Precon GeeksMay 30, 2023
Chasing and Winning Larger Projects
For those general contractors wanting to grow, what do you need to do to be able to be considered for those larger projects, especially if you don’t have larger projects on your resume.
John hosts Grant Stucker, Beck Technology Strategic Account Executive and former Senior Estimator and Preconstruction Manager so the two can use their past experiences to discuss how they’ve been able to win larger projects and expand into new markets.
What can you do to differentiate yourself to compete? John and Grant stress developing relationships, being innovative, and joint venturing with other GSs and subs.
Precon’s Role in the Client Experience
The way your client talks about their project is largely based on the experience you provide them with. Precon is their first impression. Estimators aren’t just number crunchers; they are also relationship builders. Your role in providing an exceptional client experience shouldn’t be undervalued.
Tamara Altom, Project Estimator at Benchmark Construction, joins John on this episode of Precon Geeks to discuss how precon teams can develop a successful relationship with clients.
Tamara says you are selling your company all the way through the project. So, how do you do that to win repeat work?
John and Tamara answer:
1. What to ask a new client to build a trusting relationship.
2. How to tell a project’s story through its lifecycle to the client in a way they understand.
3. What you can do to make the client’s life easier.
Check out our blog here: Preconstruction Technology Updates (beck-technology.com)
If you would like to suggest a topic for an episode or join John to talk about precon, email us at email@example.com.
Packaged Assemblies are Coming!
At Beck Technology, we are dedicated to creating the best experience for our customers. We are truly working to help precon teams make the world a better place and listening to what our customers need from our precon software is a huge part of that.
We’re excited to share our latest offering for DESTINI Estimator and that is our packaged assemblies.
We know that implementation takes a lot of hard work, and most estimators are eager to get into a new efficient system without much lag time. Pre-built assemblies from Beck Technology is a way for our users to get into the program quicker.
John hosts Kristin Vrana, Beck Technology Senior Implementation Specialist, on this episode of Precon Geeks so she can talk about what this packaged content means for current and future users of DESTINI Estimator.
Exciting News from Inside Beck Tech!
John announces Pamlico’s strategic growth investment in Beck Technology and introduces Norbert Orth as CEO of Beck Technology. Norbert will work side by side with Beck Technology President, Stewart Carroll to accelerate the DESTINI suite of preconstruction of software and how the company will grow.
These three precon geeks discuss how this investment will benefit Beck Technology, DESTINI Estimator and DESTINI Bid Day, and our customers.
Something HUGE is happening at Beck Tech!
We have some exciting news! Push play to hear what's coming....
It might come as a surprise but the subreddit for estimators is a great channel for precon folks to anonymously ask the tough and not so tough questions about estimating and precon life.
In this week’s episode, Suzanne asks John for his expert advice on some of the issues estimators are running into lately.
To read more about preconstruction and estimating salaries, read our blog post: Preconstruction and Estimating Salaries (beck-technology.com)
Be the Squeaky Wheel
What does it mean to be a partner? Is the word meaningless?
How do you make your software vendor work for you?
John hosts Frank Dickenson, Customer Relationship Leader at Beck Technology, to discuss getting the most out of your software vendors.
For more resources on vendor/buyer relationships, read the following blog posts:
- Why You and Your Software Vendor’s Culture Should Align (beck-technology.com)
- How to Spot a Bad Software Vendor (beck-technology.com)
- The Top 3 Things You Want in a Software Vendor (beck-technology.com)
- Don't Get Ghosted By Your Software Vendor (beck-technology.com)
Precon World 2023 ROCKED!
Beck Technology’s Precon World 2023 was held at the House of Blues, Dallas, Texas on Friday, October 13th. The event is for preconstruction professionals to get together and network, learn about the current and future of precon, and advance their knowledge of the DESTINI platform.
This year, our host of Precon Geeks, John Reich, along with Grant Stucker, MC’ed the event.
On this episode of Precon Geeks, John and Grant talk about their biggest takeaways and how the presenters at Precon World brought a lot of knowledge on the best practices in precon.
Listen in to hear about what you missed, or just to listen to Grant talk s*it about the Dallas Cowboys. If you are interested in attending next year's Precon World, bookmark this page: Precon World | Beck Technology's Annual Conference for Preconstruction (beck-technology.com)
The Evolution of Revolutionizing Construction-Redux
As the Precon Geeks are getting ready for their first in-person appearance at Precon World 2023, we revisit our interview with Beck Technology’s President, Stewart Carroll.
In this episode, Stewart talks about the vision of Beck Technology’s founder, Peter Beck, to revolutionize the construction industry through technology. Stewart talks about the state of preconstruction today and how the future is shaping up for precon teams and construction.
Solving Trust in the Model
How do we solve this?
John hosts two titans of precon to take sides on using BIM for preconstruction. Based on a Beck Technology blog post, Jan Beran and Brent Pilgrim talk about how we can instill confidence in the model to standardize using it in precon.
To read the pros and cons of BIM, click here: BIM Pros and Cons (beck-technology.com)
Precon Geeks Women in Construction
Calling all the precon ladies! Today on Precon Geeks, preconstruction podcast, John hosts a panel of women working in construction.
Is construction a ‘good ole’ boy’ club? Have things changed?
In this very special episode, Jennifer Siehling from The Beck Group, Kalie Ward from Truebeck Construction, and Summer Brittain, Head of Services at Beck Technology talk about their experience in the construction industry, how to attract a diverse workforce, and what they love about working in preconstruction and construction.
What do you think about this topic? We would love to hear from you. Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You Are Not Alone
On today's episode of Precon Geeks, we host Beck Technology's Head of Marketing, Julie Huval, where she reads letters from precon folk who are seeking advice on how to handle some challenges at work.
John offers his sage advice on how to handle common problems in precon.
Working Remotely in Preconstruction
More and more companies are requiring people to return to the office.
Since precon is a professional service and is 95% digital in nature, why do we require butts in seats?
Some firms believe it’s unfair to the field guys to let precon folk work from home. But that is a very limited view. There are pros and cons to a hybrid or remote work environment.
John hosts Beck Technology Chief Technology Officer Michael Boren and the two discuss the realities of preconstruction teams working from home and how to maintain a company culture if you are a hybrid or remote company.
Fail Small, Fail Often
What are the benefits of letting your team come up with new ideas and try new things? How do you institutionalize innovation in your company?
John hosts Michael Boren, Beck Technology’s Chief Technology Officer and they talk about what innovation means and how innovation can help you grow your business.
Transparency in Precon
Do you have any experience with subs asking you for costs? How do you deal with it? In this week's episode, John is joined by Jan Beran, and they discuss the answers to the following questions:
- Do we all need to be fully transparent? Or is a "translucent" the best-case scenario?
- How far down does this need to go? And in what kind of situations do we need to broaden that view and go multiple levels deep?
- What are the drawbacks to a fully transparent precon process?
Are You Up to the Challenge?
Do you have an estimating cost history database? Or any type of estimating database?
In this week’s episode of Precon Geeks, the preconstruction podcast for all things precon, John has a challenge for you…
What is that challenge? Well, you’re just going to have to listen to find out.
And you’ll want to listen until the very end because Jared has HUGE news he has to share.
Cleaning Up Your Estimating Data
Bad data costs businesses $12.9 trillion every year.
As an estimator, getting accurate data and mitigating risk is the majority of what you do. Using accurate data to make the best project decisions is key to winning jobs.
There are two types of data—historical and cost data. John and Jared talk about the importance of keeping you estimating data clean and offer advice on how and when to clean your data.
For a detailed plan on how to organize your data cleanup, read this blog post: 4 Tips to Clean Up Your Estimating Data
Estimating off the Model
Who is using it? How are they using? What are the roadblocks to using it? What does the future of BIM look like?
At last year's Precon World, Brent Pilgrim, National Director of Preconstruction at the Beck Group, asked who was using model-based estimating regularly—83% replied, ‘no.'
In this episode, John and Jared talk about how preconstruction departments have become experts as using BIM as a selling tool; however, there is so much more to 3D modeling.
Listen in and get John's opinion on where BIM is headed, and you will also get tips on where to find how to use BIM.
For more resources on BIM and model-based estimating, read the following blog posts:
How the Heck Do I Learn Estimating?
Piggybacking on the episode You're Good Enough, You're Smart Enough, and Doggone It, People Like You when John and Jared talk about imposter syndrome, today the Precon Geeks talk about how you can learn how to estimate and how to learn to estimate better.
In our country, there aren’t many official avenues to learn how to create construction estimates, so how can you get into preconstruction with the confidence that you can do the job? How do you learn how to do it? How do you learn how to do more?
Our industry is so hands-on experienced based rather than getting schooling on how to do it that recent college grads and junior estimators tend to steer away from getting into precon. However, it is a highly rewarding career.
John uses his experience as a preconstruction manager to encourage listeners who are either new to estimating or considering getting into precon on how you can learn how to estimate construction projects.
How did you get into precon? Let us know by sending us an email at email@example.com.
For more resources on how to become a cost estimator or be better at your job, read the following blogs:
The Evolution of Preconstruction
We’ve come a long way, baby.
On this week’s episode of Precon Geeks, the preconstruction podcast made for estimators so we can geek out on all things precon, John and Jared discuss the evolution of how we’ve done preconstruction and how technology has impacted construction and particularly preconstruction.
John talks about his experience with the digital revolution and the evolution of takeoff and where construction technology is headed.
From looking back to how far we’ve come and where we’re headed, technology is making the industry and the world a better place.
If you are interested in learning more about how our construction estimating and bid leveling software is revolutionizing the industry, contact us to schedule a demo: Request a demo of DESTINI Estimator and DESTINI Bid Day (beck-technology.com) To learn more about what John and Jared are talking about when they mention Blockbuster and Kodak, read our blog post, “What Happens When You Fail to Innovate” here: What Happens When You Fail to Innovate? (beck-technology.com)
You're Good Enough, You're Smart Enough, and Doggone It, People Like You
Is your daily mantra “You're Good Enough, You're Smart Enough, and Doggone It, People Like You?” Even though Stuart Smalley was a comedic sketch, he was actually on to something. The feeling like you don’t know enough to do your job well is a common feeling among estimators.
Drawing from a popular Redditt post about imposter syndrome at work, John and Jared talk about how to handle feelings of inadequacies in preconstruction and how leadership can combat these feelings and help their precon teams learn and grow in this week’s episode.
Interview with Togal.AI CEO and founder, and Executive Vice President of Coastal Construction, Patrick E. Murphy
You don’t want to miss this exciting episode!
Togal.AI CEO and founder, and Executive Vice President of Coastal Construction, Patrick E. Murphy, is John and Jared’s special guest this week.
With 80% faster takeoffs, Togal.AI is takeoff software and integrates with DESTINI Estimator.
In this week’s electrifying episode, Patrick and the Geeks discuss the latest in A.I. and how’s it is being used in the construction industry, especially in precon.
You will also hear the benefits of AI, the revolutionary way Togal.AI is utilizing ChatGPT in its software and how the latest and innovative technology is advancing preconstruction.
Click here to learn more about Togal.AI DESTINI Estimator Integration with Togal | Beck Technology (beck-technology.com)
Do You Bleed Blue?
How heated is it going to get?
It's a show down between U of L and U of K.
John and Jared host our own Allison Lewis, Beck Technology Learning and Development lead. Allison heads up all our training efforts for end users of the DESTINI suite of preconstruction software.
With a construction background, Allison is an expert in data management, process improvement, and standardizing operating procedures. In this episode, the Geeks talk about the importance of utilizing the resources your software vendor provides you to learn your new tools.
Allison talks about the typical gaps in implementing software and how to handle them, and the steps you can take to complete a successful software implementation.
Besides articles and how-to videos, we have an entire Community for estimators and precon professionals to discuss DESTINI Estimator, DESTINI Bid Day, and preconstruction. Access the Community here: Help Center (beck-technology.com)
Live from New York…. It’s Ted!
While Jared is still riding solo for one more week, he hosts Beck Technology Implementation Specialist, Ted Solomon. Ted is our resident born and raised New Yorker. He came to Beck Tech with a civil engineering degree and a background in preconstruction, estimating, and field work. He’s deeply passionate about construction technology and sees how embracing emerging tech will help make the built environment better. In this episode, Ted talks about how to gather the best data from the field, how to use that data, and the coolest AR and VR that is being used in the construction industry.
Though Jared did not get a “strongly worded email” he DID get his Precon World 2023 dates wrong. On October 13th, join us at the badass House of Blues Dallas for an entire day of precon! There is a limited-seating special DESTINI Estimator hands-on training session the day before on October 12.
Precon World event is the setting for DESTINI suite users, industry experts, and those interested in the future of preconstruction. To see the sessions and workshops being held this year and to register for Precon World, go here: Precon World | Beck Technology's Annual Conference for Preconstruction (beck-technology.com)
Get your Boat in the Water
While John is out being lazy…J/K! He’s out doing cool stuff with his kid’s Boy Scout troop…Jared hosts our own Jan Baren, precon and precon tech expert extraordinaire. On this episode, Jan gives excellent insight into how to evaluate your preconstruction efforts now and provides advice on how to prep your team for the future.
From the Field to Tech—A Precon Journey
John and Jared sit down with Grant Stucker, Beck Technology Strategic Account Executive, to discuss the path to precon, the path out of precon, and how cost estimators are more storytellers than they are number crunchers. If you're a true precon geek, you don't want to miss this episode!
Advancing Preconstruction Recap
John represented Beck Technology (and the Precon Geeks) at the 2023 Advancing Preconstruction Conference and him and Jared discuss John's biggest takeaways and what trends he sees emerging in precon after attending.
How to Prevent Burnout
Burnout is a big deal. And precon is feeling it. In this episode, John and Jared address the question, "As an estimator, how do I care about everything?" John spent nearly 15 years in estimating and construction and knows well the pressures you can face. He gives advice on how to stay focused on your current job while also keeping your eyes on the future, and how to take care of yourself and prevent estimator burnout. This episode will be of particular interest to those who are new to estimating and preconstruction. We'd love to hear how you "care about everything," including yourself. Drop us a line!
And for a shameless plug, check out our construction estimating software, DESTINI Estimator. It really does make your estimating life a lot easier: Construction Estimating Software | DESTINI Estimator (beck-technology.com)
Advancing Preconstruction 2023 Preview
Are y'all going to Advancing Preconstruction this year? If so, we can't wait to see you. Stop by booth 130 and meet Precon Geeks co-host John Reich! He'll be on hand to talk precon with you.
We’re also really excited to have our own Grant Stucker, Strategic Account Executive, present with Jason Fuhrmann, a senior estimator at Miron Construction on Thursday, May 25th at 2:25 p.m. They’ll be talking about estimating team alignment and how to focus on your team’s biggest risks and finding solutions to close the gaps. You won’t want to miss it.
On this week's episode, John and Jared talk about the upcoming Advancing Preconstruction conference and what you won't want to miss if you are attending.
For more info, visit the Advancing Preconstruction event page: Advancing Preconstruction 2023 | Home (advancing-preconstruction.com)
How to Avoid Sub-Contractor Fatigue
On this week’s episode of Precon Geeks, Jared talks to special guest Matt Dowling, Executive Vice President of The Pinyan Company.
Matt and Jared discuss the importance of sub-contractor management in preconstruction. We rely so heavily on our sub-construction that maintaining a trusted relationship is critical. If we lose relationships with our subs, we lose the edge over our competition.
So, how does preconstruction manage their relationships with subs? It’s all about communication.
Listen in to learn about giving too much versus not enough information. You will also hear what the risks are when you don’t communicate with your subs and how bringing in your subs during the precon phase of a project will help you in the long term.
Recruiting in Precon with Gareth McGlynn
This week, John and Jared host Gareth McGlynn, CEO of Niche SSP and host of the Preconstruction Podcast. They talk about the changing shift of focusing more value on preconstruction teams, how to recruit people into precon, and most importantly, they discuss football—soccer to Americans.
If you are looking for a position in preconstruction, reach out to Gareth on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/garethmcglynn/
AI and Estimating
Is AI taking over your job? In this episode, John and Jared ask CHATGPT for questions regarding AI and the construction industry. They also discuss how AI can help an estimator do their job…not how AI is taking over their job.
If you are interested in 80% faster takeoffs, check out Togal.AI here: DESTINI Estimator Integration with Togal | Beck Technology (beck-technology.com)
Are You The One That They Want?
What are owners looking for in a general contractor? This week, John reveals what he’s learned about what owners are looking for and what you can do in precon to make owners trust you and win more projects. Hint: it involves transparency, differentiation, and sexy technology.
If we have any owners listening, send us an email and let us know what you look for in a contractor: General Business Inquiries & Questions | Beck Technology (beck-technology.com)
To read more about what owners want, visit our blog here: What Owners Really Want (beck-technology.com)
Redefining Perceptions of Precon
When was the last time you heard “good job?” Most feedback estimators receive is when you’ve gotten a number wrong. There is rarely any positive feedback in our profession. Also, preconstruction is unique in the construction industry because you need to be available to PMs in the field and to owners, which can require 12-hour + days.
There is the perception from the younger generations entering construction that preconstruction promotes a workaholic culture and that it is a profession that isn’t particularly rewarding.
How can we counter this stereotype?
John provides his expertise on how to counter the perception that precon isn’t rewarding in this episode of Precon Geeks.
We have dived deeper into this conversation in a blog post. Read it here: Does Preconstruction Promote a Workaholic Culture? (beck-technology.com)
The Chopping Block
Are you doing value engineering right? Are you just reducing costs by cutting scope out of the project? If so, that is not value engineering done right.
When owners work for months or years with an architect to design the dream, are you the guy who has to tell them they can’t afford their building? There is a better way.
Value engineering brings back the art in estimating. John and Jared discuss how to bring better value to owners by doing value engineering the right way.
Making the Precon Process More Efficient
Target Value Design is disrupting the traditional preconstruction process. Deriving from the design-build method and lean estimating construction practices, Target Value Design is a way for precon teams to get ahead of the work preventing change orders and budget overruns.
It is putting the precon process before the design process. It may make some estimators uncomfortable; however, working together with the design team creates a more efficient process and provides a higher value to owners.
John and Jared discuss what Target Value Design is and how estimators and preconstruction teams can incorporate it into their process in this episode of Precon Geeks.
To read more about Target Value Design and it's benefits, visit the Beck Technology blog here: Target Value Design in Construction (beck-technology.com)
Interview with Stewart Carroll, Beck Technology President
John and Jared talk with Beck Technology's President, Stewart Carroll. Stewart talks about how he got into construction and technology, both passions of his at a young age.
In this episode, you will learn how Stewart met Peter Beck, one of the founding members of Beck Technology, and how Beck Technology was started. Peter believed that if the construction industry could utilize technology in the preconstruction phase of a project, then better decisions could be made resulting in better quality outcomes.
Revolutionize the industry...create the future!
To hear how Beck Technology helps precon teams make better project decisions, request a demo of the DESTINI suite of products here: Request a demo of DESTINI Estimator and DESTINI Bid Day (beck-technology.com)
Are The Robots Coming For My Job?
John and Jared sit down to discuss the trends in precon in 2023. What are we hearing from clients? What are we experiencing in precon now post-COVID? You'll hear John's take on the cost of material escalation currently and how hybrid work environments are going to grow in the future.
But what they really focus on in this episode is artificial intelligence (A.I.) and augmenting an estimators work for better outcomes. As John says, "no one wants to count widgets for the rest of their lives." There is a lot of game-changing tech coming out that is helping preconstruction teams make better, faster decisions and John and Jared discuss how embracing new technology can benefit precon teams.
Learn more about how augmentation is transforming precon in this blog post: Transforming the Construction Industry Through Augmentation (beck-technology.com)
Why Launch a Precon Podcast Now?
Howdy, we're Beck Technology and we make game-changing preconstruction software. Why are we launching a podcast now? Well, because there are so many neglected aspects of precon. We want to talk about what estimators AREN'T talking about. We'll interview industry insiders, techy folk, estimators, and precon professionals for their take on what's happening in the world of precon now and trends for the future.
In this first episode, our hosts, John and Jared, discuss why we're launching a podcast, the type of discussions you'll hear on Precon Freaks, and why you should listen.
Tune in every Tuesday for a new episode and go visit us on the web at Construction Estimating Software. Reimagined. | Beck Technology (beck-technology.com).
Introducing Precon Geeks—The Podcast for Precon Freaks
Precon Geeks, the podcast for precon freaks. Why should you listen to our new preconstruction podcast? Because we get real. We're going to discuss all the things estimators are posting anonymously about on Redditt. We'll discuss the challenges you face and how to overcome them. Listen in to gain insight into what industry insiders and top GCs are doing to set their companies up for success.
We're a software company born from industry and know the risk, problems, and struggles of precon. The Precon Geeks hosts come from construction and are excited to share their knowledge, as well as learn from guests and listeners.
Tune in every Tuesday at 5 am EST / 4 am CST for a new episode of Precon Geeks.