The benefits of supporting both Building Contractors and Private Clients
Usually, project management companies are most used to being employed by private clients who are the owners and end users of the building that is being built, extended or refurbished.
These people instruct them, usually on a fixed fee basis, to provide a Quantity Surveyor and sustainability or site management services. A project managers role involves representing clients to architects, engineer's contractors, suppliers and tradesmen. It is their job to ensure these people are correctly instructed and that the project is delivered in-line with the client's brief.
Increasingly however we are being employed by main contractors and by architects. The services are the same, the main difference is the employer and the working style that goes with it.
Main contractors will often:
1. A QS service to analyse the tender pack issued by a client or architect, produce a tender return with input from the contractor and make the submission back to the client or architect. 2. Often take up pre-contract advice from the sustainability department to help them establish the best way to meet sustainability targets or requirements 3. Continue with post-contract QS services following a successful tender such as:
Tracking the approved costs and any requests for information, variations or extras against the pre-prepared documentation Tendering and managing the contracts of subcontractors Carrying out valuations of the work and submitting final accounts Take up the services of a CL Project Manager in the role of contracts manager to provide a point of contact for the client and architect and offer robust support and increased professionalism to the site team.
By working in this way, main contractors are often able to respond to and win tenders which are outside their geographical or specialist area and also elevate the number, quality and value of projects that they can work on. They are also pleased to be able to reduce their risks and avoid burdening themselves with the full time commitment of professional staff.
One example of this is a very good and experienced contractor who through a close working relationship with his project management team is managing to work very successfully in the some high value areas of London, despite being based in Iceland.
It seems that this experience of working for either contractor or client is very useful in keeping project managers on top of their game. Understanding clients' motivations and concerns is vital to being able to bring added value to contractors and likewise, an in-depth knowledge of contractors enables them to effectively advise and manage the costs, risks and quality that an end user client receives.
Charlie Laing Project Management provides quality project management services for residential and commercial properties in London, Oxford & the South of the UK. More articles and advice about building and construction are available on the Charlie Laing Project Management Blog http://charlielaing.wordpress.com or a website www.charlielaing.com
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