Hoping to raise awareness for the benefits of technology for the specialty and trade contractor community, Constructware, Alpharetta, Ga., and the American Subcontractors Association, Inc. (ASA), Alexandria, Va., recently signed an agreement to co-produce educational seminars for ASA members at the chapter and national levels.

“This agreement is in keeping with our mission to provide strategic services to our membership,” says Colette Nelson, executive vice president of ASA. “Information technology in general, and project management and risk management software tools specifically, are becoming such key factors in the industry that we felt it was time to do something like this.”

Scott Unger, president and CEO of Constructware, says his company is excited to work with ASA to help explain technology choices to specialty contractors. “While there are many tech savvy subcontractors, the majority of firms have not had an opportunity to understand what’s in it for them," says Unger. “We’re going to make ourselves available to the chapters and national ASA so that interested firms can learn more about technology — within the context of their ASA membership.”

The changed economic situation and insurance climate, especially since Sept. 11, make technology education particularly timely for subcontractors, says Nelson. A sharp contraction in the availability of insurance and bonding is spreading across the industry, she says, and subcontractors will need to take proactive steps to maintain their bonding and insurance lines.

Most insurers look favorably on firms that implement project management and related software because there is growing evidence that these tools improve productivity and significantly reduce project risk.

“We believe that 2002 will be an important transition point in terms of technology adoption for subcontractors,” says Jeff Burmeister, subcontractor product manager for Constructware. “Markets will be tighter and general contractors will be more selective. Subcontractors that raise the bar and tap the benefits of technology will be in a much better position to control their own destiny.”

Constructware’s flagship product, Constructware, is a scalable, secure, Web-based project management solution that facilitates communication and collaboration among construction companies, owners, designers, and subcontractors. The firm’s clients include 21% of the top contractors in the United States as well as private sector owners, government entities, architects, engineers, subcontractors, construction management firms, and program management firms. Today, Constructware is used by almost 20,000 building professionals and has logged nearly two million user sessions.

For more information, visit www.constructware.com.