4 Ways Engaging Trade Partners Early Can Immediately Improve Your Project

By Turner Burton, President

We’ve already discussed early trade partner involvement in some of the earlier parts of this preconstruction series, but it’s an important enough topic to address in a separate blog. Our trade partners possess the majority of the talent and boots on the ground to perform the work. They are the ones who take a plan, embrace the schedule, and complete the finished product – who better to involve in solving the problems of how to build? Their involvement and commitment is crucial for a project’s overall success. We have found the best projects are the ones where we engage our trade partners early during preconstruction, long before the work begins. Here are four ways that early trade partner involvement can add value to any project.

1. POSITIVE ATMOSPHERE

The old school way of building was all about the hand off. The architect hands off the drawings, we come up with a schedule and hand it off to the trade partners. Today, we recognize that collaboration is key to a project’s success. We can encourage buy-in from our trade partners by showing them their participation and input is valued. When you feel like you’re a part of something, you’re more invested in the outcome. It’s the difference between simply completing a task or taking pride in your work. We’re passionate about building and we believe our trade partners are too, especially when they’re engaged early and given more responsibility during preconstruction.

2. IMPROVED EFFICIENCY

Construction is busy and complicated. Our concrete, plumbing, electrical, mechanical, steel, plumbing, and many more trade partners all have jobs to complete in a short amount of time. By getting everyone together early, we can identify the best work flow to ensure that all of our trades can work on site at the same time without delay. Whether it’s a high-rise hotel or a complicated hospital expansion, together we can create a precise schedule that details when each trade needs to complete a task to allow the next one to start their work.

3. COST CERTAINTY

We’ve discussed the many uncertainties that can impact a project. Engaging trade partners early is one way to increase cost certainty. When we engage trade partners early, we get them involved in our preconstruction and estimating processes. Instead of making educated guesses on what materials and labor will cost, we can plan with more accurate prices and cost data. This means our clients can be confident in budgets we develop and manage during preconstruction.

4. REDUCED WASTE

Improving efficiency naturally reduces waste. If one trade partner is off schedule, it’s a domino effect. Every trade that has a task to complete behind them is also thrown off schedule. This means wasted time, wasted materials, and wasted labor as workers wait around. Waste is incredibly frustrating, especially when it can be prevented. The time to prevent this kind of loss is during preconstruction through early trade partner involvement.

Over the past few months, we’ve discussed five keys to preconstruction excellence. We believe these steps can create certainty for your projects in an uncertain market, which is an invaluable asset in this industry. You can read more about building a trustworthy team, creating conditions of satisfaction, developing a detailed design schedule, providing continuous design review, and engaging trade partners early.  Implementing these processes on your next project can give you a more reliable, confident, and better project experience.