What to Look for in a Construction Management Company
Construction management companies range widely in their services, service level, and capability. So going through a proposal process to decide who to hire can be a daunting task. That’s why we’ve put together this handy guide to help you make a decision. There are three main categories to evaluate: cost, communication, and commitment.
| COST VS VALUE
We’re not here to candy-coat anything. If you’re shopping around for construction management, you’re about to invest heavily into your vision. It’s an expensive proposition, and cost should absolutely be one of the main factors you consider. But as the age-old adage goes: you get what you pay for. So it’s not simply about the dollar amount, but the value you’re getting per dollar.
To accurately evaluate the value of a proposal, you need to understand the company’s reputation for timeliness and build quality. If you haven’t worked with them before, the best ways to do that are through their case studies and their references. Look at the case studies to find out what the companies say about themselves, and then ask their references about the case studies. If the two line up, then you’ve got yourself an honest construction management company. At this point it’s just a matter of looking through their proposed budget and making sure it covers everything you need. There’s nothing worse than finding out halfway through a project that there was a miscommunication about the scope and now you’re on the hook for a much bigger invoice.
PRO TIP: Most people are only building one project at a time, and rarely use the same management company twice due to location, bid processes, or some other factor. So if you see repeat business in a company’s resume, it’s a good indicator that they’re delivering value for their clients.
Speaking of project scope surprises, communication is second on our list. The way to avoid sticker shock at the end of a project is to know exactly what’s coming. That can only happen if you have clear, consistent communication with your construction management company. You can do yourself a favor during the bid process by paying attention to how each company presents its proposal to you. How much information do they give you? How many questions did they ask about project details before generating a proposal? Is their pricing confusing or clear? Questions like these can give you insight into what it will be like to work with them.
Having clear communication will save you time, money, and headaches. A construction management company that manages communication well will not only keep you informed but minimize safety risks at the project site and make the inspection process go smoothly. As you might expect, that last part can make or break your construction project timeline.
Finally, we come to the intangible but very important factor of commitment. This key element is what sees a project through to the end. So how do you evaluate it?
One of the best ways is to ask how each company has dealt with unexpected delays in the project timeline. You want to find out how they recovered from something that was out of their control in order to keep the project moving. Ask specifically about inspectors rescheduling, weather delays, and late material deliveries. All of these things fall outside of the construction management company’s control, but how the company responds to them is the best indicator of commitment to a project. You should expect that things like these would never halt a project entirely. The best construction management companies will adapt by moving on to a different part of the project while they resolve the delay, keeping your project moving forward.
As you listen to prospective companies tell you about how they handle delays, look for accountability. Ultimately, your construction management company should hold themselves responsible for the project timeline. There will always be things that are out of their control. Accountability is the difference between a company that lets a delay turn into missed deadlines and one that recovers to meet the commitment they made to you.
AAA Facility Services is a licensed general contractor and construction services company. Contact us today to find out how we can help turn your vision into a reality.