the Site Visit

Blueprints for a Modern Construction Culture with Jeff Knoblauch & Cam Roy from RAM Construction Inc.

May 24, 2024 James Faulkner
Blueprints for a Modern Construction Culture with Jeff Knoblauch & Cam Roy from RAM Construction Inc.
the Site Visit
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the Site Visit
Blueprints for a Modern Construction Culture with Jeff Knoblauch & Cam Roy from RAM Construction Inc.
May 24, 2024
James Faulkner

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James Faulkner, Cam Roy and Jeff Knoblauch navigate the quirks and brickbats of construction culture and the seismic shift towards social media savvy. We take a trip down memory lane, delving into the evolution of RAM Construction's digital journey, while keeping our hardhats on for the occasional curveball that technology throws at us. Plus, James and guests swap tales of adapting SiteMax software to the gritty reality of the job site, proving that humor is the best tool in the belt.

Let's face it, the generational gap at the workplace can feel wider than a foundation trench, but we've unearthed some surprising efficiencies in the era of remote work. We share the economic and team-building strategies that kept our boots grounded when the office and field teams were poles apart.  And for those considering a career in construction, we break down the myths, revealing a world where technology meets trades, and a nail gun isn't the only gadget in town.

Mental health in the workplace is no joking matter, and in this heartfelt segment, we discuss striking that delicate balance between support and personal space. Recognizing the fine line between life's rough patches and deeper mental wellness concerns, we're hammering home the importance of an environment that builds up its crew. Ending on a high beam, we speculate on construction's high-tech horizon, imagining a world where robotics and BIM are the new power tools. Join us for this rollicking ride through the industry's present and future, where laughter is just as important as leveling the foundation.

PODCAST INFO:
the Site Visit Website: https://www.sitemaxsystems.com/podcast
the Site Visit on Buzzsprout: https://thesitevisit.buzzsprout.com/269424
the Site Visit on Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/ca/podcast/the-site-visit/id1456494446
the Site Visit on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/5cp4qJE5ExZmO3EwldN1HH

FOLLOW ALONG:
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/thesitevisit
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thesitevisit

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send us a Text Message.

James Faulkner, Cam Roy and Jeff Knoblauch navigate the quirks and brickbats of construction culture and the seismic shift towards social media savvy. We take a trip down memory lane, delving into the evolution of RAM Construction's digital journey, while keeping our hardhats on for the occasional curveball that technology throws at us. Plus, James and guests swap tales of adapting SiteMax software to the gritty reality of the job site, proving that humor is the best tool in the belt.

Let's face it, the generational gap at the workplace can feel wider than a foundation trench, but we've unearthed some surprising efficiencies in the era of remote work. We share the economic and team-building strategies that kept our boots grounded when the office and field teams were poles apart.  And for those considering a career in construction, we break down the myths, revealing a world where technology meets trades, and a nail gun isn't the only gadget in town.

Mental health in the workplace is no joking matter, and in this heartfelt segment, we discuss striking that delicate balance between support and personal space. Recognizing the fine line between life's rough patches and deeper mental wellness concerns, we're hammering home the importance of an environment that builds up its crew. Ending on a high beam, we speculate on construction's high-tech horizon, imagining a world where robotics and BIM are the new power tools. Join us for this rollicking ride through the industry's present and future, where laughter is just as important as leveling the foundation.

PODCAST INFO:
the Site Visit Website: https://www.sitemaxsystems.com/podcast
the Site Visit on Buzzsprout: https://thesitevisit.buzzsprout.com/269424
the Site Visit on Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/ca/podcast/the-site-visit/id1456494446
the Site Visit on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/5cp4qJE5ExZmO3EwldN1HH

FOLLOW ALONG:
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/thesitevisit
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thesitevisit

Speaker 1:

So you saw me running the other day.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, and you didn't stop me. No, you know, I just wasn't sure it was you and didn't want to make an awkward conversation with someone that wasn't you about running a tire outfit. Oh yeah, I just wanted to come up and be like are you okay? You look like you're in a lot of pain.

Speaker 3:

How tight are those?

Speaker 2:

pants.

Speaker 1:

Okay, what's with the pants?

Speaker 2:

It was good, james. Okay, what's with the pants?

Speaker 1:

it was good, james, it's good seeing you out there and, uh, enjoying that beautiful day it was. It was, yeah, it was a beautiful day, yeah. So this is a total uh pleasure for me because it's nice to know like you guys do your own video at ram construction and you so the different themes, so cam, like the different. How did you, how did you get jeff to even say yes to this?

Speaker 3:

I don't even think you really knew at the beginning. No, I know. No, were you a little reluctant to begin with.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, we, we wanted to have more presence on LinkedIn and social media and things like that, and it sort of.

Speaker 3:

Started to evolve.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. And next, thing, I know we're sitting there recording videos. We've got mics on us and yeah, mics on us and yeah and you liked it, we didn't mind it.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it's good, it's good engagement it's good. So you and I met like how long ago now?

Speaker 2:

probably seven, six, seven somewhere in that six, seven years ago, yeah, I think so. Very, very start of cymax? Oh, no way, yeah, yeah, I used to call in and say hey, can you use cymax remember? And I'd ignore him as much I could. Yeah, you're pretty good at it, yep yeah, professional ignorer.

Speaker 1:

Professional ignorer. Yeah, you need a PhD in ignoring people.

Speaker 3:

Meanwhile, 10 years ago, Cam's got his hand up.

Speaker 2:

Hey, I want to try this out. Yeah, totally, totally.

Speaker 1:

Well, thank you, cam yeah you're welcome.

Speaker 2:

Yeah that was-.

Speaker 3:

And shout out to Christian because of you and Christian.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that would have been pre-cam time when we first started looking at SiteMax, but then yeah.

Speaker 3:

It was right around the time that I started. Yeah, yeah.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and it's been reasonably smooth, but I had a phone call with you the other day like there was an update.

Speaker 3:

And what happened here? Always some things, but it's always always good. You guys take care of us. It's a moving.

Speaker 1:

You know a living being software, it's just never Iasis For sure. Welcome to the Site.

Speaker 3:

Visit Podcast Leadership and perspective from construction With your host, james Baldwin Business as usual, as it has been for so long now that it goes back to what we were talking about before and hitting the reset button.

Speaker 1:

You know, you read all the books, you read the emails, you read Scaling Up, you read Good to Great you know I could go on.

Speaker 2:

We've got to a place where we found the secret serum. We found the secret potion. We can get the workers in. We know where to get them.

Speaker 3:

Once I was on the job site for a while actually we had a semester of concrete and I ordered a Korean I was down at Dallas and a guy just hit me up on LinkedIn out of the blue and said he was driving from Oklahoma to Dallas to meet with me because he heard the Favour Connect platform on your guys' podcast Own it, crush it and love it, and we celebrate these values every single day.

Speaker 1:

Let's get down to it, let's do it. All right. So we're going to talk about some culture stuff today. So, yeah, how political will it get? Let's not hang ourselves, guys. Jeez, come on, we've got a reputation.

Speaker 2:

Where's that sheet of things? I'm not allowed to say or can say I didn't think over that. Well then it's open season. Oh boy. Okay then it's open season.

Speaker 1:

Oh boy, okay, cut to music now. Yeah, and then We'll see. Here we go. Okay, cam and Jeff, is it Knobloch, is that how you put it? You got it Just like boom. Yeah, there it is. You know, with the hiring of that name.

Speaker 2:

It's a German name. It's actually direct translation for garlic, so sometimes I go with the alias Jeff Garlic Are you kidding right Maybe.

Speaker 3:

The alias or the garlic part.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, the garlic part is 100% truth. So I found that out in school at a young age. One of our teachers was German and started calling me garlic Wow.

Speaker 1:

Wow, there you have it Absolutely. And Roy, where does that come from? You could say Wah, if you want to, yeah, is it Patrick? Roy, is it Wah?

Speaker 3:

It is Wah technically. Yeah, I don't think it's Patrick Roy the hockey player. It's not Patrick Roy no, I was actually talking to Christian's brother the other day, Marcus, and he had said you need to go by Camois. That holds some presence, Cam.

Speaker 1:

What do you think of that? I said, nah, I don't think so. It's not happening, it's a little pretentious.

Speaker 3:

A little bit. Yeah, you're like excuse me.

Speaker 2:

Hold on a second Camois.

Speaker 1:

It's like yeah, no, it's foie gras, a moose boosh. Yeah, you don't want to be those people. No, no, I'm with you. No, I'm with you. Okay. So, um, we've been talking on the podcast. We're sort of dancing around things for a while not you guys, but me in general.

Speaker 1:

We're talking to lots of guests on, like, the culture of construction and I find it fascinating because you have this to the outside world. It could be considered industrial, blue collar, etc. That's how the outside world, but when you're in it you don't feel that at all. You just feel there's this camaraderie of a bunch of people, but there is this kind of bifurcation of people who work in the field, people who work in the office, and there's this kind of like difference. And how does that manifest itself from your point of view? What do you think in terms of? Are there separate tribes that are? Imagine people are all the same race. They're just two tribes. It's kind of like hockey teams, right, they're just kind of different, all playing the same game, but not necessarily playing against each other, but just kind of want to. When I say tribalism in terms of teams, I don't mean the fact that they're playing against each other, but just the fact they have different uniforms and come from a different mindset or whatever.

Speaker 3:

Would you?

Speaker 1:

say that that's the case for the field and the office.

Speaker 3:

You're going to let me answer this one, aren't you Absolutely.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 3:

I mean to some extent, for sure, To some extent. I think that the job descriptions are obviously different. So you got a guy out there with a hammer, swinging a hammer and putting a pouch on Project manager in the office scheduling and pouch, tool belt, tool, pouch, we call it a pouch.

Speaker 1:

I like the pouch. It's just like taxonomy of construction.

Speaker 3:

The pouch. Oh, don't get me going, I got a bunch of them. But yeah, I mean there's definitely I wouldn't people call it like a divide, and it's not a divide, it's just there's two, like I know you actually put it really well when you just said the tribes, because there's two different tribes. You know, there's two different styles of what people do, two different kind of job description, essentially right. So, um, you know, I think it's bringing those tribes together, though to create the cohesiveness within the company, even though they can still be coexist as two tribes, but just to create that cohesiveness, and that culture piece is something that's completely separate to those two different tribes. You want to try and bring those people together. Yes, they're two tribes, but we want to ensure that they're all working under the same umbrella, potentially.

Speaker 1:

So is it kind of like the company is Canada and we have Francophones and Anglophones, but we're all Canadians.

Speaker 2:

Could be a way to look at it. I think like it's the understanding of what each tribe does. So, the office staff understanding what the field actually does and goes through, but I think as well the site staff, to see what a office job is like. You don't just sit back, put your feet up and answer phone calls all day, go for lunch and push paperwork. There's a lot of hard work within the office as well, maybe not as physically demanding, but that mental strain on it.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I think it's that mutual respect obviously between the two and that's the biggest piece, right.

Speaker 1:

So how did from a company? How did you guys handle? Let's call it the C word, the pan word, the pan C word.

Speaker 1:

Because it was really the work from home thing. On the site that nothing gets built, you can't work from home. So how did that? How did you guys handle the sort of perceived luxury that people could virtue themselves and say, well, I don't feel safe at the office, and then you can't say that at the job site because you'd also be shunned a little bit because you'd be like come on, man up or whatever.

Speaker 2:

yeah, I mean, I mean we put a big emphasis on making sure you know, follow the rules, regulations on keeping those sites safe, so that we could keep the sites going. But, yeah, you know, breaking the crew down in different sizes and different sizes or different areas of the site, so there were wasn't interaction, I mean the simple things like that. But um just made a real point to make sure that the people going to the sites actually did feel safe and wanting to go to work. Um, you know, we we did the two, three weeks of everyone was at home and then slowly integrated everyone back into the office and, you know, just kind of had to keep things going because, as you mentioned, you can't physically build stuff when there's no one on site.

Speaker 1:

Because we're still dealing with the hangover of like hybrid work.

Speaker 3:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

And I don't know what you guys think, but there's elements of them there being some efficiencies for people having a change of scenery. You know getting to do, they can work on spreadsheets and be doing the laundry. A change of scenery, you know getting to do. They can work on spreadsheets and be doing the laundry at the same time. You know all that kind of stuff. There's some efficiency there Cost less to get into the office, paying less for lunch, et cetera. There's economic benefits.

Speaker 1:

But from I think what I was getting at at the point before was when a part of the company has can actually work from home and just because of the, the dynamics of the job, and others cannot because it's a physical job. You're actually building things with materials, you're not pushing. It might be mentally stressful for dealing with budgets and timelines and all those things that everyone does and PMing and PCing and all that kind of stuff. Accounting. There are pressures, they're different. So was there an element of? Was the tribal divide even increased a little bit Because, like well, I can't work at home? Thanks a lot.

Speaker 3:

I would say no. You know, I think that there was a. Honestly it almost got the tribes got closer to be completely honest.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, just because well, I I think that the the cohesiveness of the two tribes needed to be tighter than ever during that time period because there was a lot of, I guess, timeframe like gap, like not being able to get answers right away from different subcontractors, different suppliers or things like that, like it was a. You know, the world was falling apart essentially, and so, you know, the cohesiveness to work as a team to push through the adversity that we were seeing right, you know it led to a very much more cohesive environment between the office and the field.

Speaker 1:

Yes, yeah, because it's essentially the company against the world. Yeah, like we banded together. Yeah, banded together.

Speaker 3:

The project coordinators, project managers are. You know they're dealing with the supers day in and day out and ensuring what do you need? What do you got going on? What do you need? Help with all that kind of stuff going on.

Speaker 1:

What do you need? Help with All that kind of stuff. So what did you like as the top dog? What was it like for you, I mean?

Speaker 2:

did you? Yeah, it was tough.

Speaker 2:

I mean the other, the other side of it was the individuality, if that's the right word, for everyone. They wanted to make sure everyone felt safe, but also that they could sort of believe in what they wanted to believe in. So we weren't forcing people to do certain things, we were just sort of going going along with the guidelines and mandates, as we said, but still wanted to make sure we could keep moving forward with with work and having people get paid and, um, you know, can't mention everyone kind of coming together. We put provisions in place if doom and gloom did come and everything hit the fan like everyone thought it would. So, um, I was really proud that everyone was on board with, you know, modified work hours or whatever we had to do to keep everyone working and employed but still be able to sort of ride it through as a company.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I mean that was. It was a difficult time. I remember we had some people at the company who didn't want to go through the procedures of vaccination and all that kind of stuff and others that it was. It was pretty much the same, the same snapshot of that you would see in the world of people getting each other, but in a little bubble, oh yeah, and you're like what do I do here?

Speaker 1:

oh, as the leader, you're like, how do I manage this? It was actually kind of interesting because I, I was, there was, there was the two tribes, there was one of that thing, you know, and maybe now when we look back at it, we go, okay, well, hmm, interesting, maybe those people weren't actually so, you know, in a different mindset, right, and maybe some other people who thought that they were really getting it all right might not have been getting it right because, um, cause, that's kind of evidence-based these days, right, so, um, but you know, I remember saying at the time uh, at some point this will all blow over and we need to take actions today that we're not going to regret later, absolutely.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, that's how we dealt with it, yeah.

Speaker 1:

Because you know, and it did end, and then all these stories come up, and now we don't have any black eyes at SightMax from any of it, because I just wouldn't have it.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it was tough at the time because a lot of people wanted to talk more freely about what was going on and sort of. You know, as a company we just didn't engage in that amongst each other. You know it's no one's business what people wanted to do during that time, but I was just really trying to focus on keeping the company going forward and, you know, finishing the projects we had, finding some more and just navigating through that uh, challenging time.

Speaker 2:

Well, good on both of you for getting through that. Yeah, yeah, I mean honestly everyone in the industry it was. It was a challenge, um you know, I don't want to say ours in particular was worse than others, but that whole aspect of how do you do construction without physical people on site. Like it wasn't like we could all just work from home or just not go to work.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and being an essential service. Remember that, yeah, yeah. Essential service, also known as GDP. Can't stop that GDP. Yeah, I pulled that so many times. I'm in construction. It's fine.

Speaker 3:

It's okay for me to be here right now. Yeah, it's fine, I'm in construction.

Speaker 1:

It ripped right through, though right it just kept going.

Speaker 2:

Oh, were you trying to fill your truck up with a full tank of gas and pumps are shutting off because you have to go clarify your construction worker and your essential and you need to fill your truck.

Speaker 1:

It was tough. I construction worker and you're essential and you need to fill your truck. It was, it was tough. I forgot about that, yeah, so what do you think of the um you touched on something, jeff was was uh, people wanted to speak freely. Do you think people now have uh maintained their idea in their mind that they have this new right to say anything because they kind of got this little they tasted that little bit of uh power that, like that was kind of cool. I got to say, I got to say something that I wasn't, you didn't usually have the right to say and now I can because I've been given this little bit of extra power.

Speaker 2:

I mean I, I. You could probably convince me that there was part of that and not in your company in general.

Speaker 2:

In general I could see it, but then I chalked it more down just the generation change, the younger generation and their upbringing and their thoughts and feelings around the world, and how things are related to what we've been talking about. I don't know, but most likely it has been because that was a huge impact on a lot of that generation. But as you're saying that, I was like, oh my goodness, Like I yeah, I guess I could I could be convinced that's a new result of it.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, I definitely what do you think?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, yeah, I, I mean the generational thing. I think that's what I was, that's where I first went with it. I mean, you know, there's a lot of younger people uh in that generational area that that uh speak louder now than they probably did before.

Speaker 1:

it's kind of interesting, though, like so the generational thing, like I feel kind of bad for some of the generations because their parents did it to them totally. Yeah, you know like, and you're like, why are you this way? It's like I don't know, I was just this is how it was I was. I was shaped this way and suddenly we're blaming them for this shape that we molded right. But it's like I don't know, I was just this is how it was. I was shaped this way and suddenly we're blaming them for the shape that we molded right. But it's kind of weird, though, because what's difficult is that model that we made these kids in and it's I don't think it's my generation just a little bit older. My baby boomers, right, they have made a generation where actually my generation too, probably yours, I don't know, are we doing that right now my baby boomers, right, they have made a generation where actually my generation too, probably yours, I don't know.

Speaker 1:

Are we?

Speaker 2:

doing that right now, hey how old are you?

Speaker 1:

I know he's in a different generation.

Speaker 2:

When did you graduate? I'm still way behind the years. I still got the warranty.

Speaker 1:

Cam's a generation below me.

Speaker 2:

You are out of warranty. I can tell you right now he got the extended, he did the extended.

Speaker 1:

He did Extended warranty.

Speaker 2:

It's expensive though.

Speaker 1:

So, yeah, back to that. When it comes to do you think that we've made people competitive globally, though, like that generation? If you were to go and stack them to other places in the world, they only can kind of work in Canada or some places in the US. You stick them somewhere else a toast just because of the work ethic, et cetera. So there's this stat that I read on Monday, so in the early 2000s. There's this stat of productivity on Monday.

Speaker 1:

So in the early 2000s, there's this stat of productivity of Canada versus United States. So it's always been we're kind of lagged behind in terms of being as efficient, producing as much. Like Americans are aggressive, let's face it right, everyone's like they're go, go, go, but Canada in the early 2000s was 88 percent as efficient as americans. Okay, 2020-22 it's 71. Wow, so we've gone way down, yeah, and I think it's. It seems like we are spiraling down, like people aren't getting the memo that we have to kind of get at it, and I think construction is less like that than everywhere else, wouldn't you think? Cause it's like it's a meritocracy period, like you either built the thing or you didn't. Yes, like black and white. It's very black and white, so proof is in the pudding Yep, which in other places it it can be subjective and explained around.

Speaker 3:

And blurred for sure.

Speaker 1:

And blurred, but not here. No, that's cool. So that's why I've always thought like construction is the best opportunity to pull the rest of society back to reality, like we can create some amazing humans through construction. So what do you guys think about? Have you had any kind of perspective on what I just said there? Within the industry in general, we can sort of hop out of RAM for a second and not get personal about the company. But I mean, you guys probably think about these industry trends and behavior and how construction is going. How are we going to attract new people? And these are all conflating and make it very complicated.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, been talking a lot about the age gap. So our aging construction population or workers that are in the younger ones coming in and need to replace those that are coming up to retirement age to dive in that deep? Haven't, haven't dove in that deep on changing the way they are or their thoughts and feelings around it. It's more looking for that need of.

Speaker 2:

We need some long-term people or we need people here for the future of construction and and where are we going to find them? Um, I mean, I go back to high school when the you know BCIT came and did the the career fair thing and everyone's kind of like why would I want to be a carpenter? Why would I want to be a plumber?

Speaker 2:

I want to go, I want to go to university, I want to get my political science degree or whatever it is yeah and uh, realizing now the amount of people I went to school with that didn't get into construction, that, looking back, if they had gone into construction and where they would be in their careers or their life right now. I use that with some of the like when we went to BCIT a couple of weeks ago and kind of share that story of you know right now the hot, sexy job is this. But you know your long-term career, you can make a real good career in construction. You don't have to be in the field, you don't have to be digging dishes the rest of your life. You can start wherever you want through schooling, in the office or on the field, through schooling and make your way up and so yours was a.

Speaker 1:

Correct me if I'm wrong. Family business though.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, dad started the company in 86.

Speaker 1:

So when your, when your dad was in, do you have brothers and sisters? I got a sister, yeah, older sister. So when you guys were coming up and you're coming out of high school, were your parents like no, jeff, you go in construction. Or did they want you to do something?

Speaker 2:

else, dad wanted me to go away and play basketball. So I went away to school and took general studies for a couple of years, no idea I was doing anything in construction, until second year after university. I mean, growing up as a kid obviously worked on the job sites pulling nails, doing things like that. Yeah, did not like it. But yeah, I never knew I had a career in construction until after high school, like I said, second year of university. And then I was like, hey, you know, this thing Dad's got going is pretty cool.

Speaker 1:

I kind of liked working in the office and then went and got some schooling with some construction background and then just kind of took it from there, because I've heard a number of stories from second generation construction. People are in it now that their parents were like I don't want you to do what I did. You go travel the world, go do whatever. This whole virtue is that the construction is like this place, that you would end up and you don't plan to be.

Speaker 1:

It's kind of lame, like why, like, I have my own perspective on where I think construction is going. We can get to that a little bit later. In terms of technology is getting less dirty every day and it's actually becoming very technical. It's the new tech, right? Oh yeah. So it's crazy what it's gonna become, and those people are going to be pretty pissed off that they didn't get into it early. I think. Yeah, I agree, yep, like the next 10 years you'd be insane. Yep, um. So was there any anything from your the basketball, you know, um vector of you going and doing that? That's obviously because you were talented at that and that was probably the best thing to do at that time.

Speaker 2:

Oh for sure, and move away from home, go live the university life and do that thing Right.

Speaker 1:

So when you guys go to BCIT, you went and did tell me about that, so you went and did a talk there.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I guess we did a presentation for the construction class so second year students that are focusing on the construction more than the architectural side and, uh, I don't know yeah it's.

Speaker 3:

I mean it's, we do it every year to the architectural technology class. Um, you know, we go in there and just share the real world construction stories. And you know we don't it's funny, we joke, we don't it's funny, we joke about it. We don't go in there with a big presentation and a you know, and if we got like 10 slides and we kind of just chat through them, but you know it's just providing some context into the real world and construction.

Speaker 3:

And, like you said, you know that black and white thing and you know people can flourish in the industry. And you know again, yeah, you don't need to be a carpenter or a laborer. You know there's project coordinators, project managers, estimators, admin staff, like you know. And then just talking about some of the cool stuff in construction, I mean it's a super, super interesting field and industry obviously right. And, like you say, it's only evolving and it's only evolving faster in the next few years. And so you know, showcasing what we do now, what we're looking at, some of the tech that's in there, some of the building science technology aspect of it, just kind of sharing that to the students and kind of just putting that perspective in their heads on what's actually out there so we've probably talked about this before, but I you're going to have to like refresh my memory.

Speaker 1:

So when you were coming up, what was your path into construction? Were your parents involved in it at all, or how did you or you just?

Speaker 3:

I was supposed to go to university, played a lot of rugby as a kid. I was trying to get a rugby scholarship. I took a half a semester of engineering. Just could not stand the classroom setting. It just wasn't for me. So then ended up carpentry apprenticeship and got hired.

Speaker 1:

But you made a decision and you were like.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I was just like this is ridiculous. I don't enjoy this. I need to do something I want to do. I'd always worked, you know, like some labor work as a teenager, helping neighbors build fences and, you know, take this tree out, and all this kind of stuff. So I knew I was a big dude, so I can get stuff done. Not as big as Jeff, no one is. But yeah, your dad's even bigger, is he oh?

Speaker 3:

yeah, just a little, but yeah, and then just I was like, let's try. Actually I signed up for three different trades Heavy duty, mechanic, carpentry and electrician and they had an opening in the entry-level apprenticeship program for carpentry and so I was like, OK, let's do it, and yeah, and then got hired on and just kept going.

Speaker 1:

Do you think people have, or the younger generation has, the patience that you had then?

Speaker 3:

I don't think so. Everything has to happen now for them, and that's exactly it.

Speaker 1:

So how are you talking about this?

Speaker 3:

today, yeah, so so how do?

Speaker 1:

you level set that, though.

Speaker 2:

Well so the the two-year program at bcit sounds much better than five to seven years of university. Yeah, to get your you know accreditation and get a good job yeah yeah, like that me.

Speaker 2:

I try to tell kids that, hey, you can do this and get here, and it only is two years of schooling. Not saying that the five to seven years isn't important too for those fields, but if you want to get a little bit of education behind you and get right into working, two-year commitment's not too bad, right, yeah, and you talk about the things like people wanting it right away.

Speaker 3:

You know, and, uh, I was at a career fair last year at a high school and you know the I was like I'll hire you tomorrow. You know, like when are you guys graduating? You know you can come on, you can come work tomorrow and I, you know like people are like what and that you know that immediate thing it's like yeah, like there's there's a need and you can jump on and start working and that if you want to work towards a two-year architectural technology degree to become a PM, if you want to go into your, take your red seal ticket and become a proprietor's carpenter, then a carpenter or a sparky or a plumber, you can do that. You can do that right out the gate and do your two years right there, or you can work for a bit and work through it. There's so many different avenues to take and it is instantaneous, you can and years to take and it is instantaneous, like you can start working tomorrow. You know what I mean.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I know exactly what you mean.

Speaker 3:

And so, you know, I don't think I don't think people realize that, because I, you know, I was sitting across from a kid and he was like so yeah, I got a job lined up for the summer, you know, at like McDonald's and they're going to give me you know 24, and he's like what I was, like, yeah, man, like it is instantaneous and it's just getting that out there.

Speaker 1:

It's this very impatient paradigm where everyone's expecting to see such fast results for everybody they go. Oh, why are you doing that thing? Because they might not necessarily see the line of where they're going to get to. A lot of people can't see beyond a couple of years, right? Especially when you're young. Two years to somebody young is like 10 to us, right?

Speaker 1:

So I'm always interested in the factors of what gives construction the reputation it has to the outside world. Forget about the people in it. Like you know from being an ex-branding guy of all was said like because the brand of construction is something we can all say it's something, but it is actually defined by its factors. Like you can, either a brand exists regardless. It just depends if you control it or not.

Speaker 1:

So when you hear from the mom or the dad who's like I don't want you going to construction, go get a university degree, blah, blah, blah, the reason is because of the reputation of construction in their head and they're getting it from somewhere. It's not. There's inputs that are getting them is because of the reputation of construction in their head and they're getting it from somewhere. There's inputs that are getting them to come to this conclusion that it shouldn't be for their child. Now, do you think it's the fact that when you drive by a job site, all of the evidence is open for them to take that information in and make a judgment of? Well, they have to go to the washroom in that plastic box.

Speaker 1:

The food options around are only X, y and Z. They're not the whole alphabet. You know, I didn't bring up, I didn't spend all this time and all this energy to bring up my child to have limited options. That's something. It's a myth in their head. But what they don't realize is if you go and get a degree in sociology and you end up at some XYZ Wokie company and you end up having some conversation at the water cooler, it's probably really toxic. It's way worse. You're not on the job site, you're creating real lessons. You're creating it's a place where meritocracy completely rules and everyone learns lessons, life lessons a couple points.

Speaker 3:

I mean the first one. Obviously you know the the transparency of construction and driving down. Driving down you know granville street in vancouver and going to look at a construction site, and you know mom and dad are gonna be like, oh my god, it's zero degrees outside, it's raining sideways. I don't want my kid out there. I'm like I don't want you know. And then you know there's a guy drilling and he's covered in mud and he's drilling a hole in the side of the building. You know, and my goodness, I don't want my kid doing that. Yeah, so you know that's. That's definitely a key factor to it.

Speaker 1:

Like it's it is what it is.

Speaker 3:

Yeah Right Like it's it and that's for me. That's a big like it bothers me because it's like no, it's, it's cool you know what I mean.

Speaker 2:

He's got a huge good bucks.

Speaker 1:

Exactly, but they're not seeing that. No, yeah, which sucks, right yeah.

Speaker 3:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah. So in a number of years, you were going to say something.

Speaker 3:

No, I was just.

Speaker 3:

I had one second when I was going to say it was just like when I my upbringing. My parents are both university educated, you know university educated, you know I grew up in White Rock. I remember, I forget, like my first day on a job site, my first week on a construction site, I was like, oh my God, like these are real people. And you know, you talked about it like the life lessons that you learn, yeah, and it's like for me it was like eye-opening, like just a mind-blowing experience. And you know, my dad still to this day says there's good examples in life and there's bad examples in life, cam, and you see all of that on a construction site.

Speaker 1:

They're all in the open.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, and you get to choose what you want to pull from this, what you want to pull from that, and it really helps you to become who you are and shape who you want to be. And that all comes from all of those examples that you get on a real construction site from real people.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. So, jeff, let me ask you this. So we have this huge labor shortage, as you said, there's people moving on and you need a lot of top of funnel people to be able to pick the best for them to come into companies and et cetera. So it seems like we're getting less than we need in the top of the funnel of candidates for people to come into companies and et cetera. So it seems like we're getting less than we need in the top of the funnel of candidates for people to do jobs compared to the amount of people retiring. With, that being the case, the sort of advertising and advocacy for construction as an opportunity. Do you think that there is a missed message out there?

Speaker 2:

That's a very specific question. The missed message not as much. I just think there's so many opportunities outside of construction that people are getting excited about the working from home, a lot of computer-based stuff where you don't actually have to. So, and you asked that there's two sides of it. Site side of things supervisors, carpenters, foremen that is a huge need. But also in the office, the PMs, different things. So back to the site things. Yes, you need physical people to be able to go out to the site. They need to be educated, they can learn those skills, but they still need to want to do that. Um.

Speaker 2:

The office side though it's, it's um, it's tough because, like, you get your two years of school and you get put into a construction environment, and then I always say that's when the learning actually starts. So, before that person is comfortable to be doing what they need to do, you're probably, you know, five years of time with that person, which which is totally acceptable. But then you look at the average that people are now staying with one company and moving around, it's, you know, five to seven years. So you have this person, you work with them, you get to a spot where you feel you can leave them on their own and then wanting to, unless you keep them engaged. So then, that's sort of one of the focuses that we're working on. Now, too is okay. Well, we have this young person, let's show them where they could be at Ram, 10 years from now, 15 years from now.

Speaker 2:

And hopefully that excites them to stick around because, as you mentioned earlier, oh my God, it's two years, that's forever. I don't want to wait two years to move up to that next spot. Um, so it's, it's a little bit, you know, trying to find the people. That that's. I think it's just a I would say it. But there's just so many more opportunities out there there's less people interested to come into construction.

Speaker 2:

But when you have those people, it's, it's finding that way to make sure they know that they have a career at your company so that they want to put that time and effort into it. So, um, but you know, we, we, you know people relocate, people want to get onto something else or other elements outside of their life. So I shouldn't say that way. I guess it's part of their life. But family commitments, different reasons for them to to want to change careers as well, and those you can't do too much about. But when you get someone in construction, the goal is to keep them in and and I mean I know we've had people that go on friendly with and that's fine. It's hard, but as long as they're staying in that industry, I feel that it's helping everyone.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so if we can train someone and they're helping I'll say the Vancouver market or metro Vancouver area then that's good.

Speaker 1:

Don't go to Alberta. Don't go to Alberta. Don't go to Alberta. No, exactly right.

Speaker 2:

And if you're over there, you can come. If you want, though, we and if you're over there, you- can come.

Speaker 1:

if you want, though, we'll find a spot for you.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, but then that cost of living is making it very difficult for people to want to stay here in the lower mainland.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I mean the travel to. Let's say, you got a downtown job.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, we had one, it's hard.

Speaker 1:

It's hard, isn't it? Yeah, it was tough.

Speaker 3:

I mean, yeah, I heard about it weekly.

Speaker 1:

The commute is just horrible.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, we have a job. I mean, we have a job right now in North Shore.

Speaker 1:

North Shore yeah, we're workers.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, we're in North Shore Auto Mall and it's a grind. I mean we do our best to adjust site hours and days on site and stuff like that to make it work for everybody obviously. But yeah, it's a struggle.

Speaker 1:

So with the brand of construction, I was hearing something that so you know the factors of, you know what makes something sound attractive. There is a new push for mental health and construction. Yep, like a big one and it is a big problem. My main problem with it.

Speaker 3:

It's way too external.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so just hear me out here. So when we're trying, when we have a shortage of people trying to who want to come into construction, and then we have a message that it's one of the industries with the highest suicide rate, it doesn't help the cause of wanting people to come in. Do you know what I mean? It's another smack on the head to the reputation of construction, but I don't think it's construction itself that is like that, because there's many stratas of jobs in construction with many different income levels, and there are some jobs people have to have and there are some jobs which, in your case, you've basically carved your path the whole way through and it's been very intentional.

Speaker 1:

Big difference than somebody who's like I got to get a job, I don't care what I got to do, I've got life issues and there could be other things that are creating heavy, heavy life pressure and that has been conflated with the constructions to blame as an industry for it. It's not. It's just one of those places that provides people an opportunity to make a living, but it's getting mixed in with. That's what creates it. It's not what creates it. Do you know what I mean?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, Totally mixed in with. That's what creates it. It's not what creates it. Do you know what I mean? Yeah, so that kind of bugs me a bit from, you know, when I see the bus shelter ads when it's, you know, the guy on the back of the fishing boat.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, the BCSA ads.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I'm in construction, yeah, great, yeah. Then you hear that and then you see another one. It's like you know, construction against suicide, and you're like, whoa, it's hard. Who is this governing body that can get the message like, let's just keep that internal and let's keep the other? Do you know what I mean? Some stuff should be kind of B2B and other stuff should not be B2C. Let's keep that tight.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, be kind of B2B, and other stuff should not be B2C. Let's keep that tight. Yep, I mean I know VRCA, icba, they are also putting a push on that awareness for the mental health and construction. So I mean I go back to you know, yes, it's good to talk about it, but if that message that you're mentioning wasn't out there, then it wouldn't be coming across that way. Yeah, like it's true, those are facts, but there is a need to fix that and work on it. But I don't think that the construction industry is the cause for those numbers to be going how they are.

Speaker 1:

Right, sort of, as you said. So like, for instance, let's just hypothesize for a sec let's say back in the 80s, they were like, okay, there's not enough stockbrokers. And then suddenly they had this more stockbrokers are addicted to cocaine than any other industry. It's like, yeah, well, yeah, but we need more stockbrokers. It's kind of like that, right, it's just, you're not going to talk about the thing that is. You know, that's there, that's because it's I don't know. Well, what's the reason?

Speaker 3:

But then on the flip side, you know, is that mental health awareness helping? Is it creating? Is it helping the industry, the people that are already in the industry? Yeah Right. So yeah, from the outside looking in it's not great, but I mean, are we solidifying jobs that potentially could have been burnout people or people that wouldn't have made it, but they're being saved by this mental health awareness? So are we strengthening the industry? Like, where's that? You know there's a line there between, like you're saying, from the outside looking in oh my God, you got two different scenarios here but then on the inside, you know what is the benefit to bringing it to the surface and talking about it right.

Speaker 1:

I mean, I think, what the antithetical message that would be bright, I think, for the construction industry to do and that's not something you can do or whatever the VRCA, icba and all the other construction associations is that construction is the number one industry that is helping with general mental health issues. That's the message it's like if you're in, that you're going to be cared for more than any other industry, rather than we have the highest rate, we have an issue, do you know?

Speaker 2:

what I'm saying. So is that message out? I don't think it is no, but why not? That's why we're talking about it.

Speaker 1:

Exactly. There's no strategy. It's like you just blur it out, whatever. But the thing is industries go through their communication evolution. Construction never really had to figure out I mean, it's only until Andrew Hanson got into branding, construction companies and communications and all that sort of stuff. It's got its act together. Before it was like whatever, I don't care about my website, I don't care about my message. Hr like well, I guess I'll just pay people if they've got problems. My website I don't care about my message. Hr like well, I guess I'll just pay people and if they got problems. But now it's going through its evolution of being ultimately very, very professional, whereas other industries, like banking, insurance, they've been doing that for years. They've gone through these evolutions to the point now they're spinning out of control the other way and it's becoming that 71%.

Speaker 3:

Right, it's becoming this place of not a lot's going on.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so, but the when we talk about, like this mental health, for instance, can we just chat about that? For a second mental health, for instance, can we just chat about that for a second, like, how do you what's considered self-inflicted and what is considered clinical? Do you know what I mean? Mm-hmm, yeah, how do you like it's so hard to deal with?

Speaker 2:

Cam and I have been talking about this a lot over the last year. Like I, if the right term is, I'm a little more touchy, feely maybe, than Cam is on some of this stuff. So we as a company and then, you know, also trying to get this out through the industry a bit is we want to be there and support, but we can't can't force people to to talk about it. We can't force people to want to go get checked out if they're, you know, need someone to talk to things like that. We have to be able to provide the resources, provide that opportunity, let them know we're there to support and then just sort of sit back a bit. Yeah, you know, if we go the other way. Well, here's this. You know, everyone gets a mental health day off. Well, is that really beneficial to what the people want to do to work on their mental health, or is that just not the right focus on things like that?

Speaker 3:

so yeah, because I mean then if somebody comes to you and says, hey, you know, I need a couple days, I'd rather somebody do that than give everybody a mental health day off and no, it doesn't really work. But if somebody comes up, you know, and says, hey, listen, I need a couple days 100, like you need the time right, and that support and that acceptance of that, you know, is something, where we're at, that needs to be out there.

Speaker 2:

Like, there are mental health issues with people and everyone has a tough day, but some people can work through that on their own and they don't need that extra assistance or don't want to be brought into the spotlight for extra assistance. Or you know, hey, jimmy's taking four days off because he's having a bad extra assistance. Or you know, hey, jimmy's taking four days off cause he's he's having a bad week, like you know, they just want to deal with that on their own. So you know, cam and I are pretty strategic about that and making sure that our people at Ram know that we're there to help and that the support is there, but we're not front and center with it.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, you know and and relying more on line, more in the industry to do that part. But you know, as hearing you talk a bit more, that maybe that that focus should shift a little bit more and it should be a little more front and center. Well, uh, I've, I've said this on multiple podcasts and I don't.

Speaker 1:

I truly think mental health is too broad of a term for sure it's because if you, if you're to say like, let's say you've got 10 people in a room and you say, hey, do you guys have mental health problems or issues, it's too connected with being broken and no one wants to admit they're broken. We're all proud, we're all capable. A lot of alpha people are in the industry. They're like no, I'm fine. But the thing is, is that you know, are you really fine? And I think that's kind of what it's digging down to. But when you say, like, you know, if somebody came to you and said I need a couple of days, well, here's what's going to happen with that. That'll turn into weeks, that'll turn into months in the next 10 years. Just will, yeah, because it'll be. I need time.

Speaker 1:

It's like, why do you need time? Well, because Canada is 71% as efficient as the United States. Inflation is going through the roof. Butter is nine bucks, okay, and I'm being told factory farming's bad, the meat I'm eating is bad, the pressure is just too much. I can't afford a house, even if you make great money. So, and at this 71% efficiency, what happens is butter becomes $12. Because the yield of people is less, because they're fed up and they feel they can't get ahead. So why work the extra hours, why put in the extra productivity? So we end up with this spiral and those two days will end up a week and a month. It's just physics.

Speaker 1:

So I think that in order for us to really really push and really really make sense of it, we need to have critical thinking around the words mental health and bifurcate it so that one is do you having trouble just financially? Is there something in the home or do you have? Is this something that we need medication for, or do you need some psychotherapy? Do you need something else? Because the life issues part, everyone in every industry has that and that can't be everyone's problems, because the problem if we, if we identify that that's the problem and it's a life issue, companies can't pay for that. They just can't. You can try, but if it's everywhere I go, this person has this life issue and they're expensive, they become a liability everywhere they go and it's not a mental health issue. It could have been decisions or bad opportunity or whatever it is.

Speaker 1:

You know, a friend of mine went through a really bad emotional state. This was a number of years ago and he had this coach and the coach said to him I need you to hear this right away and I need this to sink in, and I'm going to say it twice you are where you are because of you. One more time you are where you are because of you and he told me. I try and think of that all the time. So if we think that our problems are someone else's and we don't deal with them ourselves, and we mix that into the word mental health, I think we're in deep trouble. We need to help people who cannot help themselves, but we need to enable people who can help themselves, and I think if we mix those together, we're doomed. What do you guys think? Am I totally out to lunch here?

Speaker 2:

the enabling part's tough because you that individual needs to want to identify that, recognize it, work on it, help themselves, exactly, yeah. So yeah, it makes it tough, makes it tough. Yeah, you know I see where you're going with with that, how it will change and be longer times and things like that, but it's such an arbitrary thing. Mental health, as you mentioned, is very broad, so how do you tell when that help is needed and how do you force someone to get the help if they don't want to get the help themselves? I'm not saying force, of course you can't force someone to do something but, um, like you said we've tackled this because we want to be there to support our employees, people within the industry.

Speaker 2:

But there's only so much we can do and I'm talking from the employer side without you know getting too involved or stepping over that line.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, and like I said, I mean, if that guy, you know, comes to me and says he needs a couple of days, you know that's him, that's him reaching out, that's him wanting it himself, that's him trying to work on himself. You know, and in all honesty, you know you don't give that guy two days. He burns out after the next two weeks and now I don't have a employee anymore.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and we've had like like we've had employees that have taken some time off or, you know, not seen days, months, you know weeks, months type of thing, and come on back and we're here to support you and you know if you need help. I don't know how many have reached out outside of that to actually ask or come through with that ask for help, but you know we're very, very accommodating with that time needed. But to get involved in the specifically what is wrong and where do you need that help?

Speaker 1:

it's a tough one. Yeah, I'm not saying that there needs to be services from the company to get involved. I'm just saying there needs to be, from a governing bodies, programs that split those off and allow people to go into the right bucket. Is what I'm saying. It's not your responsibility as a company to be dealing with people's life problems. It isn't. You know. You're trying to build buildings. Your client has a problem and you solve the problem. The problem is that they don't build buildings. You build buildings and they pay you for it. It's not that difficult, right, and the problem you have is you don't have enough people to build it, so you hire people.

Speaker 1:

I mean, this is all basic, right, but this the human part, oh. But this the human part, oh, that's right. We've got humans that have to be involved in this, so that makes it all more complex. But we're getting to this point in society where the communication is becoming so finite that industries that do it too broad, I think, are not getting it right. So I yeah, I know I'm harping on I just think that we could be the construction associations. It'd be great if there was a proper programs for people to help people get a leg up. Like, what really bugs me is when you see people who've worked really hard on a building, they're really proud of it and they can't afford to live in it. I mean, obviously, this stuff down on Georgia Street, 5,000 bucks a square foot, fair enough, but if you're doing a condo unit out in Langley or something and someone built that and still can't afford to live in it, it sucks right.

Speaker 1:

So there can be lots of programs around that Like Canada as a a country, and British Columbia could invest back in, which will help diminish the amount of things that are labeled mental health and are just life pressures and can actually help people. One thing that probably provides stress into people's minds is that it's the haves and have-nots, and yet I made this for you. That's got to feel terrible, do you agree with that?

Speaker 1:

People think, oh well, I guess the people who are building this building, I guess I'll never have that, I'm just going to sit here and just hammer nails, Great. But how about if it was like they? Actually, through the government of Canada, I was actually able, through our program, if I work on this building, I get what did I get? Like they subsidize the deposit for me by 75% Win-win.

Speaker 2:

I like that idea, but good luck getting someone on board with that, I know. I'm all for that.

Speaker 1:

But that's a home run idea. Right, Absolutely. But what's the base hit of that? There's got to be something.

Speaker 2:

I mean, I the the opportunity to provide you mentioned I don't want to say counseling, but someone to talk to our coach. I think used the term exactly so if that resource was out there more for people that they could access that no cost you know, spending 100 to 200 bucks an hour to go talk to someone is not exactly or not attainable for certain people.

Speaker 2:

So to have that out there, I could see that as maybe a small step for those that want to get the help but can't afford it. At least now they can. I totally agree with you. But, like, maybe that's the baby step to get that thing going. But once again-.

Speaker 1:

But that's a huge step, because do you know what you just did right there, jeff, is you? Basically, the difference between coach and psychiatrist make people feel different.

Speaker 2:

Oh, totally Right.

Speaker 1:

So you have a. I was able to get some coaching. Not I had to go, you know, be in a recliner, had to go get fixed versus.

Speaker 3:

Exactly, I'm not broken.

Speaker 1:

I want to optimize my life or I need to be optimized. God, I can't get this right. I don't know what the answer is, so, but I'm not sure that mental health is the right title.

Speaker 2:

No, I hate that that term is important Now, you know where I'm going with it.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, no, I mean yeah, Now we've broken it down, it makes sense. It's far too broad.

Speaker 1:

I want to know why the construction associations aren't having this conversation we're having right now. They should. Critical thinking, right Factor-based thinking, what makes this X, y, z, anyway?

Speaker 2:

So hey. I have a coach, and that coach is business, but also, I'll say, personal.

Speaker 1:

I didn't say anything about mental health or psychiatrist or anything like that.

Speaker 2:

But that's a coach I use and that just helps to navigate life with any different challenges that come up.

Speaker 1:

So Cause your business is personal. Oh yeah, yeah. And if you don't show up in a certain way with you know gratitude or the right mindset.

Speaker 2:

I'm happy just to get that smile on my face some days when I come to the office.

Speaker 1:

It's hard.

Speaker 2:

And that's nothing new with work. Yeah, Personal, personal side of things is always always those challenges that you bring with you or you put aside, but you're always wearing that on your sleeve.

Speaker 1:

Because you know, like, when just one last thing on the mental health is like, let's say they're at what strata of the construction process is mental health applicable to? What about the developer who can't get the money from the bank because there's been delays? You don't think they have mental health, but they're not going to have access to these programs because apparently they're too rich or they do too well. Do you know?

Speaker 2:

what I mean. Hey, client, yeah, that permit got delayed for no reason and you got another month of carrying cost Because, yeah, no stress and there's times when you're going through, you're going bananas in your mind.

Speaker 1:

you got a project that you know that that's going in a direction you didn't anticipate it to go, etc. Is that mental health right there? You're like, no, this is like work, stress, this is how things go. Yeah, right, but it could be considered like gonna drive, drive you crazy Totally, yeah, yeah. So at what point does does Jeff get into this program? Do you get the free coach?

Speaker 2:

Hey, well, I mentioned it, it's not not a Do you know what I'm saying? Well, no, but yeah, the the coaching is there for me because of those challenges.

Speaker 1:

Absolutely.

Speaker 2:

And I don't know where I'd be without it right now.

Speaker 1:

But that's your coach, though I'm just saying like if Canada had a program, would Jeff get it as an owner?

Speaker 3:

Probably not Very complicated. Yeah, he's a good guy, we'll give it to him.

Speaker 1:

I feel More tribalism. Fly the flag, wear the uniform. Well, this is pretty cool. So one last thing In terms of construction and technology, do you anticipate a time where, where, like excavation, for instance, that that part of the, that part of the process, do you see people in the office with joysticks and there's no one in the cameras? Joysticks, it's not autonomous, but it's like drive-by-wire.

Speaker 2:

No, no, I get it. I was at the TCA convention last September, so the tilt-up association, and they had the robotic painter. So there's a robot.

Speaker 1:

I've seen that thing. It's incredible, right it?

Speaker 2:

is. It is, and I was just like okay, so they are replacing people on the site with robots. I just I didn't think that would. I mean maybe I'm being naive. Of course it can go there, but I just always assumed we would always need the physical workers on site doing the stuff and I I may be a little too old school on that thinking I prefer that still. I mean I see that that robot painter is amazing, it works, but are we there yet? No, are we going to get there? Yeah, I mean I, I can't just ignore it, but uh, but that field job turns into an office job.

Speaker 1:

to control, no, uh, I guess. So yeah, yeah.

Speaker 2:

I just the trust in the technology, I guess, like I still. I mean, I know a painter can go up there and paint it backwards or upside down, or wrong colors too, but um, yeah, just. Or wrong colors too, but yeah, just, I don't know. I look at it more. I'm talking about trying to increase our workforce and have more people, yet the future's coming where we don't need these people, Sort of that idea.

Speaker 3:

if we're talking that way, yeah, I think the big one that always comes to my mind is like, yeah, we're always looking for more people, but it's then, how could we do more with those people? And I think that's kind of where I go with it. Like, I think there's always going to be people around, and we've talked about this, like yeah, you're still going to have employees.

Speaker 3:

Like it's not like we're going to go to a completely, like robot driven construction site, not for not for years and years and years, but, like you know, I think it's how do we become more efficient. I think it's how do we become more efficient with the people that we have on the sites. So you look at, let's say, excavation you spoke about earlier. So excavation 10 years ago you had a seasoned veteran in the chair pulling levers and excavating stuff. Now you could slap Jimmy in the excavator and turn on machine control with the GPS on and he literally cannot dig where he's not supposed to dig. Yeah, so you know that's cheaper guy, probably because he doesn't have as much experience. Yeah, um, you know, probably going faster because it's not based on his skill set, it's just based on him pulling the levers. Um, so that's where I think you know, in the short term, we're going to see more of that um, with the technology assisting the human people on site doing it.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, yeah, exactly Like human assisted technology.

Speaker 3:

Human assisted technology Cause I think that's, you know it's coming and it's yeah. And then I mean the pre-planning stuff as well. Like you talk about tech, you talk about the, the BIM modeling and the clash detection and the. You know, I mean not you know, I'd say even five years ago that was reserved for, like a massive hospital.

Speaker 3:

Yeah right Like it was. You know massive projects and I mean now you know we're looking at, you know, bringing some of that stuff in. You're seeing other, you know smaller industrial contractors, commercial contractors, looking at again creating that efficiency in the planning state in order to go out there and perform, execute and be done with it Right, rather than you know, skilled plumber he's. He's my water entry guy. You know what I mean. Yeah, put him in the water. The mechanical room, cause he does all my water entry layout. Well, now you know, did 15 pit metals, mechanical. They're coming in with. They're coming in with pre-built water entry stations. Jimmy just bolts it on the wall, bolts it together, because it's already designed, it's already done.

Speaker 1:

You know exactly where it's going.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, it's all prefab, right. So that's you know. Yeah, that human-assisted technology piece I think is huge, that Jimmy guy's talented, Jimmy's killing it. He's a plumber, he's an excavator operator, he's taking some mental health days.

Speaker 1:

I mean we're yeah, I saw a drywall robot. I was like, oh yeah, like mudding.

Speaker 3:

Mudding. Yeah, I was talking to a guy Like perfect, Really.

Speaker 1:

Okay, crazy, perfect. I mean it's so repeatable right. Yeah, the boards are already engineered to accept, yep, the mud. I like the tape in the mud, so it's like okay, well, not that hard. Yeah, you know so but it you know, if, when you, when you, if, if that can get to a point where it can pull the panel off, the pile, drywall, screw, you know, mud and because it's a repeatable area, that's you know quite large, A big demise wall or something. Yeah, I mean, it's a no brainer.

Speaker 3:

Well, I mean, you've seen the healthy layout robot? Yeah, so, like in the States, they set that puppy up overnight and the crew comes in in the morning and all the layout is 100% completed, ready for steel stud track to go down.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it's crazy.

Speaker 3:

Nuts.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, but do you like that stuff? Oh yeah, I do. I think it's super cool. But this is the. In my opinion, this is the advertisement to this younger generation. Look what you can get into.

Speaker 3:

Right Makes it sexy. Yeah, it's less dirty right 100%.

Speaker 1:

I mean the weird thing is, as we sit here, site, I'm in construction. What industry are you in? Well, you know, I guess you could say, well, kind of one foot at where a technology company, but we're in construction. If someone works at Sightmax, they're in construction. So I mean it's. And luckily, by the way, our stack is ready for BIM. Oh there we go yeah.

Speaker 2:

That's a plug there, yeah.

Speaker 1:

I, yeah, I mean not not right now, but like the partner that we use for the PDF markup and all that has 3D. So we're just sweet. So we're not going to be behind the eight ball, I don't think. But yeah, so to attract this younger generation, I definitely think that, yeah, the less dirtiness, no one's got anything to complain about the washroom thing.

Speaker 2:

So, uh, we, we, we have had sites, you know. Uh, there are those trailers that are a little more fancy than you, but shouldn't the?

Speaker 3:

government like, like, pay for this, like, shouldn't it be part of like to make it consistent, James, james, throughout four years ago, during the timeframe that we spoke about earlier, we needed to have a hand washing stations on site. Yeah, and somebody. I was telling somebody about these hand washing stations and somebody said hold on a second. You mean you didn't have a hand washing facilities on the job site before the guys ate lunch. I was just no, I guess not.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so you know, things change.

Speaker 3:

Things change. Yeah, 100%, you know. I mean the trailers Sinks are required now. Sinks are required now, like it's a WCV thing. I mean the trailers are coming have you heard of a half pot before yes, I have heard of a half pot.

Speaker 2:

Yes, I've heard of that a lot. Yes, I remember being on the site. I was super excited when there was one of the handicap size outhouses because there was a little bit of extra room that you could take your pouch off and put it somewhere. Yeah, yeah.

Speaker 1:

well, I don't think we're going to fix everything on this podcast, but I have to say that having veterans like you guys to be able to talk about this stuff is pretty good for me. Anything you want to say before we hop off today's session, I appreciate you having us on. Yes, it was great. Well, that does it for another episode of the Site Visit. Thank you for listening. Be sure to stay connected with us by following our social accounts on Instagram and YouTube. You can also sign up for our monthly newsletter at sitemaxsystemscom slash the site visit, where you'll get industry insights, pro tips and everything you need to know about the site visit podcast and Sitemax, the job site and construction management tool of choice for thousands of contractors in North America and beyond. Sitemax is also the engine that powers this podcast. All right, let's get back to building.

Construction Culture and Team Dynamics
Navigating Generational Differences in the Workplace
Perspectives on Careers in Construction
Misconceptions About the Construction Industry
Challenges and Opportunities in Construction
Supporting Mental Health in the Workplace
The Future of Construction Technology
Site Visit Wrap-Up and Invitation