By Paul Deffenbaugh
I've been around construction companies for a long time-going on
30 years now-and the best ones continually improve, look for
opportunities to become more efficient, serve their customers
better, reduce costs of sales, install improved technologies, hire
more engaged people. They improve in a thousand different ways.
The key to any improvement, though, is education. And that's
what I want to know. How do you learn? Where do you get your
information? Because I have an assumption, and I want you to tell
me if I'm right or wrong. I believe the best way for metal building
contractors to learn about their businesses is from other
successful contractors and suppliers who have already opened doors
and figured out things that you're banging your head against.
Today, that sharing of information is easier than it ever has been
before. Start with our print version of Metal Construction
News, which provides great information about new products, new
techniques and new opportunities. In fact, in the April issue,
- Our cover story on wall panel trends, including a case study on
a tricky installation that one of our readers accomplished
- Improved building envelope insulation options
- Inspiration from a small boatload of educational buildings from
elementary schools to high schools
- A primer on the self-storage building opportunity
- Two case studies on reroofing, which is a segment of our
industry that seems to be a brighter spot
Magazines are just one element of our media. Reading this means
you're on our blog right now, which we host on our website-www.metalconstructionnews.com.
While you're here, check out our online exclusives. What's great
about the new media today is that communication and education is no
longer a one-way street. You can post comments and engage other
We offer the same opportunity on our Facebook page, where you
can post about recent projects you've completed and make
suggestions for future coverage. (Click here.) We've also started a LinkedIn group
that gives our readers even more occasions to engage each other,
ask questions, brag a bit if you like, or just sit back and read
what other contractors, manufacturers and suppliers are doing.
But, finally, there is one thing that I think is essential and
goes back to the idea of continuous improvement. While we're proud
of what we've been doing here for the last 30 years, we're not
comfortable just riding along. We see opportunity to take advantage
of the improved methods of communication and to make the
information we deliver to you more specific to your operation,
timelier and more attuned to the issues our industry faces,
including new trends.
I want you to be involved in our ongoing improvement. Drop me an
email or letter and tell me how we're doing, what you'd like to see
us do in the future, and what kinds of stories you wish we would
do. Also, tell me about you and your company. In 30 years, I've
never grown tired of hearing about construction.