The construction phase is ready to begin, and we’ll be with you every step of the way. Now is when your project is finally going to start coming into focus. During the construction phase, we’ll mobilize our team of professionals to collaborate closely with you and the entire project team to make your vision a reality.
During construction, the focus initially is on effective purchasing. During this stage, we are concerned with getting the best initial price from qualified subcontractors and suppliers and ensuring that a comprehensive scope is contracted for, in order to limit change orders. After construction commences, we work hard to control the schedule, which in turn controls general conditions and soft costs, and to limit the quantity and cost impact of change orders.
The Douglas Company utilizes Timberline accounting software, which was developed specifically for the construction industry. This software allows for customized formatting of cost reporting instruments, and cost reports can be initiated when desired. Our standard procedure is to generate these reports monthly for review by senior management.
We are also “paperless”, with electronic processing of subcontractor invoices, job files, drawings, and other document management.
Supervision is the most critical aspect of the construction team. The Douglas Company insists that each project have a full-time, highly qualified and experienced superintendent on the site to ensure proper work completion.
The Douglas Company is careful to match each project with the most suitable of its superintendents, all of whom are career staff professionals. Our field staff focuses on finish quality and to perform project punch out to assure the highest quality standards are met. Our superintendents have the following on-site responsibilities, among others:
- Plan for and coordinate prosecution of the work, assuring proper coordination with the owner’s staff as work progresses.
- Provide for adequate and appropriate manpower on the job site to assure timely project completion consistent with the project master schedule.
- Continuously inspect the quality of the work so that the final product is at or above industry standards.
- Ensure safety procedures are being utilized during construction.
- Document performance in the field through daily construction reports, among others, which are forwarded to our main office for daily review.
Proper shop drawing review and approval is important to the ultimate success of any project. Every product that is supplied for the project needs to be checked for conformance with the plans and specifications and coordinated to ensure that it will work within the confines of the structure. The Douglas Company establishes a list of shop drawings and submittals that are needed early in the project, and we monitor them on a continuing basis. Shop drawing approval forms are dovetailed with both the material and equipment status report and the project construction schedule to assure that submittals are made early enough in the process to allow for delivery of materials as needed per the schedule. Copies of our shop drawing logs and material and equipment status reports can be reviewed upon request.
Field meetings are important to ensure the project is timely, properly coordinated, and has the appropriate level of quality. The Douglas Company utilizes weekly job site meetings with pre-established agendas to track these activities. Meeting minutes are distributed within 24 hours to ensure proper documentation and accountability.
Communication with the owner and other team members during the construction phase is critical to the success of the project. We encourage meetings at a minimum of once per month with the owner’s representative to discuss progress, schedule, costs, subcontractors, and a myriad of other issues to keep construction flowing smoothly. Projects may require weekly meetings at times to assure the construction progress operating in a smooth and harmonious manner.
Timely payment of subcontractors is something that The Douglas Company takes great pride in and works very hard at. This is critical if the project is to be delivered in a timely manner.
The Douglas Company has developed very detailed procedures to assist the owner in quickly making payments to The Douglas Company. In addition, we start early each month assisting our subcontractors with getting the necessary waivers and other requirements so that payment can be made to them as soon as funds are received from the owner.
Care is used to obtain proper documentation to assure that contractors are not overpaid and to assure that second tier suppliers and subcontractors are paid. Subcontractors are notified early in the process if there are any obstacles that could preclude the contractor from being paid in a timely manner so that problems can be dealt with early and projects run smoothly.
Change orders, unfortunately, are a necessary part of construction. It is our goal and our responsibility to minimize their impact to the best of our abilities.
The important part of change orders from the owner’s perspective is that they need to be thoroughly reviewed by the contractor prior to submission for a determination of the appropriateness and reasonableness of the request. With respect to subcontractors, change orders need to be processed as quickly as possible so that work continues and payments can be made timely. We make every effort to minimize change orders by working with the Owner and architect to find alternative solutions which resolve a change order issue at no cost to our Owners.
To facilitate timely completion of your project we will develop a “Project Master Schedule.” This schedule addresses all pre-construction, construction, and transitional start-up activities. The key to effective scheduling is to identify all critical tasks and milestones at the beginning, with input from all team members. To facilitate efficiency:
- Direction and logistics will be identified and agreed upon to determine the critical path portions of the work.
- The construction schedule will be “layered”, including purchasing deadlines, shop drawings, and submittal deadlines, and long lead item required durations, in addition to actual construction activities.
- The overall project duration will be compared with project objectives, and, working in a team environment, the schedule will be adjusted to meet those objectives. Once this is accomplished, monitoring and adjusting the schedule becomes a critical issue to assure project success.
- The Project Master Schedule will be updated frequently and communicated to all team members to meet the needs of the project.
A meaningful quality assurance program begins with a clear definition of objectives. Quality control must begin when the project is designed and budgeted. Once a project’s objectives are agreed upon, the project team documents a concise approach for achieving targeted results and commits to the process. The proper selection of materials and systems is essential to the long-term quality and maintainability of the project.
During construction, the project manager will provide a quality control review of subcontractors’ proposed products for conformance with contract documents. In addition, the project manager and on-site supervisory staff will have both pre-construction and pre-installation meetings with all significant contractors to establish the standards for performance and provide continuing review and inspection of installed work to ensure its proper completion. Quality inspections are actually added to schedules and tracked weekly. Detailed checklists are used to monitor the quality of important segments of the work. Projects are compartmentalized for completion and punchout to ensure that a standard of quality is established early, and the project is completed with quality sequentially.
Our General Superintendents travel between projects, inspecting to ensure quality. The Douglas Company has had excellent success with many low punchlist projects to its credit.
A copy of our Quality Assurance Program is available for your review, upon your request.
Safety is critical to our health and success as a company. Construction can be a dangerous activity, so we must always be vigilant about safety. Our team knows that maintaining a safe jobsite is the result of smart decisions made every minute of the day. We work every day to maintain and improve upon our excellent Experience Modification Rate (EMR) of 0.66.
Our Safety Officer is Brian McCarthy, an Executive Vice President of The Douglas Company who is dedicated to ensuring that we achieve safety in all aspects of the jobsite. We require the highest level of safety from our team and our subcontractors, and consistently work to ensure that the jobsite is a safe environment for both our team and the surrounding community.
Before anyone begins work, jobsite-specific safety training is mandatory. The Douglas Company employees are thoroughly informed of the particular construction site hazards, the equipment on hand for their protection, and the strategies used to work safely. All on-site supervisors employed by The Douglas Company complete their OSHA 30-Hour Certification. Additionally, all laborers and subcontracted staff receive site-specific training and orientation at each project prior to starting any work, which is verified by stickers that must be worn by all on-site workers at all times.
We require that each superintendent perform a thorough daily and weekly job-site inspection, which is reported to our Safety Officer and Project Manager. A weekly Safety Audit is performed by our General Superintendent to ensure enforcement of OSHA requirements.
In addition, a more comprehensive approach occurs once a month with the same reporting requirements. Safety is a component of each job site meeting, and is addressed in the weekly job site meeting minutes. All follow-up takes place to assure that any safety issues are addressed in a timely manner.
A copy of our Safety Program is available for your review, upon your request.
Subcontractors are an important part of the performance of the project. It begins with the selection of capable contractors, balancing the costs and benefits of price and capability. Active management is also required, and The Douglas Company does the following to assure that disputes are minimized and quality received.
- Preconstruction meetings with our subcontractors to assure that scope of contract and requirements of the project are clear.
- Pre-installation meetings to assure that expected levels of quality are delivered.
- Active involvement in assuring their payments are made timely to allow for timely construction of the project.
The Douglas Company uses our 10 point “Subcontractor Bill of Rights”, and “Brand Promise” training to assure positive relationships and consistency of delivery.
Because of the above, many subcontractors tend to travel with us, providing aggressive pricing that can benefit projects.