Posts Tagged ‘general contractors’

Boosting Profitability for General Contractors

January 19, 2012

As profit margins drop past the 2% mark, general contractors are compelled to look for more innovative ways to drive profitability. Recently, I learned of a GC that hired a third party services firm to photo-document its work on a large school project and passed the cost onto the owner with a slight markup. While I see the rationale behind adding value-added services as a way to improve revenue, I find this particular choice questionable.

Construction Photo-documentation firms offer a valuable combination of construction knowledge and photography services to owner/developers who lack the experience and resources to scrutinize the construction of their buildings. Most also offer a deliverable that includes construction photos delivered via the web.

However, does this make sense for a GC? Can these firms offer expertise that the GC doesn’t already have on staff? Do they hold the secrets to construction photography that a GC can’t match with a $500 camera purchase and a basic photography course at a local community college (or even online)? The answers are obviously no and no.

So, therefore, the missing piece of the puzzle must be the ability to deliver construction photos with a web interface offers more than a link to a Sharepoint folder. If a GC could deliver a comprehensive package of photos to an owner that offered a complete record of as-built construction and critical installation details, now that would be valuable.

And now, the GC can offer just such a deliverable. In my next post I will describe how Geedra enables GC’s to self perform the photo documentation of their projects, and in doing so transforms an overhead cost, into a value-add service that boosts profitability.


No Matter Your Exposure to Construction, Geedra Makes Sense

November 30, 2011

I got a touching note from someone the other day. I had never met this person before and they had no reason whatsoever to reach out to me, but did anyway. Thanks, Shirine.

A few years ago I handled Business Development for Waste Management in new accounts for their CDL collection. It was for the new home construction divisions setting up garbage collection to unestablished accounts. …I was often in the garages of the new home developments forming solid relationships with on site Super’s and staff.  (Geedra) will be a great resource/ tool for them.

I can appreciate that service and benefit your business will offer the construction community.

Continued success for your business.


Shirine Park

Turning BIM Models Into Buildings

December 13, 2010

I have written in the past about the various aspects of as-built construction and the construction process that can’t (and shouldn’t) be represented in a BIM model. While there are countless articles, blog posts and Tweets covering the wonders of BIM in the weeks and months leading up to construction, you never hear any stories about the experiences of the construction managers, consultants and project managers who interact with the model once construction begins.

I am curious to hear about the experiences of others who have ground-level knowledge from BIM projects.

  • How has BIM affected the number of RFI’s that you would normally expect for this type of project if it had been designed using traditional methodology?
  • Are there certain types of RFI’s that prevail despite the use of BIM?
  • What types of issues do you experience when updates to the BIM model become necessary?
  • Where do you see gaps when comparing the BIM model to As-Built conditions on your project?
  • What has surprised you (good and bad) about building to the BIM model?
  • Has BIM had an impact on your coordination or sequencing efforts?
  • How have you utilized the BIM model for regulatory compliance?
  • What will you differently on your next BIM project?

Discovering Construction Defects is Only Half the Battle

January 5, 2009

Phew! You found the missing caulk in the soffit in ten different units of that $20 million dollar condo project. And just in time too, since the dry wall installers are due to begin work in the morning.  So, you saved yourself a bunch of headaches down the road.

But now what? Are you confident that this was an isolated incident, what about the first 10 units that have already been completed? What about the next 25 units? The framer promised that they wouldn’t forget to caulk again, but can he deliver on his promise? After all, he’s got a different crew every day.

Are you going to inspect 100% of your sub’s work? Not likely. That’s why inspection alone is never the answer. In order to make the most of your inspection effort, you’ll also need the following:

  • A transparent inspection plan. Know in advance what you will be inspecting and when you will be conducting your inspections. Share this information with your subs.
  • A reporting system that can identify trouble spots. For small jobs, periodic reviews of inspection reports should suffice. Bigger projects will require more sophisticated tools such as trend analysis software.
  • Process improvement procedures. GC’s need lead all of their major subs in process improvement by including a provision for process correction in their bid package. I’ll write more extensively about this in a future post, but essentially you are asking your subs to acknowledge process problems, correct the process and then train their crews in order to implement the corrections.
  • A defect management system that tracks selected defects from detection through resolution.

Incorporating these features into your quality plan will lower your defect-related costs and provide for improved efficiency over the life of a project.