As outlined there are many differences between CM/GC and Hard Bid projects which were called out under pros and cons in the first installment of this blog. I realize now one significant oversight that was not mentioned, staffing. When you hire an Owner’s Rep or Architect on a project you will often ask to meet the design director, Project Manager, Quality Control offices, and even major consultants such as the mechanical engineer and lighting designer. This process holds true in selecting a CM/GC. As the contractor under this delivery model joins the team early you will want to know who is handling preconstruction manager, estimating, who is the project manager, and most importantly who is the superintendent. In the same way you would want to shortlist your design team based on qualifications such as experience with a project type you may even be interested in if they have renovation experience or experience with a specific mechanical system type such as raised floor. The contractors experience can provide value by providing cost data from sub contractors, bring forward lessons learned, and resolve constructability issues early in the process.
In addition to being able to interview for qualification you can also make a selection for the best cultural fit for your organization. If your contractor is involved early they may be part of the public presentations and need to converse with the public and board members. Don’t under estimate this as part of your selection process as this is a key element of making your projects not only successful but often enjoyable if not even fun!
The final element that needs to be mentioned regarding staffing projects is that owners get a chance to understand how their project will be staffed. In the selection of a CM/GC we have the proposing teams outline who will be on the project and for what durations and time commitment. We have had times where a submitting team will not be selected, even at a lower price, due to the fact the selection committee felt the project was understaffed. We have also been able to ask Contractors to substitute team members if we feel there is a better match for the project within the firm.
Regardless of hard bid or CM/GC we are finding the best of the best are remaining and managing projects. The challenge of Hard Bidding is you don’t know how many staff members you will have assigned, in order to keep costs down your selected team may be asked to do a lot more than they normally would to keep costs down.
An update to our first installment will be made and include
- No changes
- Owner will not be able to meet the team managing the project.
- Owner will not know how project will be staffed by the construction team.
Construction Manager/General Contractor
- Owner gets to meet the team proposed and match them to the project by culture, personality, and relevant experience including special systems the project might call for including but not limited to mechanical systems, renovation work, challenging site constraints.
- Owner gets full understanding of how the project will be staffed including time dedicated to the project by proposed team.
- No Changes
Quentin Rockwell and Paul Wember, Wember Inc.~Owner’s Representative