No One Can Whistle a Symphony

“No one can whistle a symphony. It takes an orchestra to play it.”  Famous quote by H.E. Luccock.

Closing a job and seeing it to the finish is not easy. Most in our industry would tell you it can be the least favorite part of the project. Most would also tell you it is impossible to live in fantasy land after working through the challenges of the last two years. There’s no magical bench of labor we can pull from and have crews arrive onsite the next day when needed. There’s no la-la land where the material is in stock and can be pulled off the shelf for overnight delivery. At The Douglas Company (TDC), our core purpose is to contribute to the success of our clients and associates. The industry has changed which has required us to adapt and change with it.

The All American Assisted Living at Enfield project will be my eighth job to come to a close as part of my time at TDC and one thing is for certain; the push to finish cannot be done alone. We assemble a great team for our clients from inside The Douglas Company doors. Estimators, superintendents, project coordinators, assistant project managers, accountants, and administrative staff are all heavily involved in the success of each and every project.

Before a contract is awarded, estimators start working with the architect and client to ensure drawings match expectations and that any accepted value engineering is updated into the drawing set before the start of construction. Estimating staff also ensures that the value engineering proposed makes sense and doesn’t jeopardize the constructability of the project in conjunction with saving dollars.

Subcontractors are always prequalified and verified that they have the capabilities of completing the project to The Douglas Company’s timeline and expectations. Collecting waivers is a never-ending process when thirty subcontractors also have several sub-tier subcontractors that must be contacted as well every month.

Accountants have made a great transition in the current market due to the amount of stored material it takes to keep inventory arriving onsite when needed.

Administrative staff ensures the lengthy paper trail is updated and kept current along with a thousand other tasks that change daily. 

Superintendents have the invaluable task of balancing the never-ending flow of stored material, finding a place to put it all, along with keeping onsite subcontractors focused on the critical items to keep the schedule on track.  They are our eyes and ears in the field and are extremely valuable to the project team to ensure what is being installed matches what the drawings call for.

Project coordinators and assistant project managers ensure subcontractors have what they need to keep human effort onsite as scheduled and necessary material delivered to keep sequence flowing. They also manage new bids, RFI’s, submittals, creation of subcontracts, purchase orders, and drawing overlays to avoid coordination clashes.  

Outside these doors subcontractors, architects, engineers, consultants, and last but not least the client all have a very large role in the success of our projects. When subcontractors are productive and avoid having to jump around due to varying circumstances it directly correlates to our success. Architects and engineers ensure our drawings are code compliant and understood by the client so there are no surprises. RFI’s and submittals are reviewed timely which allows us to release material ahead of schedule.

It is rewarding when the project is finished. Hundreds of people throughout the construction lifecycle have touched the project in some way. We build places where people live and come to heal. There’s no arguing what we build helps make people’s lives better. When we all help one another and come together like a symphony, everyone wins.

Landon Kessler

Project Manager

The Douglas Company

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