Consistency: Our Key to Success

By Rex Ferry, Owner/CEO

Last year at the VEC retreat, our leadership team created four goals for 2018. The theme throughout each goal was consistency. Performing a task, or managing a project, the same way, every time. This goal can be looked at through two lenses: managed consistency can delay a project or it can improve it. I strongly believe by running our work the same way, every time, it can improve it.

This goal of consistency starts with our estimating team. Throughout this year, we’ve created a job book that our estimator hands off to the project manager and the field leader. The job book contains our original proposal submittal, estimating breakdown, material quotes, contractor quotes, change order process and any correspondence that occurred during the bid process. At the time of a project award, the team member that has the most knowledge of the project is the estimator, and we want to make sure that the project manager and field foreman gain all of that knowledge prior to the job kick off. 

One of the main reasons that this goal was created was to help support our leaders in the field. By having this job book and creating this consistency, we aren’t leaving our field leaders on an island when aI change in drawings or a change in scope arises. They understand that there is a cost involved and there is a process in place to be followed to benefit both VEC and our client. This process ensures that our client doesn’t get surprised and understands that there may be changes that will impact the total cost of the project and we need to sit down and discuss what those costs are so the outcome is fair to both parties. 

I’ve been in the construction industry for over 40 years and I’ve owned the company for almost 30. We want our team to develop their own management styles, but we also need them to understand where we’re going, why we’re going in this direction, what we expect and how to get it done.

I see a lot of work and opportunity in the very near future for VEC. We’re in the middle of a manpower shortage that we’ve not seen since the 60s and 70s. There’s so much work and not enough skilled tradesmen to complete the work so we’re having to get creative with the help of technology and pre-fabrication. We’re also working with local vocational schools to promote skilled trades and to demonstrate there are no limits to success in the industry.

Knock on wood, we’ve had a very successful 2018, and we plan to continue the success, and our focus on consistency, into 2019 and beyond.