Project schedules keep getting tighter. What is one practice that is significantly helping you keep up with tight schedules in this very busy market and how has it impacted your operations?
We are seeing a lot of delays with contract execution, the submittal process, and the lead time for manufacturers to get drawings back to us for submittals. So we have implemented some practices to improve the timeline where we can.
We assemble detailed cut sheets on the products, send them on to the electrical contractor or the general contractor, and ask for preliminary approval so we can start the equipment release process with the manufacturer. We are starting to create drawings in-house that we can send for approval before receiving the official manufacturer shop drawings. We have also developed really strong relationships with some of our larger partners in manufacturing, so if we have the opportunity to bypass the submittal process altogether, we can expedite equipment to keep the on-site process moving as quickly as possible.
One way of keeping up with tight schedules is to get involved early in the project – as early during preconstruction as possible. We work collaboratively with the owner and design team to identify issues that might be impediments to timely completion and come up with ways to eliminate or minimize the issues. We identify long lead items early in the process and prepurchase equipment or complete bidding packages early to get a head start. Once construction begins, the schedule is monitored closely to minimize slips and is the first item of discussion at every meeting. In this busy market, we have to work harder, stay ahead of potential issues, and rely on our expertise and that of the fellow members of the team. If the project isn’t a success for all parties involved, the project isn’t a success.