By Matt Efflandt, Project Engineer

On every project it is important to identify and understand the needs, concerns and priorities of the customer. Inherently, owners, architects and builders will view the project differently. There will be various levels of concern with different pieces of the project and different aspects will be the center of attention to each group. To ensure customer satisfaction and deliver a building that meets (and hopefully exceeds) expectations, Vogel Bros. invites both the design team and the owner to a kick-off meeting. This meeting has proved to be exceedingly helpful in understanding the goals the owner has for their new building and identifying areas of the project that are most important to them.

CHALLENGE
At the beginning of a recent job, Vogel Bros. held a kick-off meeting and three major goals were identified. The customer required a high performing air delivery system, a high quality clean room system, and an 85% complete milestone. The first two items would be achieved upon completion of the project. But the last item would require additional communication and coordination throughout the project. This goal was very important to the owner, as the completion percentage of 85% by a certain deadline would ensure additional funds for the project. Understanding the importance of this goal helped Vogel Bros. in managing the process to achieve 85% completion.

SOLUTION
At the beginning of the project, Vogel Bros. issued a construction schedule for the architect to review that represented what Vogel Bros. viewed as 85% complete. This gave the architect the opportunity to review our interpretation and provide feedback at the beginning of the project. Had we not shared our interpretation of what 85% completion would include, the evaluator would have arrived on site to review with a very different opinion of what 85% complete looks like. The communication with the architect at the onset of the job, along with the coordination from the subcontractors and suppliers, helped ensure that we accomplished one of the customer’s three major goals.

LESSON LEARNED
Having a kick-off meeting with the architect and owner to identify and understand their goals for the project was crucial. The entire team understood the priorities which greatly benefited the project and allowed for the successful achievement of one of the three major goals. This project is nearing completion within two months, and Vogel Bros. is working towards accomplishing the customer’s other two goals.