There is an old saying in our industry that you can deliver a construction project with one or two of the following qualities but not all three:
- Aggressive schedule
- Quality construction
- Competitive pricing
At Harman Construction we think it is possible to do all three but not without careful planning and a project that is set up for success right from the start. In this blog post I will address the 3rd quality on the list – competitive pricing.
We are fortunate that most of our clients are repeat customers or referrals from previous customers. The common theme is that they want quality and they want a contractor they trust to do the project right. However, Competitive pricing is a must for any project. In some cases our customers need to be in budget for corporate or board approval. In others cases it is simply to get the best value for the dollar. In any case our job at Harman is ensuring that the numbers are right.
I believe the following points are key to making sure competitive pricing is delivered.
- Finding the right subcontractors. It takes a little extra time and effort to make sure the right team is in place but we work very hard to make sure we find and develop subs that are right sized to fit our customers needs.
- Delivering good clear well written bid documents or clarifications. When the bid package is sloppy or unclear then less bids will be received and higher contingencies will be included.
- Adequate time is given for bid completion. Time is needed to check for errors and inconsistencies. It is also critical because if not enough time is given for the bid process then less bids will be received. Less bids can likely mean higher overall numbers from subs.
- The GC (General Contractor) needs to treat subs and suppliers fairly and pay them well. We learned long ago that treating our sub team members with respect will help us in the long run. If we are consistently difficult to work with and don’t pay our bills promptly, then we will not get the best pricing from our team members.
- Efficient scheduling and operational strategic thinking. General conditions can be very expensive. We work hard to make sure that our operations team can provide input on how to layer a schedule to reduce time. Also sequencing strategies that could reduce equipment or safety costs are very important.
At the end of the day it all comes down to planning well for success and finding the right team members to help us carry out the plan. Companies that don’t plan, or uncover details, end up throwing extra cushion in their pricing for fear of missing something.
So, it is possible to have all three – quality, schedule and pricing – But it doesn’t happen by accident. It starts with picking the right team and taking the time to build a plan that works for success.
This business can be a lot of fun when team members are pulling in the same direction and the clients’ goals are met. We look forward to helping many more of our customers as we ”Deliver all three” now and into the future.
President & COO
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Harrisonburg, VA 22801