Volume 47, Issue 4 - April 2012


Callas Addresses Avoiding Problems in the Field, Project Management Woes

Anthony Callas, director of operations for Heinaman Glass, offered a number of helpful tips to attendees of the annual Building Envelope Contractors (BEC) Conference in Las Vegas in March (see related story on page 36). The event was held March 18-20 at the Paris Hotel. He discussed avoiding problems in the field, particularly in the area of project management, and offered the following tips.

• Help field staff to realize they are part of a team. “I have your back—that’s a great attitude for those in the field,” said Callas. “The field should also feel like the office has their back.”

• Constantly assess your own work. “At the end of the job, you as a project manager need to evaluate, ‘what did we do and how did we do?’” recommended Callas.

• Ensure that safety is top-of-mind for all those involved in a project. “Safety’s not really a priority as much as it has to be a culture,” said Callas. He recommended having regular safety meetings—at least quarterly.

• Create an Injury Illness Prevention Program (IIPP) specific to your needs. “Ninety percent of manuals are the same for most jobs,” said Callas. “The first 10 percent needs to be specific to your job.” In addition, Callas said maintaining safety logs is “absolutely critical.”

• Focus on quality. “How do you plan for quality?” asked Callas. “If you don’t have quality, how are you going to sell the next job?” Each project manager must determine exactly what a quality installation means, recommended Callas.

• Meet often to ensure a job stays on schedule. “Your meeting frequency needs to be weekly or biweekly, depending on the job,” said Callas. Questions that should be asked at each meeting are as follows: “What is the baseline of the schedule? What are the major issues?”

• Maintain a sense of urgency. “Project management is urgent,” said Callas. “Field needs are urgent.”

• Finally, know your productivity value. “It’s not enough to know the production value ... ” said Callas. “But it’s critical for you to know the productivity value.”

Following Contract Language Trends
Richard Kalson, shareholder and attorney for Babst Calland Clements and Zomnir, addressed a variety of contract language trends from “No-Damage-for-Delay” to “Pay-When-Paid” clauses that many contract glaziers may see often today during the recent Building Envelope Contractors (BEC) Conference held in March (see related story on page 36).

He described the “No-Damage-for-Delay” clause as follows: “This is often called the ‘weasel-out’ clause when money actually is owed.”

But he cautioned attendees not to take this lightly. “These are generally valid and enforceable and not against public policy,” he said.

Kalson said “Pay-if-Paid” clauses also are becoming quite popular. In this case, a subcontractor will only be paid if the general contractor is paid by the job owner. “Some states say these are void against public policy,” said Kalson. “To have an effective Pay-if-Paid clause, language must clearly shift the risk to the subcontractor.”

“Pay-When-Paid” clauses are different, however. “[This] is a timing mechanism to govern when a subcontractor is to be paid,” advised Kalson. In some cases, he said courts have ruled that this clause doesn’t apply when contractors misrepresent the financial status of a project.

One question that came from the audience was how a glazing contractor should handle a contract that requests “impracticable specifications.” “Simply ‘x’ these out and send [the contract back],” suggested Kalson.

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