You have just been assigned/taken on/been awarded a large project and are the responsible party to lead the team towards the goal of excellent results, on time, and on budget. It may be the first time, or the one hundredth time you've done this, but either way, you are going to be faced with making thousands of decisions which ultimately will cause the project to be a supreme success, or a depressing failure. Your job may be on the line, and/or most certainly hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars are at stake. It's high stress, deadline oriented, and laden with unforeseen obstacles to trip you up. Your first decision is to assemble a team. If you surround yourself with a really good team, and provide them with sound direction, support, and clear goals, you are confident that will lead to a successful end result. That is a very good decision, so let's see how that plays out in the construction arena.
We want a team that brings vision, creativity, technical expertise, experience, and above all, a group of individuals you can trust to do what they say they are going to do. In a perfect world, this team is going to take ownership of your goals, be committed to the project success and drive home the completion....on time and on budget. So you bring in the usual suspects, which may include some but not all of the following: an architect, MEP engineers, property manager, building engineer, owner's rep (CM) and if you are doing a tenant improvement project, a tenant is added to the mix and perhaps even the tenant rep (CM). You plan, you budget, you design, you make decisions, and then after several weeks or months of planning, you go out to procure the final team member, the general contractor. The selection of the GC at this point, is now based on the most qualified low bidder from a pool of three to five companies. This can arguably be the most pivotal decision and the most critical performing player on the team, but for some reason you have waited until the overall project is half over to bring them onto the team. This new player now has to quickly get up to speed, learn all the project objectives, hope that they estimated and assumed everything correctly, and hit the ground running because the delivery deadline is fast approaching and you've spent 60-70% of the project duration with the other team members and have this unreal expectation that the entire fate of the project success is going to be delivered flawlessly by the newest team member who just came on board with the lowest price. Does that sound like a formula for success to you? And don't forget, the GC has to do all this is 5-10 business days which is how long you gave them to bid the project that the rest of the team has been working on for a few months now.
Save yourself from this old school method of project execution. Save yourself from the headaches, the uncertainty, the pain and suffering that is realized by relying on this method of hiring a contractor in the middle of the project. Why, you say, the beginning of the project is the day construction starts, correct? Now what have you been doing for the last several months? You've been working with your team, planning, designing, budgeting, and setting up the final segment of the overall project: the on-site construction activity. Why would you not bring this final team member on board at the beginning of the project, or during the design phase? They bring technical expertise, experience, constructability input, and most importantly, they "buy-in" early to the goals and objectives of the team leader. They collaborate, coordinate, and communicate with the team to bring forth the most critical issues before they become a crisis, and they seek to provide solutions without disruption to schedule and budget. In the end, hiring the GC at the beginning of the project along with the rest of the team not only ensures on time and on budget delivery, but is a more pleasurable experience for you, the owner. Your own experience is something you may want to consider the next time you are assigned/take over/or have been awarded that new project!
Founded in 1989, Prevost Construction seeks to provide an Amazing customer experience on every project. Give us a try when you want to experience superior results in a collaborative way!