Moving and Managing: Patience is an Essential Component of Any Project

By Craig Carson

By the time you receive this issue, we at 8G Solutions in Denver will be moving into a new fabrication facility that we call our “Center of Excellence.” It has been a journey— more of a marathon than a sprint—and I have a new respect for the developers and general contractors (GCs) who navigate the maze of local building departments.

During this process, I was privileged to be in charge of fitting out the office space and fabrication area. I had competent help from our corporate director of fabrication and the building managers our ownership group hired when we purchased the building as a core and shell. They have been helpful, though I understand they live in a world they’ve adopted that only moves as fast as the slowest entity can move.

Our office will not be ready until summer due to the long lead times for rooftop HVAC systems. We plan to begin fabrication for our Twin Tower Condo project in May, so it is all coming together, but patience is a virtue.

Practicing Patience

Speaking of patience reminds me of when I worked on the Air Force Academy Chapel repairs with JE Dunn’s Federal Contracting Group out of Omaha, Neb. This group of extremely capable people works only on federal projects. I noticed a different attitude with them compared to the typical GC management group: they have a lot of patience.

You learn to be patient when you’re working on a project where the submittals have to pass through several government offices for approval. I counted five or six cabinet level and departmental offices that needed to approve the submittals. I think you have to learn to have patience or go crazy. Privately contracted work is always set to deadlines and milestones, even with the most mild-mannered project managers and engineers pushing and prodding. A GC’s federal group can only move as fast as the federal department approves the submittals.

Stay Prepared

To help the GC when you’re working on a federal contract, you must keep all of the documentation 100% complete. As a subcontractor to them, keep your paperwork complete and up-to-date. Falling behind or thinking you will set it aside and catch up later is not a good policy. Spend the time daily to ensure you’re current with your paperwork, or you’ll never have the time to catch up.

One last thing: you need to think about the added time required for your project manager and/or their assistant to review the consistent revisions to the drawings and specifications. Try to carry this cost in your estimate. Remember, the devil is in the details.

Craig Carson is the vice president and general manager of 8G Solutions in Denver.

To view the laid-in version of this article in our digital edition, CLICK HERE.