Decisions Matter  
A Consistent Business Model Goes a Long Way  
b y C r a i g C a r s o n  
ne of the most difficult conver-  
sations I have with general  
contractors (GC) is when I tell  
them we cannot or are not interested in  
bidding their project. I suspect you’ve  
had this same experience. There are  
many reasons why you make this deci-  
sion: the project may have products  
you’re not familiar with and are there-  
fore uncomfortable estimating; the  
products specified may have a long  
lead-time cycle; the GC may be a slow-  
pay artist; or the project is too small/too  
large for your business model—your  
work needs to be consistent.  
If you are in an active growth  
mode and are seeking more work, be  
smart and ask for a construction  
schedule. For the most part, I find Discussing construction schedule discrepancies with the general contractor  
preliminary schedules are overly op- can help ensure the project flows smoothly.  
timistic and not possible to meet. Re-  
view them and check the sequences. If you don’t give your project man- lease late, throwing the construction  
Scheduling is often handed to a new agers (PMs) enough time to plan and schedule off by weeks. You need to  
or junior member of the contactors think of the steps needed to manage communicate this to the GC. Do so  
staff. I’ve found many discrepancies the work correctly, you’re going to often. Don’t just depend on emails;  
in the construction sequence. In one lose money. Good PMs pay for them- call them, bug them, push it to the  
instance we were scheduled to install selves—don’t put them in a position edge until they realize that you can-  
storefront before the walls were built. where projects manage them rather not provide your materials until the  
When you find these discrepancies, than the other way around.  
reach out to the GC and discuss  
submittals are approved. If you’re not  
persistent, they won’t remember  
these problems when the materials  
Once the project is turned over to aren’t on time to the jobsite. s  
them. In my experience, they’re glad EXPECTCHANGES  
you’re looking closely at the schedule  
and want to be realistic. I don’t mind field operations, and the superinten-  
telling them that we’re booked in the dent provides input, there still  
field if their schedule doesn’t fit ours. may be times when the GC  
Staffing is an area of concern for changes the schedule. When  
everyone. When resources are this happens, review how sub-  
stretched too thin to properly man- mittal approvals may impact  
age the project, you could be in peril. the schedule. We’ve had proj-  
If this happens, it’s like running over ects where the architects’ color  
hot stones—you can make it to the selection approval process  
end, but you’re likely to get burned. made the manufacturing re-  
C r a i g C a r s o n is the  
regional preconstruction  
manager for Alliance Glazing  
Technologies Inc. in Littleton,  
USGlass, Metal & Glazing | June 2016