A Tech Makeover Story

Three entrepreneurs tell Black Enterprise how they are using technology to renovate their businesses in a tough year�and reaping the rewards.

We also invested in training on the PMCS for all our project managers, field superintendents, and contract administrators. Training classes are conducted in one- to three-day seminars and run between $500 and $1,500 per employee.

Additionally, we outfitted all our field superintendents with laptops or PC tablets, air cards, PDAs, and digital cameras at a cost of $1,200 to $1,500 for each superintendent. Each person has direct access to the office server with a database of project information such as plans, specifications, schedules, logs, and project costs.

Using the PMCS, superintendents update project status with daily field reports, schedules, and progress photos. The PMCS can be set up to allow owners, architects, and/or engineers to access information and review the status of all project-related items. Web cameras are set up to monitor construction progress. This has significantly improved communication internally and externally.
We are in the process of replacing the laptops and providing all field superintendents with PC tablets (about $5,000 each) equipped with the PMCS, which will allow them to update project status as they perform field inspections. This will allow them to mark up discrepancies on drawings and forward them to the architect and/or engineer directly. In the past the architect/engineer would have to make a site visit to review the issue, which would take a couple of days.

Technology helped us change our bidding process, which saved time and paper. We set up an FTP (File Transfer Protocol) site and uploaded construction documents. Subcontractors get a user ID and password to access the FTP site so that they can view the documents and submit their bids electronically. This has almost eliminated reproduction costs and saved us more than $50,000 per year. At first, a few subcontractors were reluctant to switch, but most adapted to the new system quickly. This has also improved the overall quality and sophistication of our subcontract pool.
We have plans to incorporate a building modeling system that generates 3-D images of buildings with overlays of different exteriors, structures, and mechanical   systems. This would enable us to provide various pricing scenarios to our clients.

Recently, the team of Skanska and NuJak was selected to build the new University of South Florida Polytechnic campus’ signature building designed by world-renowned architect Santiago Calatrava. The entire campus will be designed and built with cutting-edge technology that will include a Building Management Control System. NuJak’s exposure to this technology will advance our position in the construction industry.

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  • http://www.ayandaceproductions.com Andrew

    I just love the work Ms. Donaldson is doing with the technology/TechWatch section of BE, a section I think should be expanded. Keep up the good work Ms. Donaldson and BE.

  • http://jessemuhammad.blogs.finalcall.com Jesse Muhammad

    Enjoyed the information.

  • http://www.blackenterprise.com sonya

    @Andrew thanks so much for the kind words. Please let me know how I can improve coverage. What would you like to see us discuss in print and online?

  • Pingback: Member Spotlight: NuJak Companies Featured in Tech Makeover Story | Lakeland Chamber Blog

  • http://realestatecommunities.com/ Chris

    A nice success story. It sounds like the Tech makeover really added value to their business.