know, it may take you four extra lines of code, but if it saves two button clicks to the end user in the construction world, that's kind of what you need to do. Fast, fancy and flashy. Doesn't always help in this area. Speaker 1 00:08:59 No, definitely not. They want it simple as streamlined as possible. The less time they have to be in the office the better. And if it could take it with them even better. So then, so tell me exactly how you now you're with ISA, right? Correct. And what exactly does east subdue? Speaker 2 00:09:13 It is an online field and project management platform specifically designed for just trade contractors. We only sell it to trade contractors and it's a unique kind of inflection point because our founder, Wendy Rogers and her husband, they were actually consultants to the industry. So her husband was a construction attorney and Wendy, when they joined up to create the company, they were consulting companies where I'm sure you've, you've been in this, these same rooms, right? They were called in by a trade contractor that was having an issue with a general or a cm. And they would go through banker boxes and file drawers and rolls of planes. They would spend a lot of time, money and effort to kind of lay out the case for the trade of like, well, here's the deal you made? Here's where the deal went sideways. Here's how much they kind of owe you and how to position that. Speaker 2 00:10:08 And after several years of doing it, they kind of looked at each other thought, there's gotta be a way software could help do this. And so the company was created, the, the original software was created. And again, from, from the beginning, they created software to help the trade contractors. Because one thing I've noticed from the beginning of my technology journey, just like the contract in construction software, for whatever reason seems to have kind of been built in a top-down mentality of, well, the, the general contractors run the jobs. So we're going to build the software for them. And then the trades just have to do what we tell them to do. I thought it really puts the trades in a weird, Speaker 1 00:10:45 Yeah. There's way more trades than there are generals. Speaker 2 00:10:48 Absolutely. And when you look at a job, I mean, and I can say this coming from the dark side, I mean, who really builds a job, the trades or the GCs, like who is physically using labor to put materials in place? Absolutely. So, yeah, we're project management, field management, where the idea is we have a great mobile app where if you don't have a solid place to where are all the photos for your project, where are your daily reports? Where are your timecards? We have a way that there's a mobile app and all the foreman and the superintendents can basically document the job every day. We have a little phrase, we call it E sub the job, which means from the time they get out of the truck and things start happening and they're seeing things, or they're given different directives or one trade might be in the way, or there's bad weather materials, didn't deliver whatever it is. Speaker 2 00:11:31 Take photos, complete your daily, raise your hand, put issues in there and do your time. Then that goes to the web based platform. And that is where a project manager will log in and take a look at what's happening on the job. And from there can then start doing their workflows of, okay, if there's an issue on the job, maybe they need to ask an RFI. If they ask an RFI, you know, if you're in the business, you know, you're basically saying out of scope, this is going to cost more. So then it would, you know, escalate up to a potential change order. Maybe it goes straight to a change order request. So we have to kind of two sides of it covered the field, uses an app to document what's happening in the field. That goes to the web based platform for the project manager management to see what is happening, but then kind of escalate things and work hand in hand with their document management platform for the plans, maybe the BIM side or the accounting platform to, you know, just kind of keep things up to date Speaker 1 00:12:23 In real time. Can you have like a whole project on there from like the billing side? What can you have everything like that on, on your platform? Speaker 2 00:12:32 It's close. I like to talk about it as magic in the middle. So we are not an ERP or an accounting platform, but we have very deep and robust integrations with several of the leading accounting platforms case. In point, we, uh, have a great integration with Sage 300 Sage, 100 Vista viewpoint, Dexter, Chaney, QuickBooks, those platforms that are really good about creating and pulling those budgets in and managing the money. We work kind of hand in hand with them to say, all right, if you've created the budget, you have all of the hours, your phase codes, we're pulling that information in that foundational data in inside our system so that the project manager can work with it. And we can reconcile things easier. Same thing on our integration side for plans, you know, we have deep integrations with Autodesk for BIM 360 docs or PlanGrid. So I like to say we're the magic in the middle of that core workflow for a project manager to know here's what's happening on the field. These are the questions I need to start asking because you're keeping track of, you know, the dollars in the sense, but also the changes in the revisions. Because, you know, last time I checked, I've asked lots of people and I've been around the space a long time, that many projects, the way they're originally designed is how you build them Speaker 1 00:13:46 As why they have as-builts. Right. Absolutely. Speaker 2 00:13:49 I used to joke that, you know, we, for a long time, we used to specialize and what kind of project is that? What kind of project delivery is that going to be? Uh, we call it, it it's, it's, it's an as-built you had an idea and then we kind of figured it out. And now what we're giving you is what we should have had when we estimated the job, but fascinated an industry, Speaker 1 00:14:09 Probably. I mean, it really is, but I mean, cause you never know the things that come along during the way, but I mean, as the lawyer trying to represent somebody, the daily reports are huge from a client's perspective from, you know, trying to defend my client of here's what, here's, what I told you. It was an issue. Here's all the things that, you know, I was talking and communicating with you and it just, it tells their side of the story as it's going on. And that's priceless because when we're at the end of it and it's something happens, it's never, it's always, he said, she said, if you don't have daily reports, so it's so huge and so beneficial that, you know, hopefully you never get into dispute, but if you do that, you have it all there and easy to access. So that's one of the benefits. What are some of the other benefits you're seeing with your clients? They say is the best thing about changing up? Because you know, this is a hard industry to change its mind. We've been paper we're hands-on people, you know, we build things. The cloud and technology is not where we're from. Oh, a Speaker 2 00:15:05 Hundred percent. That's something I have to remind people on both sides from the contractor side and the software side constantly have. We've been building for thousands of years, you know, from the time of the pyramids, the aqueducts humans know how to build technology in the sense that we refer to it. You know, as computers as cloud-based products, let's be honest. I've been in this space 20 years when I first started of the 15 superintendents that I worked with. One had a computer one over the years, we added to that. But in 20 years to go from basically one superintendent had a computer to almost now it's a very standard that most superintendents have a smartphone on their hip or, and, or a tablet, you know, 20 years versus 2000. It is a huge shift and change where even arguably, you know, the gentleman that brought me into the space, who's in his seventies now he was building for decades before he bought his first computer. Speaker 2 00:16:06 It's very new. So it's an interesting thing to kind of look at. I'll tell you what, the last thing that I've seen in the past year when I'm talking to customers about, all right, why are you going to give up your con, let's just say right now, the standard operating system for most construction companies to get their work done is Microsoft Excel and outlook, honestly. And it's estimating workflows, project management, workflow, safety, workflows, quality workflows. I used to have spreadsheets for everything and you had paid for it. So why do you want to change? Well, you know, there's a lot of things in there, but the three that I can boil it down to is at least for the sub customers that I've talked to on a regular basis is first we help standardize processes. What does that mean? Well, everybody loves those spreadsheets and everybody's spreadsheet. Speaker 2 00:16:54 It's kind of like, you know, burger king, you know, have it your way. Well, when you start changing spreadsheets and one decimal get slipped one way or the other bad things happen or files get corrupted. Or if you think back in the day, every project manager has a spreadsheet on their computer, but it's not connected to the server. It's not in the cloud. That computer is stolen, damaged or lost, got a problem. So we help really standardized processes across the board and say, this is the way everyone has to do it the same way. Because that way, if an employee loses a computer, if an employee leaves, if an employee, you know, unfortunately just disappears, it happens. How do you pick up the pieces? So first we standardized processes. The second thing that I've really noticed that we help do is we scale operations and you say scale operations, right? Speaker 2 00:17:43 What are you talking about? Well, are you trying to grow your business? Are you trying to go out of one market to another market? Are you trying to go from one state to another state? Or are you trying to go if we're talking specifically in the trades, you know, you hear a big buzz word now about multi trade. Well, so maybe you're a mechanical and need to get into electrical, or you're a plumber and you get into mechanical, fill in the blank. I've seen some companies do amazing growth patterns or where they truly are mechanical electrical plumbing, all under one house, or maybe it's dry wall and metal studs. It's painting and drywall. It's drywall metal, studs and painting or it's windows. There's definitely some groups. But how do you do that in scale again, to where first you standardize the process. Like this is the way here's how to do your daily report, or this is how to do an RFI. Speaker 2 00:18:31 Here's how to process a change order. Now, if you're running and you're successful, how are you going to go to a new market and hire new people? They have their way, but say, no, no, no, no. This is our way. And it's always in the cloud. It's available. It's easy to see and kind of helping things out. And these to really wrap up to a bigger thing that the trades are always trying to look at. It's how to protect their profits of understanding the whole time as you've, you've agreed to a deal, the deal starts changing. You've only got so many gold coins in your bucket for that project, right? And people keep putting their hand in trying to take more gold coins out. How do you protect those profits? Well, you got to have things standardized and you got to scale it, but more importantly, one of the hidden benefit features we have in ISA is, you know, I mentioned we do time. Speaker 2 00:19:19 Well, it's not just that we're collecting eight hours in a day. We're actually tracking eight hours in a day against the phase codes in your budget every day. In real time, it's kind of like a speedometer. Or if you want to think about like an early warning system, if let's say a trade has 500 hours in a phase code for a one-year job, and two months into the job, you've blown through 400 hours might want to have a talk. So protecting those profits is something that's always been near and dear to our hearts of surfacing that financial data so that you're watching it each and every day. And more importantly, they're having a valid, honest, true WIP report meetings that people are not telling each other stories. Speaker 1 00:20:02 That's huge because I mean, most companies don't even know what their profit projected profit is and then have no idea at the end of a job if they made any profit or not. And so that's the only way businesses grow is if you have a profit to invest more money in the next project, you can't, it isn't the business side of the trade. Contractors is everything. I know everybody goes into business because I love what they do, but if you want to be good at it and do it for a long time, you got to know the business side, which is, which is, you know, from the out there, busting your ass every day, you need to, you need to be looking at these numbers and it sounds like your platform would allow you to do that, you know, and on a daily basis, that's huge. And so if you see, you know, costs arising, you, can you jump in and try to stop it? Or that's amazing. Speaker 2 00:20:50 Absolutely. Well, they call it a daily report for a reason. I mean, I always joke about it, but I mean, it's called a daily report for reason. It's not called a weekly report. It's not called I filled them out at the end of the month and just send them in where you don't just want to check the boxes on this stuff. That the data that the form and the superintendents collect every day is so vital to tell the company like, Hey, are things going good? You know, changes in weather or right now the material side of things, right? I mean the, the lumber costs delivery of materials. And, you know, I do live in the south. So I always kind of keep my eye on the weather or about to go into what, you know, hurricane season. Right. Thanks to seasons in the, in the south. And everything gets off of all the box store shelves disrupts all the supply chains, but it happens about up north. Speaker 1 00:21:35 Yup. Yup. Yeah. I mean, everywhere, you can't get anything. And I, and I don't, who knows how long that's gonna last. So do you have any like specific success stories of your customers that have changed over to <inaudible> saw growth or saw their profits increase or, you know, made their processes better? You Speaker 2 00:21:52 Got a few that come to mind that I've seen a couple grow quickly and easily and do a, to keep things straight. I won't mention company names and try and brag about logos, but one story that just came in the other day, and I think this one came in a couple of weeks ago from a customer that speaks to the three points that we were just talking about. And the long and short of it is the feedback that we received. The company president said that his claims specialist said that the documentation that they're getting now through our system, and specifically, they made the jump to software, they made the jump, the Aesop software. He said, this, the data that they're getting now is the best documentation they've ever seen a 20 years in case in point, they recently had to present over 1600 pages of documentation. Speaker 2 00:22:40 And a majority of that came right out of our system for a claim that's in mediation. And he's saying it's a critical tool for them, for what you and I are talking about before of all those photos, all those dailies, they didn't have to scramble. They just had to go back and start looking at the date and you can start figuring things out, but to be in a mediation scenario today with cloud-based software, with all those photos, those dailies, those time cards, or we also have a little hidden feature we'd like to talk about, we call it the correspondence toolbox. So let's say you do have four or five outstanding. RFIDs, let's say you have four or five change orders that haven't been paid. If there's something going on there, we have some very nice, simple, short form letters that you can take and customize to your needs and start put sending those to the general, to remind them like, Hey, these six <inaudible> you haven't answered them. Speaker 2 00:23:32 And by the way, these six RFIDs are now impacting the schedule. And it's going to be this many days, this much time. So for a company president to let us know, they feel basically like they're in a pretty good spot in mediation, which let's be honest. Most contractors don't like to be in litigation mediation. They like the bill. They like to sit in rooms and discuss this stuff. So to present 1600 pages of documentation to defend them properly, that's amazing to me, you know, to talk mainly first about the transition to software, why does software benefit a company when you need it? But then yeah. You know, let's brag a little bit about they're using Aesop specifically to help them out in that particular situation. Speaker 1 00:24:15 I mean, it's huge. We just had an arbitration and unfortunately the client is not on any kind of electronic platform. And literally I walk by the conference room and there are stacks of pages, like 10 inches high that the attorneys have to go through because they're looking for something specific, but they don't know how the client organizes things and where they would find the documents. I need to prove the point that they're trying to make. And so they have to go through all of them. Um, and it's just, it costs so much an attorney time and effort. And if you could streamline that, you would save yourself in attorney's fees and expert fees and all of that stuff. So, Speaker 2 00:24:51 Yeah, I'll tell you one tip that anyone using any software to make your life easier in that sense, when you're looking for that digital needle in the haystack, we have a very common thing, a very simple technique that we've used for years, keywords and hashtags, to look for things where, to your point, if you have repeatedly in your database, the keyword hashtag delay, hashtag delay on a photo, on a daily report repeatedly, and you're going back. And so in our system, clients can query hashtag delay or just hashtag the word delay and go back and literally look. So, yeah, I know we just had a few days of just weren't. Right. Well, how do you find it quick using your system that way, right. Of training your S your, your field supervision and your office management of, Hey, look, these are the key words. These are the buzzwords we have to know about this is the language of our project. So if, if we have that rut row moment, you got to go back and find it to your point. You can search through data faster, online than in a box, but still you're still, you're, you're looking for that proverbial needle in a haystack. How do you make it surface faster? It's leveraging that technology better for that contractor. Speaker 1 00:26:08 And so do you think that, here's my question. Do you think that companies that don't change to cloud-based software will be at a disadvantage or will get less jobs in the future? Just because they can't manage the project as well? I just, is this the wave of the future? Is everybody going here? Speaker 2 00:26:27 I think the waves already passed in the 20 years that I've been in this space, the companies that still, and I come across them, you know, I, God bless him. I came across one, a couple of months ago. That was so happy that they had just put their iPads out in the field. I'm like, wow, 2021, you just pulled the trigger on those iPads. That's gray. You know, it was like slow Tanis clap with, and I want it. I was trying to be respectful and not asking, let me ask you this. Are they driving one year old, four door jacked up trucks with air conditioned seats and navigation systems and a tow hitch. You know, I'm talking to that $90,000 truck, but you just came off the hip for a $399 iPad. Wow. That's the, the industry we still deal with at some level, you know, a lot of companies have made the switch. Speaker 2 00:27:20 Um, a good friend of mine, the Josh bone, who is the director over at electric international. That's the foundation for Nika. He coined a great phrase a few years ago talking about, I think the companies that you're talking about, he refers to those as a lifestyle business, they're successful. They've built a business, they make money, you know, they've got their house, they've got their truck. They may have a lake house. They may have a boat. They may have something else, a hunting spot, right. Don't move their cheese. They don't want to grow. They that's that's I think who we're still trying to reach in this industry. And you know, some of that I do believe still is generational and they're not going to change. And they're going to either age out, retire out, sell their business, you know, uh, I'm 48 part of generation X. Speaker 2 00:28:09 I think it's this generation that's sitting, looking at watching and knowing, like I grew up with a fair amount of technology, you know, I always joke. I grew up with my target game machine. I love computers from the first time I saw one in public school. So I remember being in the I wasn't in the fifth grade and the school had the one computer, you know, back when we would all get to go through. And you had your five minutes to learn how to type in code. I at least saw a computer in elementary school. My father saw it in the workplace. In his thirties. My grandfather never touched a computer. So, you know, you got to look at those three generations and think through specifically in the construction industry that this new techs coming in, there are so many successful, amazing contractors out there that made lots of good money on paper, but it's changing. And, you know, change is hard. It's people don't like moving there. Speaker 1 00:29:03 Well, yeah. And then my question is, what would you tell the people that are scared? They're scared that their data's not safe if they don't have it in their hands, they're scared that they won't, they won't be able to figure out how to operate this kind of system, because it's because it's so far beyond something that they do. Uh, I mean, that, that was me. When we went from paper binder files to something online, I was scared that I wouldn't be able to find it and figure it out. I was scared that I would lose my files. I, you know, those, it was a hard change for me of you having been paper. So how do you deal with that? Speaker 2 00:29:37 Oh, well, there's two things. First. The first one is just that comfort factor with technology about the security of, oh wow. Can I, can we really do this? You know, I I've always had paper and papers in my file cabinet. And then, well, they goes out to either your Conex box and you store it for your time, 6, 7, 8 years, or maybe it goes to iron mountain. Like I've always just kind of had the paper. That's just one of those things that you gotta take that leap of faith, or this is the new way of things are evolving, but also draw in their personal life of, okay, if you're not comfortable putting a set of plans or a spec book on your server or your cloud or anybody's cloud, let's talk about this. Do you do online banking? Have you ever purchased a property through a digital tool to sign? Speaker 2 00:30:23 Like how much of your life are you doing digitally? And there's still, I know, I know a lot of people that are like, Nope, they never gone in on any social media. It's, I'd still find it hilarious. My father, who was a banker, his entire career will not use a mobile app for banking at all. He doesn't like logging in to look at his bank account online. He likes to go to the physical brick and mortar branch, just the way it is. You know, I, again, I think some of that, they're just going to retire out or age out. So the, the change in the trust is a huge issue to overcome the ease factor. That one, I think we can diffuse really quickly because when I was first trying to convert superintendents back in 2014, construction staff are wicked smart. They innovate all day long right now, every day. Speaker 2 00:31:10 That's one thing people fail to realize innovation and technology is a little bit different than innovating in the world of a good, a friend of mine that I know Brent Darnell coined a phrase of, he talks about the miracle of construction, any, any pointed out what other industry on this planet thinks that it's a good idea to get a different set of owners, design professionals, and construction people and materials, and a piece of land and think that all that's going to go together right? The first time, every time it's crazy. Oh yeah. We innovate constantly of trying to understand, you know, I love our architect and designer friends, but you know, certain terms out there like cantilevered, you know, there's things like, yeah, you draw that, that looks good. You come out here and set up the scaffolding and try and do all this rigging and make those work. Speaker 2 00:31:58 So they innovate all day long. It's learning something new and you have to go to the core of just teaching people, how things work, but keep in mind that superintendents in the field of project managers in the office, they are competitive. Nobody in this industry that I've ever come across, likes to be left behind. Nobody in this industry wants to be that person that doesn't know how to do something. So the biggest surprise I really had in my early technology career was, you know, we got the iPads, we got the iPhones and we rolled them out and I had some success and I had others that didn't want to touch them. But within a year or two of seen who were the leaders on the construction side that were teaching each other and I didn't have to interject myself a couple of times. I remember, you know, going out to a job site, starting to walk in the trailer. Speaker 2 00:32:53 And then I realized the superintendent from a totally different job was there. Cause I, you know, I knew whose trucks were whose, but I opened the door, started to walk in. And I, and I could realize that there was that teaching moment happening in the trailer where one superintendent had come over to show the other superintendent do something. I just shut the door, went and got back in the truck. And I went to the next job. Like I did not need to walk in there cause I would have completely killed that mojo. But it was amazing to think, wow, this dude drove over here. Just show him how to do that. And then I started hearing a little bit more about it. I tried to encourage him to kind of openly share in superintendent meetings, which I don't know if it was just cause I was there and they didn't want to admit like, wow, this stuff actually really works. Or he's not as crazy as we said he was. But seeing it's, it's amazing to see the different staff members in the office, in the field help each other, teach each other outside that spear. So learning this technology, it's totally doable, totally doable. And that's the thing Speaker 1 00:33:50 Is if one person that figures out that it works, they'll be like, Hey look, oh my gosh, it makes your life so much easier. You should really try it. And, and that's going to be the best way to, to get people to go on it. And so just how much would something like this cost can, you know, can an average business afford it? Is it within their, within their reach or, um, you know, that's always going to be a consideration. So is that, what are they looking at? Oh, absolutely. Speaker 2 00:34:16 All the software is affordable when you really break it down and you look at your budget, you have to figure out first and foremost, when you're looking to get into any technology, you have to first set aside and agree. Like there's a budget we're going to do this there's money in the company. I used to challenge people when I was first trying to convince companies to get into software, I would say, Hey, let's talk about your paper. How much do you spend a year on paper? And I'll tell you that the general contractor I came from, it was a couple hundred thousand dollars a year in toner paper and the machines. And when they broke, I mean, you were talking about everything coming to a screeching halt like, oh, we can't print the new set of plans. I'm like, well, they're on your computer. Yeah. Speaker 2 00:34:55 But I can't print them, but they're on your computer. You can look at them on a big monitor, but we can't print them. I mean, w come to a screeching halt. So when you start looking like we're really spending a couple hundred thousand dollars to print the same set of plans and changes again and again, and again, you know, look for those little opportunities like, well, how much are you spending now? I bet there's companies still spend that much. Yeah. Because that's the way the other thing is to really think about how do you charge for technology now, construction companies are really smart about how they allocate money. If you think about the typical project, when you're saying, okay, our superintendent costs this much per hour, well, that means that's their hourly rate. You pay them their insurance, depending if you're union or not, you know, the insurance, you know, the union burden, a few different things, the truck that they drive, all of the tools at their disposal. Speaker 2 00:35:48 Well, why would you not put a little technology line in there? Uh, the worst thing they can just kick it back and say, what's this, what's this line item. Well, that's the technology we use to build your project more efficiently and safely, you know, do you, do you like constant project photo updates? Well, yeah, that's what that's for. Do you like complete and up-to-date as built? Well, yes, that's what that's for. It's amazing. If you think, where can you find pockets of money in your company to pay for it now? So, you know, case in point our system, we have, uh, small businesses and for us, let's say small business could be doing literally six, $7 million a year in revenue. And we have them all the way past a hundred million. It's each size it's scaling and understanding what will this particular piece of software cost you? Speaker 2 00:36:34 And I try to think about on a per user basis, because still I advocate all the time, put the cost of software back into the project. It is a cost of doing business. If you're charging for your overhead. Well, as your overhead include your office, does your overhead include your laydown yard, your storage yard, your safety person put a little line in there. If they call you out on it, they call you out. But why not charge it back in? And depending let's not forget, depending on the type of contract you're working on, you might be able to put it in there and no one will say a word until you try. You don't know Speaker 1 00:37:07 Exactly. And it's such a helpful tool. So where could they find out more about <inaudible> and all that? All of the things and, and the <inaudible> Speaker 2 00:37:15 Dot com. Uh, we also do a weekly podcast. We call it power to the trade. So I'm always trying to do different interviews and bring things to light. So aesop.com. If you'd like to learn more about our particular software, you can schedule a private demo. We also do monthly open call demos on the third Thursday of every month, where we spend about 20 minutes and just kind of show you a few features. If you like, what you see, then you can set up a private demo and we'll show you more. And if you're curious to learn more about technology in general, how it can help your business, you can always just follow me on social media. So look for me at con app guru, C O N a P P G U R U, or just check out my site, it's content, guru.com. Uh, not too hard to find on most social media platforms to, uh, give you a little bit of advice and guidance. Speaker 1 00:37:58 Perfect. And we'll put all that in the show notes. So, but thank you so much for being here and telling us where the future of construction is going. That everybody needs to realize that this is where it's headed if we want to be competitive. So Speaker 3 00:38:10 Thank you, Rob. Thank you so much for your time. Speaker 1 00:38:16 Thank you for listening to this episode of quick getting screwed. I hope you found it helpful if you like what you hear, please like us and follow our podcast. If you want further information. So you can find [email protected]. We're also on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram, and the book is available on Amazon tune in two weeks now for a new episode. Thank you.

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