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ELECTRI Council Selects Outstanding Slate of Research Initiatives

Feb 07, 2017

The ELECTRI Council recently voted to initiate its 2017 research agenda at its meeting in California in January, backing a variety of projects that are vital to the electrical construction industry’s strength and continued growth.

Two projects will be funded from ELECTRI International’s investment fund. The first is An Electrical Contractor’s Guide for Recommended Strategies to Address Unfair Payment Clauses, from Michael McLin of Maxim Consulting Group.

Contractors face a major challenge when asked to carry the costs of a project for more than 30 days. This investigation will address concerns and challenges that the electrical construction industry has with payment clauses. It will focus on the various perspectives on payment clauses, the impact of carrying costs, and recommended strategies to address unfair payment clauses.

The research is anticipated to clearly define recommended practices that the industry could utilize until the time (if ever) that national legislation is enacted to prevent unfair payment practices. 

The second project is Quality in Construction – Improving Productivity and Reducing Rework by Establishing a BIQ Program, Professor Lonny Simonian, California Polytechnic State University.

The purpose of this research is to prepare electrical contractors to develop and implement a Built-In Quality (BIQ) program. BIQ is a new method that uses a real-time, interactive process to increase quality and reduce rework. BIQ focuses on the initial stages of a quality process by first identifying customer expectations, converting these expectations into requirements, developing design operations, and then performing the work. 

One project is being conducted for the electrical construction industry pro bono by ELECTRI Council member MCA Inc.: Supply Chain Disruption: A Research-Based Approach to Prove the Value of Subcontractor Procurement, from Dr. Perry Daneshgari

Many customers believe that direct purchase of material will lower their end cost of construction. Daneshgari’s investigation will focus on proving that the actual value transfer to the end customers of construction is higher when the subcontractor purchases and manages the material required for construction.

The final project is funded with direct grants from Southwire and Graybar, both member companies of the ELECTRI Council: Diversity in the Electrical Construction Industry, for Ben Bigelow, Assistant Professor at Texas A&M University.

The construction industry is facing a shortage in labor supply that is predicted to worsen in the coming years. To meet the demand, the industry must tap into groups that have historically been underrepresented in construction, specifically women and minorities.

Bigelow’s study will explore the perceptions of these underrepresented groups to learn how to recruit them more effectively into the construction industry and keep them. The study will provide empirical data addressing the following: how and why underrepresented personnel entered the electrical construction industry; what factors affect their loyalty to their employer; and what are the expected, successful, and unsuccessful career paths of these individuals.