Make Your Construction Project A Win Before You Ever Begin


Without fostering an environment of collaboration, early on, a vacuum is created that can breed a “tribalistic” approach to process. In this case, team members naturally resort to their own independent work routines and practices. That’s when a whole host of things can go wrong.

Construction Project Performance Challenges

Smart Market Brief Research – © Dodge Data & Analytics

According to a wide cross-section of project owner experiences:

85% of all construction projects exceed original budgets
92% of projects exceed schedules
63% of projects experience quality deficiencies

Early project collaboration overcomes downside risks

There are many complicated challenges in commercial construction. So bringing the entire build team to the table – project owner, building designer, engineer, general contractor, and materials manufacturer/supplier – yields better team synchronization and extensive efficiencies that often result in significant cost, schedule and risk reductions.

One specific, real-world case study makes the point exceptionally well.

A major, multinational consumer products company – planning to build an almost 500,000 sf manufacturing plant in Lagos, Nigeria – assembled a team of highly qualified experts to head the project. However, none of them had ever worked with one another before. This issue was exacerbated by their widely dispersed geographic locations, from Missouri and Ohio in the U.S. to England, Germany, Serbia, and Nigeria, as well as shipments coming from China.

What could easily have been a recipe for disaster was immediately averted by the project owner’s decision to convene several three-day, pre-build meetings. The purpose was to acquaint and integrate team members; discuss one another’s work processes; and most importantly, share ideas on project cost and schedule optimization solutions.

Open communication enhances project coordination

After the group discussed initial plans and costs in detail, it was estimated that pricing was likely to run over the anticipated budget.

Butler Manufacturing helped by guiding the team in a two-day modular construction optimization workshop and design reviews in which the everyone came together to improve work handoffs, avoid delays/overlaps, orchestrate shipping plans, and more. While these meetings may have resulted in a slight delay in the start of construction, over the long run, they helped to shorten the build schedule from 18 months to 13 months, generating a total project cost of schedule savings of $7 million.

The team changed the entire geometry of the building, making adjustments such as eliminating interior drainage and trenching, as well as other modifications to the roof and structure. Together, these and other modifications, helped to reduce the weight of materials by 40%, and produced shipping & handling cost savings while contributing to expedited scheduling.

Other notable highlights of this collaborative project delivery approach:

  • Material shipments were sequenced and contents clearly labeled in containers according to building phase and section to minimize on-site storage, reduce double handling and improve inspection and shakeout times
  • 175 total containers were shipped and arrived just in time, as planned, in addition to numerous “break-bulk” shipments
  • Modular construction enabled entire sections to be pre-assembled at grade and then crane lifted into place
  • The building was finished 5 months ahead of schedule to come in at a cost far less than initial pricing
  • Shortening the build cycle by 150 days contributed to cost-of-schedule savings calculated by the project owner to be $1.4 million per month
  • Project learnings have since been incorporated in successive projects where repeatable strategies and practices have been applied with equal success

To learn more, contact a Butler Corporate Accounts Manager. If you would like to schedule a meeting, please complete this simple form.

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