ConstructConnect blog: Yes, I’m writing a positive review about a competitor


Sometimes in business you experience intriguing challenges. In this case, the open nomination for the 2017 Best Construction Blog competition?has resulted in a worthy entry from

I knew submitter Kendall Jones from previous years, when he represented leads service Construction Data Company. I didn’t know until I started work on this review that CDC (along with BidClerk, iSqFt and Construction Market Data (CMD) had merged last year to create Cincinnatti-based ConstructConnect.

The touchy spot for me is the CMD association. It is never wise to speak negatively about competitors, and CMD indeed has been a reputable, effective business. But I can never forget my early visit to Toronto from Ottawa when I was establishing GTA Construction Report way back in the 1990s, when I was virtually thrown out of the Toronto Construction Association offices by the association’s then-chair — who also happened to be the publisher of a newspaper owned by?a precursor company to CMD. (This led me right into a relationship with McGraw Hill, which in Canada has evolved to MERX. Currently as well we have a strategic alliance with DataBid in Canada and, in the US in the Chicago and Indiana markets.)

Of course, corporate ownerships change, the world evolves, and in any case, it doesn’t much matter who does what in business. I have elected to ignore press releases and media events (in Canada) sponsored by CMD. While you don’t need to badmouth a competitor, you certainly shouldn’t be expected to promote their business.

Still, the ConstructConnect blog is really good — as it should be — because it has lots of data and capable people behind it. There are updates on “hot projects” — and economic trend information for both the US and Canada. ?There’s also some solid advocacy.

Consider for example Kendall Jones’ posting: Construction Industry Would Benefit from Universal BIM Standards.

While BIM use has seen impressive growth recently, the construction industry is still a long way from having 100% implementation on all projects and 100% participation from the AEC community. Two items that will be vital to universal BIM use is the adoption of a set of national standards and interoperability among all software applications.

BIM is a process and processes need standards and guidelines in order to be properly implemented. In the UK, national BIM standards have been developed due in large part to a government mandate for BIM adoption on their projects by 2016. ?Other countries like Finland, Norway and Singapore also have national BIM standards with more countries making plans to follow suit.

The problem we currently face is that various government agencies, as well as public and private entities, like the New York City Department of Design and Construction and Pennsylvania State University have developed their own sets of standards for BIM use. This makes adoption difficult for architects and contractors because they are forced to learn and adhere to dozens of unique standards for all of their clients. This would be akin to individual computer manufacturers developing unique keyboard configurations as part of their hardware. Could you imagine having to learn how to type on a dozen different keyboard layouts as opposed to the standard QWERTY layout?

These are solid thoughts, and ones I can agree with, regardless of the competitive environment.

If you like the ConstructConnect blog, you can vote for it (and any others you support) here. The popular vote and independent judges will review all the blogs, and indeed, I think ConstructConnect is a contender to be the Best Construction Blog in 2017. If that happens, I will have the unique opportunity to truly (and positively) honor a competitor.

Below is a live shot of the voting results.

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