Sixty Years of Machines, Part II
Part II: A Pressing Issue
Why reflect on the oft-derided C-Clamp as it fades into truss industry oblivion? Because it holds the world record for truss production, unmatched yet, even by robots. And although it debuted half a century ago, its design has never been equaled. And remarkably, this...
The Hiring Zone:
Not Another Recession!
I am not talking about stocks, bonds, markets, or even finance. Speaking from experience as a recruiter for over 27 years, I see signs that 2020 is probably going to be OK as far as the building components manufacturing job market goes. My employers are saying they don’t see growth like in...
Why Modular Home Factories Need to Expand Right Now!
Just in case you haven’t looked out your window lately, new home construction is happening everywhere, especially on the East and West Coast.
Traditional new home site builders are facing labor shortages in not only skilled trades but also in basic framing. This shortage is having a...
Sixty Years of Machines: Introduction
When do CMs go after new technology? Primarily when they’ve had several good years under their belt. But once new equipment has proven to be much better than what it replaces, it continues to sell even in slower economies. This is illustrated by the apparent inflection point midway through...
The Hiring Zone:
Job Search Blues
As a recruiter, I see the geneses of job dissatisfaction and turnover. You start a job with hopes of being there forever, or at least 10 years, and within a year or two you are back looking at the job market. While the internet has made it easier to search for and find a new job, it also has...
Will Automation Always be a Distant Dream for Modular Housing?
Recently I heard, once again, a speaker supporting total automation of the modular production process while comparing modular housing with automobile production lines.
Let me put this to rest for hopefully the last time. Modular housing is not anything like the auto industry. There are two...
Investment in Employee Training, Not Just Equipment
Is your company’s budget only for new equipment, but no formal training for your employees? Any time you think about investing for productivity gains, often the first thing that comes to mind is investing in new equipment. All too often, we think we see the situation clearly and can make...
The Hiring Zone:
Remote Offices – This is How We Do It, Part Three
With over 30 years of experience, Roy Aldworth has worked both in office and remote. He currently works on extremely large multifamily residential projects, city block sized up to 7 stories high. He started working from home 8 years ago and was so much more productive it became permanent. There...
Meet Modular Construction’s Newest Innovator
One of the people in the modular housing industry I’ve wanted to interview since I met him a few years back is Vaughan Buckley, the owner of Volumetric Building Companies in Philadelphia. He is the rising star more people in our industry should emulate.
His vision for what is and could...
The Vast Majority of Component Plants Have Too Much Lost Productivity
People make the common mistake of thinking that if they have been doing something for a long time, occasionally have made improvements over the years, and they are working hard and consistently, then they are doing it the best way possible. But the truth is, approximately 80% of truss and wall...