In our six decades as a Division 8 contractor, Dash Door & Glass has established some best practices that contribute to meeting final project deliverables. There are many opportunities to start adding value to a project as early as the pre-construction phase.
Paying attention to a few details during the pre-construction phase, can allow a contractor to make significant contributions to the project’s success; regardless of project size. By being an early collaborator, specialty contractors can provide transparency of scope, propose alternatives that can make a meaningful impact to the project’s objectives, and support accurate scheduling. This sets the stage early for the success of the team and project partners.
Through years of experience, we’ve learned that piling on qualifications during the bid phase does not add value to the bigger picture of the project. Instead, the primary duty of a specialty contractor is to assist the project and the client. By being mindful about how a scope is presented accurately, a specialty contractor can aid the general contractor in identifying and mitigating scope creep by avoiding ambiguity.
Providing value-added specialized tools, such as color-coded plan supplements, helps general contractors identify missed scope, and opportunities to find synergies. This is the perfect example of how it can be detrimental for the project when specialty contractors “hold their cards close”.
For the sake of the overall project schedule, it is important for the general contractor to rely on the specialty contractor’s expertise regarding when certain product lead times have the potential to cause delays. Evaluating the cost of acquisition of a substitute product versus the lead time of the specified product can lead to overall project savings. Depending on the situation, it may be possible to substitute comparable products or manufacturers to assist with schedule or budget, if identified and communicated early. Early substitution requests give the design team an opportunity to consider alternate products.
This assessment can bring value to the general contractor by augmenting the project with products of higher quality, that respect the architect’s design intent. This strengthens the relationship and highlights the team’s transparency and reliability.
Dash Door & Glass works with general contractors by providing more detail to support the accuracy of the schedule. This is something that happens early in the process and continues throughout the life of the project. The key is to identify the predecessor activities early in order to reduce risk of delays. If there are known issues with the schedule, these can be mitigated by identifying and collaborating as a team. If the schedule isn’t realistic, communication will be key to finding alternative solutions.
For example, one subcontractor may need to complete their activities before another can come in to begin their work. If a predecessor subcontractor cannot meet the schedule, it affects all tasks that follow. The Dash Door & Glass team finds that requesting the schedule early in the process ultimately allows us to provide feedback and plan ahead to help mitigate delays.
As a specialty contractor with more than 60 years of experience in South Florida, the Dash Door & Glass team starts building for the success of a project even before award. Value is added by identifying constraints early in the planning process and supporting the basic Project Triangle.