Colossal Costs Lost To Construction Claims And Disputes

HKA | October 29, 2020

The astonishing toll of overrunning costs and schedules on major engineering and construction projects worldwide is laid bare in an analysis of claims and disputes published today by HKA. CRUX Insight 2020 is the product of investigations into more than 1,100 projects across 88 countries by HKA, the construction and engineering industry's leading specialists in consulting, expert and advisory services. Design conflicts are eclipsing scope change as the main disruptors of major projects. As well as ranking the causes of claims and disputes, HKA's third CRUX Insight report provides a regional analysis with actionable advice to pre-empt these recurring problems – from its expert consultants in the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe, and the Middle East & Africa. The analysis reveals the eye-watering sums of money and time being lost, as well as the patterns of root causes. Already observing a surge in spurious claims conflated with the impacts of COVID-19, HKA consultants warn that the pandemic will be detrimental for the industry, and potentially lethal for already weakened contractors, without the corrective actions.

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ENGINEERING TECH

PulteGroup Announces Expansion of Innovative Construction Group Operations into South Carolina

PulteGroup | November 21, 2022

PulteGroup, Inc. (NYSE: PHM) today announced the unveiling of its subsidiary Innovative Construction Group’s second off-site solutions manufacturing operations in Florence, South Carolina. Focused on single-family and multi-family wood framed construction, this facility will expand ICG’s production and distribution capabilities to meet growing demand in the Southeast. “Part of the Company’s ongoing expansion of the ICG platform, we are excited to open our newest off-site production facility, This facility increases the scope of ICG’s manufactured framing solutions to serve new home construction in South Carolina, including PulteGroup’s communities in Myrtle Beach, Charleston, Hilton Head, Rock Hill and Columbia.” -Ryan Marshall President and CEO, PulteGroup. The Florence operation integrates cutting-edge technology, automation and intellectual property exclusive to ICG to deliver a comprehensive range of framing solutions. Designed to enhance production efficiency and build quality, ICG provides design services, wall panels, roof trusses and floor systems, and on-site installation to provide a fully integrated shell construction process. “Opening a facility in South Carolina was a natural next step to expanding the ICG platform as it allows for collaboration with our operations in Florida, while extending our offerings and services to several new housing markets, With this expansion completed, we are excited to shift focus towards further vertically integrating our operations.” -Ryan Melin, Co-Founder and President of ICG. About PulteGroup: PulteGroup, Inc. (NYSE: PHM), based in Atlanta, Georgia, is one of America’s largest homebuilding companies with operations in more than 40 markets throughout the country. Through its brand portfolio that includes Centex, Pulte Homes, Del Webb, DiVosta Homes, American West and John Wieland Homes and Neighborhoods, the company is one of the industry’s most versatile homebuilders able to meet the needs of multiple buyer groups and respond to changing consumer demand. PulteGroup’s purpose is building incredible places where people can live their dreams.

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CONSTRUCTION

Kojo Raises $39 Million Series C to Accelerate Modernizing the Construction Industry

Kojo | September 17, 2022

the construction industry's leading materials management platform – today announced the completion of its $39 million Series C funding round led by Battery Ventures with participation from new investors Schneider Electric, RXR, and Bienville Capital. Existing investors including 8VC, Suffolk Construction, Human Capital, AME, and BoxGroup also participated in the round. Additionally, Kojo shared that Michael Brown, general partner at Battery Ventures, joined its board of directors. "Our mission is to make it faster, easier, and more sustainable to build the world around us. Supply chain disruptions and inflation have made it incredibly challenging to keep projects on-time and on-budget. With this new round of funding, we're excited to continue building best-in-class products that help contractors all over the U.S. save money, increase their productivity, and become more resilient." -Maria Rioumine, CEO and Founder of Kojo. The $800 billion a year commercial construction industry is facing more volatility than ever with soaring construction costs, material and labor shortages, and supply chain constraints. Too many contractors today lack control and visibility over their supply chains, and critical projects are slowed down by error-prone and manual materials ordering processes. Kojo's software brings field, office, warehouse, and vendor teams onto a single platform, making it easy for contractors to manage their materials needs from project takeoff to closeout. To date, Kojo has powered the construction of nearly 10,000 projects, including hospitals, schools, and multi-family housing projects, across 46 states. Despite the recent economic slowdown, Kojo has grown annual recurring revenue 3.5x year over year and expanded to serve all major construction trades. In the last 18 months, Kojo has seen a 12x increase in users and saved customers more than $19 million on their materials orders. Alongside the new round of funding, Kojo is launching new products to further streamline payments and project spend management. Contractors will be able to reconcile their invoices and pay for materials directly on Kojo's platform, allowing them to accurately track project spend. With new distributor integrations, contractors will also be able to directly see distributor pricing and inventory to make the best buying decisions. "At Battery, we're focused on investing in entrepreneurs building industry-transforming companies, The construction industry has been underserved by technology for far too long, and that's led to huge challenges over the past few years. We're thrilled to be partnering with Kojo to change that and bring much needed software and financial services to commercial trade contractors." -Michael Brown, general partner at Battery Ventures. About Kojo: Kojo, the construction industry's leading materials management platform, enables trade and self-perform general contractors to take control of their margins by consolidating the procurement process onto one, all-inclusive digital platform. By connecting the field, office, warehouse, accounting teams, and vendors, contractors gain visibility into real-time materials spending and usage, streamline workflows, and increase labor productivity. Contractors have access to a network of thousands of vendors to source the best prices and availability, find cost savings and reduce material waste. Kojo is trusted by hundreds of contractors and utilized by thousands of construction professionals across the country every day.

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ENGINEERING TECH

Telegraph Partners With Watco To Streamline Rail Logistics

Telegraph | September 27, 2022

Telegraph, a Chicago-based startup building next-generation software for the freight rail industry, and Watco, a highly diversified transportation company, recently announced their new collaboration. The combination of Watco's decades of rail logistics experience and Telegraph software is helping shippers solve their toughest logistics challenges, especially rail transportation. The enhanced technology provides customers visibility of their railcars beyond Watco facilities or tracks. "We recognized a distinct need for software designed for the rail-centric supply chain, The industry presents unique challenges that this collaboration allows us to address. Together, we're making rail a more compelling option for shippers." -Shachar Astor co-founder Telegraph. Telegraph helps railroads, shippers, logistics providers, and railcar lessors work more efficiently via a singular platform. The company uplevels the consumer experience, making it easier for businesses to incorporate rail into their procurement and execution processes. "Telegraph's tool helps us be more effective and efficient so we can focus on solving common rail issues for our customers. It is quick, it is easy, it is powerful, We help our customers keep their freight moving and provide cost-saving opportunities such as rate negotiations and demurrage risk mitigation." -Michelle Bowling Vice President of Logistics Sales Watco. Telegraph provides exceptional predictability and visibility for carload and intermodal shipments. Leveraging EDI, API, and telematics integrations, the platform delivers best-in-class forecastability and pipeline management. To date, the company has saved customers thousands of hours in manual work and millions of dollars in accessorial charges. It's a pleasure to build alongside the team at Watco. Both organizations share an operational grit and customer focus that has unlocked immense value. We're excited about our shared pursuit of making it easier for everyone to incorporate rail into their supply chain, added Telegraph CEO Harris Ligon. About Telegraph: Telegraph provides a cloud-based operating system for railroads, shippers, logistics service providers, and railcar leasing companies. With an innovative platform that provides price transparency, shipment visibility, and proactive business intelligence, Telegraph empowers customers and makes shipping by rail easier and more effective. About Watco: Watco is a leading transportation service and logistics company that provides transportation, material handling and warehousing, logistics, railcar repair, and design and development for customers throughout North America and Australia.

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ENGINEERING TECH, CONSTRUCTION

ABC’s Contractor Confidence Rebounds; Construction Backlog Indicator Flat in August

ABC | September 14, 2022

Associated Builders and Contractors reports today that its Construction Backlog Indicator remained unchanged at 8.7 months in August, according to an ABC member survey conducted Aug. 22 to Sept. 7. The reading is a full month higher than in August 2021. Backlog is down from the levels of the second quarter of 2022 but remains higher than at any point from March 2020 to March 2022. While the CBI reading fell for contractors in the South in August, it remains the U.S. region with the lengthiest backlog. ABC’s Construction Confidence Index readings for sales, profit margins and staffing levels increased in August. The index for profit margins bounced back into positive territory while the sales and staffing level indices remained above 50, indicating expectations of growth over the next six months. “Despite the high risk of recession, contractors collectively expect sales, employment and profit margins to grow over the next six months, Backlog is down from the cyclical peak in early 2022 and has been roughly flat in recent months,The buoyancy of the nation’s nonresidential construction marketplace is really quite remarkable, Rising interest rates have already driven the single-family homebuilding market into recession, but brisk nonresidential activity continues. Many nonresidential contractors are operating at capacity, and their principal frustrations relate to supply-side issues like worker shortages, equipment delivery delays and elevated materials prices, as opposed to demand for their services." -Anirban Basu, Chief Economist ABC.

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