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Focus - 2018 construction mode

image Greg Lee, Chief Operating Officer, Precision Scheduling Consultants, LLC, San Antonio, TX

SAN ANTONIO - A construction increase with a chance of growth is what we can expect in 2018. Texas has its own New Year’s resolution and that’s construction.

 

 

 

 

 


 What projects are coming up for Precision Scheduling Consultants LLC in 2018?
    A lot of our current projects in Texas that we are working include a general motors plant in Arlington. A pretty large plant and after it’s all said and done its going to be over a billion dollar addition. We have another large project here in San Antonio off Loop  1604. It’s TJ MAXX, a large $150 million distribution center with a 1,247,547sf warehouse complex. It’s going to be one of their prime manufacturing facilities throughout the whole U.S. It’s in the design stages right now. We are going to get kicked off in the construction here in the next few months.

Have you see an increase in commercial construction in San Antonio?

    I definitely have.  For example, the Henry B. Gonzalez center is a project we’ve worked on scheduling. We helped schedule the electrical portion of it.

How would you describe the state of the construction industry in general terms?

    From my perspective it’s grown substantially over the last 18 months. We’ve seen a large increase. I think a lot of it is due to an increase in scheduling special occasions and requirements from owners and various agencies. I also think a lot of contractors are starting to realize the benefits of good project scheduling.

What are the changes in the industry relating to the type of work you do?
    I would say I’ve noticed contractors taking an increased interest in project controls. It’s really not in the nature of construction to be, you know, step one, step two, step three, and just go as planned. So, I’d say over the last five years that attitude has significantly changed.

What are the “hot button” issues in your industry?

    Disputes in claims because no one wants to have a claim. I think that’s probably the biggest thing driving it; nobody wants to incur delay costs.

Is that one of the challenges your company faces?
    Yeah, I would say it’s a pretty substantial challenge. I think when we see more of it, it’s when the industry slows down.

How does your company deal with that challenge?
    When the market is good and everything in the economy is flowing and projects are being built, I would say our amount of scheduling work increases. When the economy is slow our claims work increases.

What are the rewards of the industry?
    Project controls experts are always in the center of current issues that the project is facing. It is personally rewarding for people that like to resolve problems. Often times the schedule acts as a tool for communication between the project team. Issues can be identified, and resolved before they escalate into major delay events, which in turn spike construction costs.

What are the keys to being successful within the industry?
    For our specific niche, the type of people that really excel in this are people who are tech savvy and understand the technical aspects of it. I think more importantly really good communication skills because the schedule acts as a means of controlling the time and cost of the project, but it also is a center point for our communication. If you have the schedule and you see what’s on track, what’s going to occur in the next two weeks, it’s kind of a talking point for everyone to hash out issues and facilitate communication.

What’s on the horizon for your industry? Are there changes in technology, codes, ordinances, and laws?
    I think it is one that has been on the horizon for a while now, which is BIM (building information model) and how it integrates with the project schedule and with the various parts of the project plan. BIM is expanding and this calls for more coordination between the estimate, architectural model, and schedule. In terms of government, I think government-scheduling requirements have substantially improved. I think they’ve improved the process somewhat.

Where do you see the industry going in 2018?
    Other than growth I think a lot of the industrial complexes are coming back and I think some of the manufacturing areas are coming back. Oil and energy seem to be on the decline a little bit. I mean it’s not what it was five years ago. I’ve seen an increase also in hospitality projects, hotels, and multi-family builders.

What would you tell those who are going to school majoring in the industry?

    I would probably tell them to identify a really good company that they think they really want to work for.  You know you want to apply at various places, but at the same time, if you’re really focused on one or two and you stay adamant about working for those key companies I think you could really accelerate your career by finding and looking for the right people to work for.
    Mr. Lee says he’s seen a substantial amount of growth in 2017, which is always good. His outlook on the 2018 construction forecast is one to consider.
    Precision Scheduling Consultants, LLC is a construction consulting firm that specializes in construction planning/scheduling, and
forensic schedule analysis/delay claims. -lv


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Lexie Velasquez lexie@constructionnews.net