A Better Construction Management System Will Help Protect a Great Design 

When I visit a city, I always look forward to seeing the beautiful, one-of-a-kind, unforgettable buildings that I love. For me, New York’s Chrysler Building comes to mind. For someone else, it might be Rockefeller Center that makes your trip to New York City complete. When you think about your favorite buildings, you can probably immediately pinpoint those extra elements of design that make them stand out among the other structures.

Yet, the reality of design during a construction project often paints a sadder picture that can affect a building’s ultimate beauty and individuality. When cuts need to be made because of mistakes in a projects construction management system, it is unfortunately those important design extras may have taken your project to the next level that might just get cut. For example, unanticipated man hours or one poorly calculated construction project material cost can easily cost you a change order and the one design element that would have made your building stand out.

As part of an industry that is so important to the landscape of America, we all have the opportunity to improve upon the country’s overall backdrop instead of just building upon it. Yet how many projects get sidetracked with unanticipated expenses that could have been avoided with a better construction management system, including better cost estimating and scheduling? Unfortunately a construction project is a whole system that requires all processes, procedures and resources to function according to plan in order to come in on time and on budget.  If not well planned, any of these systems not working effectively or efficiently will result in unanticipated changes and problems that affect the cost and time allocated for the construction project. In addition to these added costs, there are also tens of millions of dollars lost to disputes related to construction projects reported each year in American Arbitration Association data. 

However, effective planning with an effective construction management system can provide a foundation for your construction project that will tackle project pitfalls head on. For example, accurate cost estimates combined with precise scheduling will help optimize efficiency and help keep a lid on both cost and change.  A more scientific approach to project estimating and scheduling helps owners, architects, and construction companies understand the scope of a project upfront eliminating the need for changes, additional hours and all those unfortunate redesigns. Yet, typically most schedules are produced without the benefit of a cost estimate and often require others to plug in costs to activities created by the scheduler. Since this is a very tedious task, cost loading is often ignored in the majority of schedules. When it isn’t totally overlooked, the scheduling is done first and cost is applied later. This schedule first construction management system is analogous to placing the cart before the horse since it leads to errors, poor planning and omitted activities.

At Zaxon, we believe that in order for any construction management system to succeed, the construction project schedule preparation must begin with an accurate schedule compliant cost estimate. The schedule compliant cost estimate then needs to be broken up into scheduling activities with the respective labor and material costs. The labor hours in the cost estimate must become the basis for the activity durations. This more scientific method is very reliable in developing an accurate list for activities, durations & costs. Consequently, the chances of missing out on activities are minimized and accuracy becomes certain when you add up the costs of each activity and the sum becomes the TOTAL project cost.  At Zaxon, there is no guesswork in establishing activities and their durations and costs. This methodology has given Zaxon one of the best records for accuracy in the industry. In addition, it makes our schedules easy to follow and to upgrade as construction activities are completed providing you with the dependable construction management system you need to avoid unnecessary changes and costs that may impact your overall design, your time, and your ROI.