How the Battle is Won on Renovations

November 01, 2019

In the 1980s, many business folks were reading Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War” and applying it to the business. One of my favorites quotes from the book is “Every battle is won before it is ever fought.” That certainly applies to renovations in occupied space. Not that what we do is a “battle.” But a renovation requires precision planning on our part before even laying down a tarp to begin work.

In this space, we talk a lot about process and how we coordinate with facilities managers and on-site staff to ensure a smooth renovation project that minimizes impact on day-to-day operations and the lives of residents, particularly if it’s an assisted living or similar facility. Yet a large part of that planning happens before we meet with those folks as part of pre-construction. I can’t stress enough the importance of this work. That’s why we recently hired our first ever director of pre-construction.

The director of pre-construction leads the efforts to ensure jobs move smoothly from the invitation to bid right through the production phase. This includes close coordination with the director of estimating and project managers and having a hand in nearly all aspects of successful project preparation. Part of that includes client contract development, scope of work, vendor and subcontractor relations, budget analysis, project buyout, scheduling, and supporting the project management efforts throughout the life of the project. 

If that sounds like a pretty full plate of responsibilities, it is.

As South Coast Improvement has grown, we’ve developed a need to have a dedicated pre-construction specialist to work with our estimators, ensuring a smooth transition of the project to and through the construction phase.

One of the biggest parts of this role is working with our subcontractors. We have long prided ourselves on working with subs who share the same values as we do here at South Coast Improvement. That means our subs are every bit as committed to process and service as we are. Vetting subs during pre-construction goes a long way towards ensuring that we are working with the right subs for a particular project and that process is followed seamlessly.

Our company has grown quite a bit in recent years. One of the keys to that growth has been recognizing what we do well and then what we can do better. By recognizing the importance of pre-construction and hiring a dedicated person for that, we feel we have made a strength even stronger. That is also how the battle is won before it has ever been fought.

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