5 Rules to Avoid Project Disaster - Part 1

In this two-part series, Brandon Davis offers five rules for capital project success. Part 1 below includes the first three rules. Watch for the remaining two rules in Part 2, which will be published next week.

Remembering Our Purpose

I recently had a discussion about a project we lost due to miscommunication about our estimate and what it meant. Performing a “lessons learned” about a painful lesson is always a bit of a roller coaster ride. Once you confront the pain of the loss, you begin to realize there is something you might gain from it, and growth appears at the doorstop of the loss.

How to Maximize Feedback and Engagement

We are preparing to do a total revamp of our website (sorry web designers, we’ve selected a firm and hope that we can come to terms with them soon – but that’s a topic for another blog). As part of this process, we surveyed about 20% of our team from across all positions and locations to learn how they see and use our existing website. The results and feedback were enlightening and fascinating.

National Cyber Security Month

October is national Cyber Security Month. While unfortunate, it is a fact of life that there are forces in the world that are mischievous at least and downright evil at worst. When fighting an issue, it is always productive to identify the issue for what it is.

The Core Concepts of Innovation

It has always been one of my favorite sayings – The difference between a groove and a grave is only the matter of depth. Many a man and many an institution have found their graves, so far as useful service is concerned, simply because they refused to be lifted out of their grooves.

The Benefits of Taking Ownership

My sister once lamented to me that her son took poor care of the car she and her husband bought for him, but once he bought his own car, he washed it all the time. When confronted with the fact, he acknowledged it saying, “Well, that was your car, this one is mine.” I think it is a simple fact of ownership, and a simple principal of managing people. The more someone has invested in a mission, the more they will own the results.

Supporting Youth and the Future of our Industry

Summer marks the conclusion of another school year for young people. Like those young folks, I entered this summer with excitement and energy, although for different reasons. While students are excited to spend a summer building experiences and memories of youth, I am excited about what I have seen this last school year, both in young folks we have interacted with and in our team at Austin.

Thoughts & Takeaways from the SelectUSA Investment Summit: How proposed changes to U.S. economic policy could impact business decisions to invest in the U.S.

By Brandon Talbert, Austin Consulting

Recently, Austin attended the fourth annual SelectUSA Investment Summit in Washington, DC, where we met with prospective clients interested in expanding business operations in the U.S. This was Austin’s third year attending the Summit, which is the highest profile event organized by SelectUSA, a federal program with a mission of promoting foreign direct investment in the United States. 

The SelectUSA initiative was created under the Obama administration and is housed within the International Trade Administration at the U.S. Department of Commerce. The Summit facilitates networking opportunities between companies interested in investing in the U.S. and state and local economic development organizations, service providers and various Federal Government support agencies.

Maintaining a 140-Year-Old Start-Up Culture

Austin founders at tableWhen I speak with our internal teams, clients, professional organizations, groups of students, and young professionals, I almost always in one fashion or another talk about the “140-year-old start-up” culture we strive for at Austin. A culture I am always working to strengthen and maintain within our team. In these talks, one of the questions I am often asked is, “What does it mean to be working to keep Austin in a ‘140-year-old startup’ mindset, and why do it?

I admit, it does sound a little strange at first. How can a company, born of the Industrial Revolution and at the center of so many early 20th Century industrial plant design, construction and operational advancements, be a “start-up” today, more than 100 years later?

Building for a Century of Flight

Samuel Austin was an English carpenter who emigrated to the U.S. in 1872 and settled in Cleveland, Ohio. He started his own contracting business in 1878, The Samuel Austin Company, and his business and reputation for commercial and industrial construction contracting began. His son, Wilbert, graduated from what is now Case Western Reserve University as a mechanical engineer and soon joined his father’s firm.
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The Austin Company

The Austin Company offers a comprehensive portfolio of in-house services, including planning, architectural design, engineering, design-build, construction management, and construction, as well as site location and operations improvement consulting, for commercial and industrial companies throughout North America, Europe and Asia. 

Founded in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1878, we continue to uphold our founder's Core Values and believe in providing, "Honest work, well done." Our facility solutions are developed and implemented to improve your operations and make them more efficient - the results you receive are more than just shade and shelter for your business.

In addition to services for the built environment, Austin offers value-added strategic planning services, such as site location, transportation and distribution consulting, and facility and process audits. Our Results, not Excuses® approach provides you with expertise and innovative solutions for your facility challenges.

Check out our blog for Austin's insights on everything from site location to leadership in the design, engineering and construction industry.   

The Austin Company headquarters remain in Cleveland, with additional offices in Irvine, California; Atlanta, Georgia; Kalamazoo, Michigan; and Mexico City, Mexico. Austin became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Kajima USA Group in 2005 and is a proud member of the Kajima family of companies. Kajima Corporation is a leading global engineering and construction contractor. 

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