Workforce Management in the Construction Industry feat. Mallorie Brodie

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Our guest this week on the Build Our Future Podcast (Episode #39) is – for her second appearance on the podcast – Mallorie Brodie, CEO, and Co-Founder of Bridgit.

Since launching Bridgit, with co-founder and COO Lauren Lake, Mallorie has featured in Forbes 30 Under 30 list and they have grown their company to have over 75 employees. They have also since joined with investors such as Autodesk, Salesforce and StandUp Ventures.
Bridgit provides two software services as solutions to construction companies – Bridgit Field, which is an app for punchless management and issue tracking on job sites, and Bridgit Bench, which optimizes workforce planning.

Tune in and listen as Mallorie chats to Rahul about how Bridgit has expanded their business over the course of the last year, since her first appearance on the Build Our Future Podcast in Episode #9.

What you will learn:

  • How has Bridgit grown as a company since Mallorie’s last appearance on the podcast?
  • In what ways has the pandemic caused an increase in digitization in the construction industry?
  • What guided Mallorie in the direction that leads to the creation of Bridgit Bench?
  • How did Mallorie develop the brand identity of Bridgit, and how has it changed over time?
  • What kind of integrations does Bridgit use?
  • What one thing does Mallorie have in common with Justin Beiber?
  • What are Mallorie’s opinions on being female in such a male-dominated industry like construction?
  • Who are BuiltWorlds? And why have Bridgit partnered with them?

They said what?

  • “What we’ve been doing is releasing these essentially, pre-built integrations that all of our customers can leverage. There’s no development work required by our customers at all. So that means that if they’re using other technology solutions, they can just integrate Bridgit Bench with those solutions.”
    – Mallorie Brodie
  • “I think it’s really important from a strategic perspective that companies are attractive to female employees, because that’s just a whole other group within our economy that can be tapped into to help grow the industry overall.”
    – Mallorie Brodie
  • “We’re going to keep going on the integrations. Basically any company that our customers bring up, we’ll sort of see if it’s possible to do within the infrastructure we’ve built, but the goal is to be able to integrate with really all the tools that our customers are using today.”
    – Mallorie Brodie
  • ” Lauren and I, we just didn’t even think about it, that we were two women at the intersection of two male dominated industries – construction in technology, because we really were just looking at, you know, what our past experience was, what our families did having worked in the construction industry. I was in an entrepreneurship business programme, Lauren was in civil engineering, it just made sense for us.”
    – Mallorie Brodie
  • “People would almost expect that our company would be very male dominated, but we’re actually like 50/50, and that was not even intentional is just sort of the way the company grew. And I think it is because we were diverse from such an early stage.” – Mallorie Brodie
  • ”Right now we’re getting a better understanding of some of the other workflows that they feel are important ways that they can use the tool, and we’ll be building out some features for that team specifically, and then have some more ambitious product plans, but they’re still you know, a little bit more top secret and in the workflow.”
    – Mallorie Brodie
  • “Specifically Autodesk, they have suite of other construction software products. So it’s been great to just be able to integrate with those solutions very easily, work with the Autodesk team directly, to make sure that we’re building integrations that are helpful for our customers.”
    – Mallorie Brodie

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Mentioned in this episode:

Be sure to subscribe to the Build Our Future Podcast! http://ow.ly/5I9550D5iJj

Innovating Flooring feat. Jack Aspenson

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Our guest this week on the Build Our Future Podcast (Episode 38) is Jack Aspenson – CEO and President of S3 Surface Solutions.
Since launching 3 successful businesses and selling them all before turning the age of 28, Jack Aspenson launched S3 Surface Solutions, as an answer to the question: Can subflooring like this be done in a cleaner, healthier way?
S3 Surface Solutions provide services to a range of industries including – Medical & Pharmaceutical, Food & Beverage, Manufacturing, Educational, Industrial, Commercial and Professional environments.

What you will learn:

  • How did Jack start S3 Surface Solutions?
  • What do S3 Surface Solutions do?
  • How can chemicals used in flooring be safe for the environment?
  • What are the safest methods for subflooring?
  • What kind of ingredients do S3 Surface Solutions use?
  • How is the balance found between sustainability and cost?
  • How can surface sealing help with health conditions like asthma?
  • What are the different factors that come into play when deciding how to seal a floor for a client?

They said what?

  • “With S3 – we fix problems. We don’t just put a band-aid on them, we don’t just make that product ‘good enough.” – Jack Aspenson
  • “There’s some misinformation around them that just because it’s on the red list is bad for you. And so we started working in looking for other raw ingredients that would actually be healthier, because of the perception.” – Jack Aspenson
  • “We started looking around at who had good products, what products we would need to make to address this situation. So it is kind of how it started out. That was our mantra, and it grew into – that is all we focused on – is creating healthy, durable, long-term products.” – Jack Aspenson
  • “Fifty people in the kitchen versus five. That’s a big difference in the traffic pattern, who’s gonna do more damage than the floor in that shorter period of time? You know, I think the average Cheesecake Factory cookline is fifty feet long versus, you know, most cooklines are 12 feet.” – Jack Aspenson
  • ”I got to thinking about, you know, what is my home like? You know, one of my daughters has sinus infections all the time. How do I start addressing what could be in the house? Because a lot of time the air outside of your house is cleaner than it is inside?” – Jack Aspenson
  • “We were sitting around at dinner one night, and they said, we know we can make things better, but will people buy it? And I said, “well, as long as you’re not four times the cost, there’s always an opportunity”. And so, six years ago, I started S3 with the purpose of finding the quality.” – Jack Aspenson
  • ”So we are 95% less CO2 in the manufacturing which concrete equates to I think it’s 20% or 30% of the Co2 generated in the world, that we generate 95% less. This is what we’re developing towards.” – Jack Aspenson
  • “You have a scientist that sees a need. I’m gonna try to make it. I’m gonna try to fix that problem. S3 was created to find those guys. Everything we did was because I knew people that we’re creating something and we brought it together to make this system.” – Jack Aspenson

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Mentioned in this episode:

Be sure to subscribe to the Build Our Future Podcast! http://ow.ly/5I9550D5iJj

Payments Made Easy feat. Matthew Smith

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Our guest this week on the Build Our Future Podcast (Ep. 37) is Matthew Smith – CEO and Co-Founder of MazumaGo. MazumaGo which launched in 2018, is a digital payment service for online business transactions, with the goal of being a more efficient, speedier alternative to cheque-based payments.
In the episode, Rahul and Matthew chat about how a new online business transaction service like MazumaGo is necessary today, especially for businesses within the construction industry.
If you are interested in MazumaGo and want to try it out for your business, make sure to check out mazumago.com, and use code: Rahul or buildourfuturepodcast to get your first few transactions for free.

What you will learn:

  • Why a service like MazumaGo is particularly necessary in the construction industry.
  • The ways in which fast online payments can help businesses increase their productivity, especially during a pandemic.
  • How banks may become obsolete in the not-too-distant future because of online services.
  • Why Matthew is inspired by Apple’s concept of the App Store.
  • How to easily sign-up for MazumaGo, or to try out their free demo.
  • How the COVID-19 pandemic affects large scale business transactions.
  • What Matthew plans to do with MazumaGo in the future.

They said what?

  • “They were able to get paid a week faster, plus some processing time on our end and basically solve the problem. That was the moment where I was like, “Okay, we’ve got something here”.” – Matthew Smith
  • “What we have found during COVID, is that businesses are actually really willing to try out new technology, and they want to get ahead.” -Matthew Smith
  • “Our job from our end is to make it as easy as possible for the customer to get you the money. And by adding as many options for the customer to check out on this page, we ensure that you can get it paid as fast as possible without any hiccups.” – Matthew Smith
  • “It’s still going to be quite an exciting 2021. And I’m sure you’re gonna see the MazumaGo, in many headlines in many years to come.” – Matthew Smith
  • “So we just took an archaic, very safe and secure payment method and turned it into an easy-to-use system, so that anyone could access it, or any business could access it.” – Matthew Smith
  • “We spent a lot of time not publicly launched, testing this with local businesses. I think, like, over a year, almost, we were really a closed ecosystem. And we didn’t let that many people in. And really, during that time we were optimizing and making the product better.” – Matthew Smith
  • “So I only make money when you make money. MazumaGo only charges you when you collect or send, and so, credit card payments are actually free for you. So we don’t charge you anything for credit card payments. So you can use credit card payments on the MazumaGo completely free, $0. Your customer is paying the fee.” – Matthew Smith

– – –

Mentioned in this episode:

https://www.mazumago.com/
https://www.linkedin.com/in/matthew-smith250

Be sure to subscribe to the Build Our Future Podcast! http://ow.ly/5I9550D5iJj

Hospitality, Interior Design, & Collaboration feat. Karl Travis (Hager)

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Our guest this week on the Build Our Future Podcast (Ep. 36) is Karl Travis – partner and senior interior designer at the Hagar Design International Inc. based in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Following building a successful background in the restaurant industry, including partnering at a restaurant in Whistler, BC, Karl Travis decided to pursue his passion for innovating the hospitality industry through interior design. He earned his diploma at Algonquin College in Ottawa and has spent almost 20 years working in design.
Since being founded in 1984, Hagas Design International Inc. designs have included hotels (boutique and resorts), restaurants, pubs and bars, retail stores, commercial spaces, and senior living centers.

What you will learn:

  • What was Karls beginning in the hospitality industry like?
  • How did Karl get started as an interior designer?
  • Is interior design more about natural talent, or acquired skills?
  • How collaborative of a field is interior design?
  • How to modern technologies facilitate interior designers?
  • Why is the lighting in a restaurant so important?
  • How do interior designers work with contractors, architects, and decorators?
  • Are daytime TV interior designers the real deal?
  • Can interior design be done sustainably?
  • What are alternative methods for interior designers?

They said what?

  • “I got to give kudos to everybody in the hospitality business because it’s tough. And it’s a day-to-day struggle. I didn’t want to do that again.” – Karl Travis
  • “I had an owner when I was a manager in Whistler, and he was a very prominent restauranteur. I remember one of the first things he said to me when he brought me on as a manager, as he says, “first you have the food, then you have the service, then you have the atmosphere”. All the rest after that are mechanics, right?” – Karl Travis
  • “If you buy a fixture at Home Depot, and you buy a fixture through a commercial supplier, that light fixture will last 50 years. And in the end, you probably have to buy 10 of those Home Depot fixtures to last as long, right? Do the math – it’s gonna cost you more!” Karl Travis
  • “ When it comes to lighting though, that’s the most important aspect of the whole build. I mean, you’re spending a lot of money [the client], to have some very interesting, textural finishes, and so forth. It doesn’t make any sense if you can’t see it, right?” – Karl Travis
  • “I’m not gonna knock decorators. I just think it’s important for the general public to understand what a decorator can do, and what an interior designer can do. Because there are limitations. And even for us, there are limitations. Because we can’t do what architects can do.” – Karl Travis
  • “The atmosphere is what we do. That’s what we create. And it’s the top three. It’s not food, it’s not service, but it’s the atmosphere. And the atmosphere is the place and the food and service work together with that to create the ambiance, and the energy of that space.” – Karl Travis
  • “ When it comes to sustainability, anything that we put into space is taken out of out of the whole scheme of thing. We’re human beings we need to cover ourselves with materials. It’s how you go about sourcing those materials. Recyclability is always at the forefront of your thoughts, right?” – Karl Travis

– – –

Mentioned in this episode:

https://ca.linkedin.com/in/karltravisinteriordesign
https://www.hagerinc.com/

Be sure to subscribe to the Build Our Future Podcast! http://ow.ly/5I9550D5iJj

Maintain Your Success Through Collaboration

So, we are now finally getting to the tail end of these lockdowns and while we might be a few days away or almost a week away especially in the construction sector, there seems to be a mad rush and push to either get projects off the ground, continue and finish off and I feel in the short term there’s going to be a fair bit of intense stressful periods for not just contractors but suppliers, subcontractors, consultants, designers, architects and clients as well. Because they want to get open before the summer starts but the biggest thing what I’m realizing is, we have to keep in mind what has made us successful through these shutdowns. It’s the collaboration with our clients, with our consultants, with the whole construction team, to let them know as the goal posts kept being moved, how do we tweak our schedule? How do we ensure we can still push with our work?

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In addition to that a key thing as well to keep in mind is our own mental health, if these shutdowns have taught me one thing is taking that step back taking that step away from your day-to-day life is so helpful for yourself. I feel I come back recharged, re-energized and it’s contagious to the whole team. I know from my speaking personally this last one has been especially difficult. Some of that energy seemed to have waned a little bit but we’re talking as I mentioned with the architects and the clients, you know kind of bring everyone back up for that unified goal.

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So as we get into this while we might be in a mad dash to, you know as they say recoup from lost time to push these jobs to completion, just keep in mind that’s what’s gotten you through is that communication, that collaboration, that stepping away from work and calming your mind before jumping in figuring situations out. It’s something that I’m going to keep trying doing as I get busier and busier with work as the summer comes into the fall

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