Glove - Bus Reflection

You’re probably thinking, what? Well, these are two words derived from two different phrases meaning essentially the same thing: “Glove Fit”, “Right Seat on the Bus”. Whether you are planning to design and build a new commercial, industrial, special use, municipal or church facility these are critical phrases when it comes to hiring the right team. They fit with your vision of accomplishing this building goal as well as are the right team player for your business, the proverbial bus.

It has unfortunately become commonplace to hear of leadership across the board in all industries reflect on the realization they hired the “wrong fit” and in hindsight for the wrong reasons. Remember the phrase, “if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail”. As you consider this common realization, review the following comments made by individuals in response to their selection process. This comes with sincere reflection on each real life comment. In this context the decision maker will be referred to as the “buyer”:

1. “We are looking for someone who we feel comfortable with, can trust and will provide a fair price.”

A. If this is truly the case, why does leadership often insist on bringing in 3 “qualified” firms? Taking this approach says that we are comfortable with 3 firms, trust all 3 firms, but really want the lowest price even though we state, “it is not all about price”. This becomes the buyer’s measurable on differentiating between firms. What then is left if you feel they are qualified and know that you can trust their quality and service?

i. So take this a step further....how do you know they are truly qualified:
Is it because you have seen other similar buildings they have designed and constructed (do you know what the process was like for the other buyer going through the building process)? You see the finished product, but what was the journey like for the other buyer? Were things missed because they “won” the bid as is often the case? If you have worked with someone before and had a good working relationship with them, why do you feel it is necessary to consider multiple parties again? Did you truly trust them? Set the apparent “protocol” aside; previous trustworthy relationships should eliminate the need for typical protocol in utilizing the same team again. It should be a black and white decision process. Trust is the cornerstone of relationships. If it is not there, call it for what it is and move on.

2. We wanted to have someone design and then bid the project out separately to multiple general contractors in lieu of having someone design and build our building as a single source. We feel this will ensure we are receiving the “best value”.

A. So you are going to take on the responsibility of hiring an architect, separate mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineer, separate site/civil engineer and then make sure that each of the various entities are all coordinating their own plans with the others as well as with the local, county and or state authorities? Once you ensure they are all working together, are you going to qualify and then “bid” out to multiple general contractors and then make sure any questions are channeled to each of the appropriate parties? Ok, say for example all of the above actually comes together; how will you guarantee that the “lowest bidder” actually has included everything. Once into the job inevitably the finger pointing begins if something was missed and in the end, you the buyer bare the final consequence as you assumed responsibility for the design and are often left with a project that ends up over budget. With this approach it is imperative that a certain level of a relationship has been developed on the front end.

3. “If someone is my single source designing and building my building, how can I guarantee I will receive the most value?”

A. First, it is important to determine what value truly means to you.

B. If you are partnering with someone who can design and build your building this will be a marriage in essence for the better part of 1 – 2 years depending on the level of project. What better way to get to know someone than spending time planning together with the same team who will be building your building. You are building trust with one another, designing a building that will meet your needs as well as fit within your budget all prior to moving into construction with a single source of communication and delivery. You partnered with them because you know they are capable of designing and building your building as you have spoken with other references as well as have seen their “product”. This approach generally will save up to 4 months compared to the design/bid/build model because you are now dealing with one single source through all the phases. Now, returning to the above reflection: you have someone who is qualified, you can trust and is designing a building that will be guaranteed within your budget. It is important to have a thorough understanding of why one would consider the risk and assume the responsibility in the aforementioned approach. Someone will always be able to state on the front end they will provide a guaranteed maximum price (GMP) for your project prior to start of design. What does this matter if you are unable to afford the what has been designed?

Remember, “Rome wasn’t built in a day”. Plan well. It is a marathon and not a sprint. Your operational costs will be the greatest cost over the life of your building. Choose wisely the resource you feel will be a true partner through the process to ensure you are developing the best long term and most efficient tool for your intended use.

If you have a need and have thought about planning for the design, renovation and/or construction of a new facility and would like a free consultation please contact PBS at 920.868.2229 or visit us at peninsulabuildingsystems.com.