A little while back, I came across some extra marketing collateral of ours that was previously in circulation with the motto of “Make the Numbers Work.” Some of the collateral may or may not have had an expletive gesture mixed in of “!!@!%#!!@!!”. You get the point.
It was all good fun, and I thought it was great!
That’s the foundation of getting a new project out of the starting blocks. Make the Numbers Work! Of course, a project has to pencil for it to make sense for the developer and investors. An easy way to do that is to start cutting finishes and amenities, but that will not help you compete in the market or get the rents you need. Sometimes, it is needed to get you there, but it often doesn’t even get you a good bang for your buck.
You should first try to attack what’s “behind the walls” to... Read More >
Due to the ongoing impacts of COVID-19, some new projects struggle to secure the necessary capital stack to move forward. This has been more of an issue in the senior living segment than the multi-family segment; the multi-family space has remained resilient during this challenging year in regards to financial backing for new construction. In speaking with our friends in the debt and equity circles, the money to fund new ground-up senior living projects is getting much more selective, but I am still being told “the good deals/projects find a way to get done,” that is positive to hear.
In this environment, now more than ever, developers need to have the best teams possible in place to support a successful project. This of course, includes their general contractor, architect, and operator. Debt and equity sources need to feel confident that the project has the best possible chance of success. The whole... Read More >
As we continue to navigate through the daily challenges surrounding us with the COVID-19 virus, it is important to understand the impacts it is having on our industry. Most notably there has been volatility with pricing, most well-known with the lumber markets, labor shortages, and extended material procurement. The material procurement issue much like the labor shortages is not a new issue upon us in the construction industry, but lead times have certainly changed from previously known and reliable durations during this pandemic. Some examples of extended material procurement issues that we are experiencing across our projects include:
- PVC pipe and pre-molded showers
This is something that will most likely continue until a vaccination is developed, as manufacturers work through social distancing, sanitizing efforts, and infected personnel which all have an impact on productivity and their ability to fill orders timely. It’s important to stay in close contact with Subcontractors and Suppliers... Read More >
Quality control in today’s construction environment continues to be a daily challenge in our industry. Several factors that are contributing to this are lack of skilled labor, lack of subcontractor supervision, and incomplete construction documents. Quality is essential in the success of a project; when managed properly, it results in timely completion of our projects, reduced punch lists, lack of rework, all of which leads to satisfied clients. Over the years, The Douglas Company has put in place several processes and standards to help minimize rework and provide our clients with a quality end product. These processes include:
- Conduct pre-construction meetings with subs to review the plans and installation instructions and sort out any discrepancies before work being put in place.
- Mockups which allow for a clear expectation of what the end product is to be amongst the project team (Owner, Architect, and Contractor).
- Quality inspections are filled out by our project teams... Read More >
The key for every company to continue to be successful is to constantly raise your company standards. Truly great companies understand the difference in what should never change, and what should be open for change.
Every high achiever who wants to be successful wakes up early, works late nights, weekends, and even holidays, but hard work by itself will not provide sustainable success. Success can be defined in thirteen (13) words “do all the crap you do not feel like doing on a daily basis”. By doing this consistently, success will be much more attainable.
Customers love consistency. It provides the true foundation of trust and that comes from having the discipline to follow processes and to constantly work at improving those processes that are being followed.
Executive Vice President, Midwest Construction Operations
The Douglas Company
... Read More >
Our new brochure is coming out and it talks about “The Power of Process”. I believe in the process. When service providers tell us they have processes they follow that have proven to be effective for their clients, I am more likely to buy from them. The process gives reliability. The process of a proven system greatly enhances the probability of success. Great people are necessary and important, but without a proven process, can be unreliable.
Some people complain about the process being a straitjacket that impedes their ability to succeed, and they are passionate about this. I don’t believe it. Those are the people who generally don’t succeed. I was pleased to see and to read an article about Bill Campbell, former Chairman of the Board of Intuit and involved in many tech companies of significance. He talked about the rigors of process and their ability to help people succeed. ... Read More >