The Best Practices series asks CRE leaders about how to best execute a single aspect of thier business.
Business is brisk for construction companies in the current economy, but a lot stands in the way of completing a commercial construction project on time and on budget: permitting delays, fluctuating material prices and availability, and a chronic shortage of labor in the trades.
We asked construction executives about their strategies for getting jobs done, regardless of the obstacles.
We engage permit expeditors in the bid phase to better understand local lead times. We do this at the same time that we're gathering bid data so that we can dial in our construction schedule and gather relevant sub pricing.
Also, we're on-site long before the trailer arrives, preparing for and mitigating the unknowns. This allows us to meet with building department personnel, introduce ourselves to our neighbors, and get to know the market participants.
A procurement team for job site set-up enables us to coordinate delivery of all items needed on a site the day we're authorized to mobilize. This requires an understanding of the lead times associated with temporary utilities, as well as having fully outfitted construction trailers, so that the execution team can get to right down to business on day one.
On a recent project in the Northeast, an issue at a plant shut down production of precast, which had dire implications for project schedules across the market. Our approach had us talking with the supplier well over a year in advance and across multiple projects, giving us not only leverage with respect to size, but allowing us to guarantee readiness on our site, which in turn gave us priority delivery.
So we were able to shift production to an alternate plant and take advantage of a narrow window that came available. That allowed us to keep our schedule intact while waiting for production to resume locally.