Winter and Construction

There are two seasons in Chicago: winter and construction. This past winter has been especially difficult.

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Open-Book Management

Paul Deffenbaugh

By Paul Deffenbaugh

Years ago, Jack Stack wrote one of the best books about running a business ever penned. It's called, "The Great Game of Business." In a nutshell, Stack's theory is that the most dynamic game available in the country isn't baseball, basketball or football. The best game is running a business, and the shame of it is that so few people get to participate.

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Metal Construction Hall of Fame Deadline

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By Paul Deffenbaugh

The Metal Consrtruction Hall of Fame deadline for entries has been extended to August 22, 2013. In its second year, this award program honors those individuals who have made significant contributions to the success, innovation and growth of the metal construction industry.

 

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Communication and Metal

I have been doing the initial start-up work on a forthcoming Metal Construction News article on the ordering of bent metal panels, and why the successful communication between buyer and seller is so important. I've been doing a lot of communicating with companies on this topic to learn more about the communication process that's involved here.

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Top Metal Builders Deadline

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By Paul Deffenbaugh

The Top Metal Builders deadline is approaching fast. Complete and submit your form by March 29, 2013.

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Good, Better, Best

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By Paul Deffenbaugh

Twenty years ago, my brother spent a summer with the National Guard on the Mississippi sandbagging to prevent the floodwaters from swamping riverside towns. It was hard work, and when I asked him about it, he said the biggest thing was to move fast and not try to be perfect. I was surprised by that and asked him why they weren't doing their best. His response? 

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Now is the Time

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By Paul Deffenbaugh

Good news in the housing industry. Existing home sales have increased. New home sales have increased. And new home starts have hit a four-year high. One of the biggest drags on our economic recovery has been the slowness of the housing recovery. Of course, the industry had a deep hole to dig out of. The 2008-2011 housing recession was the worst housing recession in history-worse than during the Great Depression.

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Construction and Social Media

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By Marcy Marro

 

More and more companies are joining social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn all of the time. Being involved with social media myself, and writign about the construction and metal building industry, I'm always interested to see how construction companies and architects are using social media.

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Lies and Statistics and a Brighter Future

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By Paul Deffenbaugh

Mark Twain famously said, "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics." Coming off another virulent election season during which both sides cherry-picked statistics to suit their own arguments, I find myself even more cynical about how numbers are presented to bolster an argument.

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Hall of Fame

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By Paul Deffenbaugh

At METALCON this month, we introduce the new Metal Construction Hall of Fame. Our intent with this award program is to recognize individuals who have made huge impacts on the metal construction industry and, by association, all of our lives.

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One Step, Two Step, Three Step, Four

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By Paul Deffenbaugh

Have you ever tried to map out the building product supply chain for the metal construction industry? It's not a map; it's a web of crisscrossed distribution channels. Contractors may receive products direct from a manufacturer (one-step distribution) or through a distributor (two-step) or through a distributor and a trade contractor (two-and-a-half step) or through a distributor and a local pro supply retailer (three-step). 

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The Future of Housing and Metal Products

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By Paul Deffenbaugh

The U.S. housing market has been through the worst recession in the history of housing. In fact, 2011 will probably be marked up as the worst year during that period. While the previous years' demonstrated the meaning of "bubble," it was last year's anemic performance that took the prize for futility.

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