How to Implement New Construction Software

Undertaking the task of identifying and implementing a new construction software package is not an easy thing to do. To be successful, you need to have a complete understanding of your business objectives and how the software fits in to those objectives so that you can develop a plan to meet those objectives.The purpose of this article is to discuss several elements that are of key importance in getting new software installed and implemented in the fastest and most effective manner possible. By following the advice given here and developing a strategic plan prior to making the switch to new software, you will have a “implementation blueprint” that will give you control over the entire process.Converting DataWhen you install new software, there will inevitably be a time when you’ll need to get all the data off of your old system and put it on to the new system. There are essentially two options for this data conversion: manual conversion and electronic conversions. Ultimately, the choice you make will depend on the services that your vendor offers and how much of your old data you want to transfer over to the new construction software system.Manual Data Conversion: Converting your data manually is exactly what it sounds like – you, or someone at your company, manually reenter the data in to your new software. Of course, the main disadvantage of doing the data conversion this way is that it is a very time and labor intensive task. It can be helpful to use a team approach and have the entire staff tackle the job at once. In cases where a company decides to move a minimal amount of data over to the new system, manual conversion can be more than adequate as it may not take as much time as it would to move many years worth of data.One thing that companies that opt for manual data conversion need to be aware of is data entry errors. Working long hours copying data from one system to the other can be very tiring. If there is a deadline on top of that, you are almost asking for mistakes to be made. If you choose to do manual data conversion, you need to ensure that there are quality control procedures in plact to verify the accuracy of your data.Electronic Data Conversion: Likewise, electronic data conversion is pretty self-explanatory. It involves using some sort of software to transfer the data from your old system to the new one. This is the ideal solution in most cases because it is quick, it requires little more than a “set it and forget it” amount of labor, and generally copies the data as accurately as possible.If your construction management software vendor offers an electronic data conversion option, you should probably seriously consider it. They should be able to provide you with guidance necessary to retrieve your old data from your system and they should be able to explain how to convert it to the new system.One thing to be aware of when you use electronic data conversion is the quality of the data and the formatting of that data. You need to understand exactly what your vendor can and cannot do with your old data and the new system before signing on for an electronic conversion.Electronic data conversion can usually import master files, customer information, job cost history, open invoices, and other common data. However, it does require some technical knowledge to oversee the electronic data conversion. If you do not think you can handle this task, you may want to speak with your vendor to see if they offer technical consultants that can help.Data CleanupWhen converting data, it is important that you’re only transferring good, clean data to your new system. If you put garbage in to the new system, it’s going to send garbage out. In other words, the performance of your new system will be directly related to the quality of data that you put in to it – both initially and on an ongoing basis. This is true whether you use manual or electronic data conversion. By taking the time to clean up your data before conversion, you have an opportunity to:* Get all of your data standardized
* Identify and delete duplicate records and find missing records
* Delete unnecessary data
* Reformat data where necessary
* Search for and fix corrupted information
* Test the validity of the data when you export itTestingOnce you have converted your old data to the new system, you need to test it. This is a crucial step in the overall “data cleanup” operation. Whether data is manually or electronically converted, you need to test the data to ensure that it is accurate and to give yourself a chance to evaluate the critical processes that the construction software tracks and reports on.It may help to think of testing as a “dry run” for the real deal. Run the same reports using your old software that you run in the new software and make comparisons. Use these opportunities to identify and correct issues to avoid problems after you “go live” with the new software.You may want to consider hiring temporary help during the conversion process to assist with data entry or to provide the day to day support that is necessary to keep the business running smoothly while you focus on the software conversions.TrainingOnce you have installed the new software, training your staff to properly use the software should be your top priority. It cannot be said enough – DO NOT cut corners on training. Having adequate training for your users is the only way that you can ensure that the software provides the long term benefits that you desire.On-site training will almost always be the best option. It gives end-users the ability to work with real data and get comfortable with the new software in an environment where they will ultimately be using it. It is best to start training on the core modules – job cost, payroll, accounts payable, and so on. Once your users have mastered these modules, you can begin to move on to the more complex things that the new software offers.Follow up training is equally as important, but can be done using a combination of phone call, online training, and on-site sessions if necessary. Learning how to use the software should be done proactively and not reactively, and ongoing training is the only way to ensure that is accomplished. This growing knowledge of how to best use the software will give your company a competitive advantage over your competition that cannot be matched.Finally, it is always a good idea to have on-site training “refreshers” once a year, after software upgrades, and if/when you experience a high employee turnover to ensure that you don’t fall behind.Continue Your Relationship with Your VendorAfter you go live with the new software you need to make sure that you maintain a relationship with your vendor. Talk to their development team and tell them about ways that the software can be improved. Attend conferences. In short, do anything you can to nurture the relationship you have with your vendor – it will come in handy when you really need it to.Construction accounting is a complicated thing. The time and money that your company invests in upgrades are commitments to your long term success. Only by having a positive relationship with your vendor can you ensure that you get the most from your software for as long as possible.

Construction Industry Training Programs

Everyone likes to be the best and professional in any particular task. Whether we talk of technology or we talk of other related fields. Every course has its real importance and needs good results. Keeping good skills in any field needs good knowledge and perfect hands involvement. So, it is always better to choose the path that best suits your requirement. To gain work in the industry, various people like to begin their work with front end loader training or bulldozer operator training and try for their front end loader ticket or backhoe ticket.The construction industry involves a wide range of activities like building, construction, repair, etc. This field is based on a set of complex skills, having the knowledge of the equipment is not sufficient, it is necessary to have a good experience of task as well as equipment. There are various institutions, training centers that offer different level of skills and the different kind of techniques that are required in the construction work. There are many good skill centers, which provide professional construction training services to both small and large businesses. They are providing various courses on warehousing, civil construction, road transportation and many more.Having the proper knowledge of tools and equipment used in construction is essential for everyone who wants to begin to be perfect in this particular field of construction.
Choose different level of courses like civil construction, mining, road transportation, warehousing. Every field has its own importance and place in today’s time. So choosing any above course leads you to the place that suits you the best. Having an expert construction center with practical knowledge and vast experience in any particular field to teach you is as much as better than going through a pile of books, where you hardly understand anything.It is better to choose a construction industry training program where the trainees have direct experience in the building and construction industry. Not only a trainee should include knowledge on potential hazards, but should also be prepared to face them and tackle them if required. The course should underline the health, safety, and environmental issues involved in your particular field of work. The best and the top-rated training center help you to gain expertise in different but related skills and the same time offers you the chance to embark on your professional journey when you are equipped with sufficient skills and knowledge.

Starting a Food Business – Pan Review Prep

This guide is for prospective operators of food enterprises (food establishments, retail food stores, food warehouses, and food processors) desiring to open a food business in either their local city, county or state jurisdiction. This is a general overview and may not be all inclusive of the codes and ordinances in your locality. It is good to note that though this document will more than likely cover most if not all requirements for starting a food business in your jurisdiction, it would be in your best interest to familiarize yourself with the codes and regulations of your local city, county and/or state.Operating Permits – Food EnterprisesA Food Establishment application can be obtained at your local city or county health department. If you plan to manufacture foods and package for retail sale you may be required to obtain a food manufacturer’s license from your state regulatory agency. If you plan to distribute your product outside of your state lines a federal license may also have to be obtained. It is recommended that you submit a fully completed application and fees at least one month prior to your anticipated opening date. This gives the local authority the needed lead time to process it and schedule any needed pre-opening inspections. Again, make sure that you provide ALL information required on the application. Incomplete applications may delay your approval.Food permits are generally in effect for one year from the date of issue and are renewable each year thereafter when the appropriate fee is paid and as long as the establishment remains in compliance with applicable Health codes and regulations.Home preparation of food for public consumption is prohibited. All food that is to be consumed by the public, whether free or for purchase must be prepared at a permitted establishment that is inspected by a federal, state, or local Health Authority.Food Establishment Fee: Food establishment fees are variable depending on jurisdiction. Contact your local health authority to inquire about permitting fees.NOTE: Larger establishments that have multiple food service operations on site may need to obtain a health permit for each operation. A separate application and fees may need to be submitted for each operation.Food Enterprise Pre-Opening ProcessesWhen starting a Food Enterprise business you may be required to go through either or both A) a change of ownership inspection or B) a plan review process. Read through options A & B below to determine which best fits your situation. Contact your local health authority if you need help in making that determination.A) Change of Ownership Inspection Process-Before opening for business you may be required to go through a change of ownership inspection. This inspection verifies your establishment complies with current regulations and that clearance to occupy the site has been granted by your city or county. This inspection may incur a fee and the fee for this inspection will more than likely be required to be paid before the inspector conducts the inspection. If applicable, a request for a Change of Ownership application should be available at the offices of your local city or county health authority. Again, to expedite your request, a fully completed application must be submitted. After submitting the application; call to schedule the inspection with your inspector. If the establishment doesn’t comply with current regulations you will be required to bring it up to code before your operating permit is approved. Prospective business owners, if available, it would be in your best interest to request a change of ownership inspection before finalizing the sale. This gives the prospective business owner a heads up on any items that may be required for the establishment to be in compliance with local city or county codes. Under no circumstances may you begin operations without approval from the local city or county health authority. Legal charges may be filed against you if you do.B) Food Establishment Plan Review ProcessA plan review will more than likely be required for any newly built business or in the event of an extensive remodel of an existing business. NOTE: This will also more than likely require a completed application and fees be paid in order to initiate this process.A Plan Review is required whenever a building is constructed or substantially remodeled to be a food enterprise, whenever a substantial change is made to an existing food facility or may be required if a plumbing permit, building permit, or other construction permit is required by the local city or county development offices.The Plan Review Application, including proposed menu, Fees, and 1 or more sets of building plans all may be required to be submitted as a package. Review all forms thoroughly to ensure accuracy of information provided. Incomplete or inaccurate applications could delay your plan review. The Plan Review Application should be available at the offices of your local city or county Health Authority. Upon approval, the plans are stamped by the Health Authority and the person submitting the plans will be called to pick them up.Submit building plans after the type of food operation and menu has been determined and after receiving Building approval from your local city or county development offices. The building plans should be drawn to scale with most plans drawn in a scale of ¼” = 1Ft. and detail the layout of the kitchen, dining area, restrooms, storage areas, break room, wait stations and bar. The plans are to include a materials list of specifications for all floors, walls, and ceilings.Certificate of OccupancyAll Food Enterprises will more than likely be required to have a Certificate of Occupancy (CO). A CO is issued after the Building and Health Officials inspect the building and find no violations of the Building or Health Codes during new construction and/or a remodel. The CO will also state the use for which the building will be used. The CO Inspection is usually required prior to getting final health approval but in some cases not only may a preliminary CO inspection be required prior to receiving your final health approval but a secondary (final) CO inspection may be required by your building inspector before your Operating Permit is approved. Inquire with your local health authority and building inspectors to see what process is required. NOTE: Contact the building inspectors at least 7 days prior to the time you are ready to schedule your inspection. This should insure that you get a timely response.Permit ApprovalOnce you have completed the pre-opening processes and your Building and Health Inspectors have approved your operating permit, you may open for business. Under no circumstances may you begin operations without approval from both the Building and Health Inspectors. Legal charges may be filed against you if you do.Other ApprovalsBuilding Permits: Plans may need to be submitted for a Commercial Plan Review. If required, contact your local Building or Development Services Office to schedule this review and to obtain a building permit.Industrial Waste: If you are taking over a previous business and changing the type of operation, ensure the grease trap meets the requirements for your new operation. For example, when a “sandwich shop” becomes a “fried chicken” location, the existing grease trap may need to be modified. Contact your local industrial waste inspector to ascertain if any changes need to be made to the existing system or to evaluate your engineered designs if your plans require the installation of an on-site septic system.Fire Inspections: Building Inspectors are concerned with grease-laden vapors and proper hood protection in food facilities. All cooking equipment must be installed under an approved hood system. In addition, establishments in excess of 5,000 sq. ft. are required to provide a sprinkler system. Establishments with an occupancy load in excess of 50 people are required to provide fire alarms. Call your local building inspector, fire inspector or fire marshal to evaluate plans or to schedule a site inspection.What to put in a plan ReviewInclude and Identify the following on your Building Plans- Major pieces of equipmentRefrigerator/freezer unitsVent-hoodIce machines/bins/dispensersSteamersMicrowavesWarming DrawersStovesPrep tablesIce Cream DispenserOvensDish MachinesBeverage Station/dispenserGrillsMixersBlender StationFryersFood Processors Salad/Food Buffets- SinksHand sinks (food prep areas ware-washing area restrooms) Ware washing sinks Service Sink/Mop sink/curbed floor sink Food Prep Sink- Dumpster- Grease Barrel- Chemical Storage areas- Mop drying area- Employee area for belongings- Dry food storage area- Doors- Mechanical ventilation in restrooms- Outdoor food prep areas (bars/wait station/BBQ)- Grease trap size and location- Water Wells- Underground and overhead sewer and waste lines- On Site Sewage FacilityHealth Code Plan Notes1) Refrigeration All refrigerated units are to hold foods at or below 41°F.2) Restrooms (two are normally required). If the establishment has only carry-out or seating for less than 20 people, and less than 10 employees, then only one employee restroom may be allowed. Two restrooms may be required if alcohol is served on the premises or more than 20 seats are provided. Each restroom must have a hand sink with hot (at least 100°F) and cold water, mechanical air ventilation to the outside, and a solid, self-closing door. Restrooms may not open directly into a kitchen. The total number of restrooms for a Childcare facility is dependent on the “minimum standards” of the Texas. Dept. of Family and Protective Services (834-3195) as it relates to Childcare.3) SinksA. Service Sink/Mop Sink/Curbed Floor sink: At least one of these must be available for mop washing and disposal of mop water in an approved waste water disposal system. A drying rack is required for mops to air dry. This sink must be provided with a backflow preventer on any threaded hose bib to protect the water supply. Note: the mop sink may be located in a different area of the building than the kitchen.B. Hand washing sinks: Shall be located to allow convenient use by employees in food preparation, food dispensing, ware wash areas, and any wait station where ice is dispensed, bar area or in a walk-in where meat is cut or trimmed. At least one hand sink will be required; additional, separate hand sinks may also be required. Small kitchens with food prep and ware washing in close proximity may be allowed to use one hand sink to serve both activities. Other hand sinks must be associated with restrooms. Provide at least 12″ tall splashguards if a hand sink is located near food prep, open food, ice, or clean food contact surfaces. Otherwise, the hand sink must have at least 18″ lateral separation from these. A sign or poster that notifies food employees to wash their hands shall be provided to all hand washing sinks and be clearly visible. A small, swinging door (as in a bar area) could separate a hand sink from a work area, otherwise no doors separating hand sink from work areas.Each sink must be supplied with hot (100°F) and cold water, soap and disposable towels. Childcare facilities must have hot water in the diaper changing area and kitchen. If plans do not provide sufficient hand sinks to meet the requirements of the establishment you will be asked to provide a revised plan with additional hand sinks.C. Ware Wash Area: A commercial dishwasher or 3 compartment sink is required in most cases. Dish machines must be able to effectively sanitize all equipment and utensils. They must dispense a chemical sanitizer or provide a final rinse of at least 180° F. (single, stationary rack machines are required to reach 165° in the sanitize cycle). Test strips are required. Above-the-counter dish machines are required to have Type II vent-hood.Ware washing sinks shall be of sufficient size to immerse the largest piece of equipment. Cold and hot (100°F minimum) water under pressure delivered through a mixing valve shall be provided. Provide at least 2 integral drain boards or 1 integral drain board and a mobile dish cart. Drying racks or shelves will aid in adequately air drying all wares. Facilities with very limited ware washing and using disposable containers may request a variance to install a 2 compartment sink (example: convenience store). These sinks are required to have a drain board. The sinks must have an indirect connection to the sanitary sewer (at least a one inch air gap). This includes all food prep sinks and ware wash sinks.4) Ceiling Construction: Ceilings over open food, ice, soda fountains, ware washing, restrooms and bars must meet construction criteria and be smooth, durable, nonabsorbent, and cleanable. Open rafters, trusses or grid work and exposed duct work, pipes or utility lines are usually prohibited with no open structure permitted. If drop down acoustic tiles are used, they must be properly constructed. These tiles are washable and have a smooth surface without pinholes. Painted dry wall or boards are generally acceptable.5) Walls/Floors: Must be constructed of approved materials. Cleanable water-based enamel paint is usually acceptable for most wall surfaces. Areas that are subject to regular cleaning and splash may be covered with FRP, stainless, or galvanized metal. Floor/wall junctures shall provide no greater than 1/32″ gap. Baseboards are required. Caulk wall/floor junctures to prevent the collection of food particles and water. Masonry (brick/concrete) wall/floor junctures DO NOT require baseboards since a masonry juncture provides no gap. Raw brick and concrete in the kitchen area requires sealing. The sand grout of all tiles needs to be sealed. Epoxy grout does not require sealing. VCT floor tiles require a coat of wax to seal out liquids.6) Solid Waste: Dumpster and grease barrels shall rest on a machine laid asphalt or concrete pad. These containers must have tight fitting lids and drain plugs in place.7) Outdoor Cooking facilities: Barbeque pits or smokers shall be enclosed, and if screened in, at least a 1/16″ mesh screen is required. They shall rest on a concrete or asphalt pad. The meat may only be placed on the smoker; no food prep allowed in this enclosure. Any seasoning, cutting, etc. must take place inside the establishment. Outdoor bars and wait stations will be approved on a case by case basis by your local health authority.8) Water and Sewage Systems: All private onsite sewage facilities and wells serving a new food enterprise, an extensively remodeled food enterprise, or a food enterprise coming under new ownership must meet current standards. These systems are required to be evaluated with respect to whether the system (a) meets current standards and (b) is adequate for the proposed use.NOTE: A food service facility or Childcare facility using a well may be considered public water supply and subject to specific restrictions and regulations. Consult your local health authority to inquire about any questions regarding the use of a private well.9) Protecting the Water Supply: Threaded hose bibs are required to have a backflow prevention device attached. Spray hoses and fill hoses shall hang at least 1 inch above the maximum flood rim of a basin or the hoses shall be provided with an atmospheric vacuum breaker or backflow prevention device.10) Indirect Connections: Jockey boxes, ice bins, ice machines and sinks (as identified above in # 3) must be provided with indirect connections to the sewer. Floor sinks are required on new construction.11) Lighting: Adequate amount of light shall be provided to all areas. At least 20 foot candles is required where food is provided for customer self-service such as buffet and salad bars or where fresh produce or packaged foods are sold. At least