Continuous Improvement in the Metal Industry

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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, you'll find

  • 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 readers.

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.

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