Chapter Corner

Newsroom & Insights: September/October 2014

FMI's Construction Outlook 2nd Quarter 2014

Yogi Berra once famously said, “Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.” Berra was responding to a question about why he had not been to a favorite, popular restaurant anymore.

In our case, we are using this bit of paradoxical humor as an introduction to our forecast, in particular, to look at the changes in retail commercial construction and the changing construction industry in general. Berra’s quote will not help us explain why our forecast for the construction industry has been lowered 1 percent compared with last quarter’s outlook forecast. For that answer, we will try to explain below. If there is one overarching theme to the global economy, someone is lying to you. Better to listen to another famous quotable major league manager, Casey Stengel, who said, “Never make predictions, especially about the future.”

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After the Fire

If you haven’t been made aware of the fact that electrical equipment exposed to water can be extremely hazardous if re-energized without proper reconditioning or replacement, then you just may also be surprised to hear that a similar message is applicable to electrical equipment exposed to the smoke/soot that may result from burning materials during and after a structure fire. One could argue that a structure fire not only creates an environment that is hazardous to the health of the occupants and first responders, it also has the ability to create a hazardous location caustic to electrical equipment.

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Deadly Deals: Counterfeits Can Kill

For many, the word “counterfeit” conjures images of knock-off purses and imitation currency. But counterfeiters are opportunistic and have evolved to target industries that can yield the most profit. In response to growing demands and new innovation, the electrical industry has been booming and has also become vulnerable to counterfeiting syndicates. Counterfeiters hope to capitalize on this growing customer base by providing low-cost impersonations of legitimate products. Regardless of whether they are bought knowingly or unwittingly, counterfeit electrical products pose a uniquely dangerous hazard. It is critical that the public is aware of the potentially deadly effects of these products and also how to identify and report them before they can infiltrate the supply chain.

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Speak and Be Heard

The perspiration slowly slides down the middle of your back. Your knees knock and your hands shake. Will you get through this, or will you pass out on the spot? Sound like your first date? No, it’s all happening because you are about to give a presentation.

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The 5 New Rules of Face-To-Face Communication

Have you ever had this internal conversation: Why meet when you can call? Why call when you can e-mail? Why e-mail when you can text? Why text when you can tweet?
I have this internal conversation daily.

For many Millennials (myself included), the art of face-to-face communication seems archaic and outdated since we can shoot off a text or tweet in a few finger flicks or can connect with a team instantly via Google+ Hangouts. However, face-to-face communication is alive and well; if used correctly it can make you stand out in today’s crowded talent pool.

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Motion is Money

As the workforce ages, soft tissue injuries become the leading frequency and severity loss drivers in warehousing/distribution. Motion is Money is a focused process designed to address the musculoskeletal disorder risk factors driving these losses while positively affecting the production, efficiency, and quality of operations.

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