Project Services for Metal Buildings and Roofing: Part 2

In our last blog posting, we identified the project services that are available from MBCI and the typical process that contractors for metal buildings and roofing might experience in using them. In this posting, we will take a closer look at why so many contractors are taking advantage of these very helpful services and reaping multiple benefits.

We start by pointing out that, while it hasn’t historically been well-known that these project manager led services are available, things are changing. MBCI in particular has seen a 40 percent increase in service requests in just the past 2 years! The biggest growth has occurred in the areas of custom designs, high-end architectural buildings, and projects that use insulated metal panels (IMPs). Nonetheless, it has been recognized that virtually all types of projects benefit from these services. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that the combined MBCI project management teams are servicing 100 to 150 projects at any one time.Project Services Part 2 March 2019 Blog

While it is hard to pinpoint why this impressive growth is happening in the use of project services, there are some commonly reported advantages such as the following:

Single Point of Contact: By having a designated project manager at the manufacturing company, communication is direct and streamlined. Further, the project manager takes care of everything from start to finish in regards to the metal building or roofing package. That means the contractor is freed up to focus on the site-specific aspects of the installation without needing to worry about managing the process on the manufacturer’s end.

Applicability: The range of building types that have benefitted from these services is all-encompassing, indicating that these services are applicable to virtually any metal building or roofing project. Project service teams are experienced in virtually all types of non-residential construction including commercial, retail, hospitality, institutional, schools, higher education, hospitals, government buildings, and many more.

Regional Expertise: The MBCI project service teams are organized so that they can focus on one of four specific regions of the United States. That means contractors receive attention from people who understand localized concerns.

Assistance During Design: When architects and engineers need some information on using metal building or roofing systems, the project manager can, as a courtesy, assist the contractor in providing design assistance. This includes helping designers become more familiar with metal product offerings and generally to become more informed and up to date on options. There is never an intent to lead the design or move the project in any particular direction.

Price Quotes: This is often the biggest and most noted benefit of working with the project service team. By having a relationship with a manufacturer, accurate quotes can be obtained quickly to allow bid deadlines to be met with a clear understanding of scope and confidence in the numbers.

Engineered Drawings: The ability to provide complete, engineered drawings is a big advantage instead of needing to find a local engineer take on that task.

Detailed Bill of Materials: All of the take-offs and ordering are done right from the information prepared by the project services team. There is no need for the contractor to spend the time on a separate take-off.

Scheduling Flexibility: The project manager can work with the contractor and work out a production, fabrication, and delivery schedule that meets the needs of the project. For large projects, this might mean phasing delivery of different parts of the package to suit the overall project schedule. Overall, projects have been done with coordinated schedules that are as short as 2 months, or phased up to 2-1/2 years.

Full Erection Drawings: Along with the full package of building materials, a full set of erection drawings are provided that serve as a virtual “installation manual” to help streamline the work in the field.

There are certainly other reasons for using these project services, but considering that most contractors don’t have the capabilities to do all of these things in-house, it can be a real time and money saver to take advantage of them from the manufacturer. Once contractors become aware of the availability of these services and the streamlined results, they often sign up for them repeatedly.

To find out more about how to successfully take advantage of these services and work with a project manager, contact your local MBCI representative.

Project Services for Metal Buildings and Roofing: Part 1

When a metal building or metal roofing project is being developed, it all starts with a design by an architect or engineer that may be rather standard, very custom, or somewhere in between. At some point a price for the metal portion of that design is requested from the contractor (i.e. an erector or sub-contractor to a general contractor) and of course that means turning to the metal building or roofing manufacturer for help.  Toward that end, MBCI offers a complete range of project services designed to streamline everything that needs to happen next in order to genuinely make life much easier for the contractor.

Project Services Part

What are these services? Essentially, there are four:

  • Estimating and price quoting services for public or private bids
  • Engineering services for the metal building systems involved
  • Drafting services for creation of shop drawings and erection drawings
  • Overall project management of all of the above plus coordination of production, shipping, and delivery.

The key to the success of these services is the assignment of a project manager who acts as the single point of contact between the contractor and the manufacturer throughout the entire project. Having a relationship with a metal building manufacturer who can assign such a project manager right up front is a huge benefit to the contractor. Here’s how the process might work in a standard project:

Cost Quote: The project manager will use the architectural drawings (submitted by the contractor) to have the project services team generate a lump sum price. That price is limited specifically to the metal building or roofing package with a clear description of what is included and what is not. That allows the contractor to develop the remaining costs for labor and equipment to erect the metal building along with any separate project costs as appropriate.

Detailed Drawings: Assuming the contractor is selected to proceed with the work, then an agreement on full project services can be made. Based on the architectural and/or engineering drawings, the project manager will then arrange for the detailed shop drawings to be prepared (including engineering stamp or seal if needed) so they can be submitted to the architect for review and approval. Note, that this will be a requirement of the manufacturer as well since they will not do take-offs from other people’s drawings for their manufactured systems. The shop drawings will notate all of the required components necessary to install and MBCI will order plus deliver all items required upon request/approval.

Scheduling and Production: Once all of the drawings are approved, then a full production schedule can be prepared with delivery dates identified. The project manager will oversee and coordinate the various people involved to see that things are progressing as planned and intervene as needed if any changes come up from the architect, owner, contractor, or manufacturer.

Delivery and Installation: When ready, the metal building package can be prepared and delivered according to the contractor’s schedule. Full erection drawings will be included which have enough detail that they are a virtual “instruction manual” for putting the building together.

That’s the typical process. In our next blog post, we will discuss the many reasons that contractors are taking advantage of these project services to save them time, money, and hassle. In the meantime, to find out more about how to successfully work together with MBCI, contact your local MBCI representative.

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