How to Choose a Construction Management Company

How to Choose a Construction Management Company

The complexity of commercial and industrial construction projects can be overwhelming to anyone who doesn’t have extensive – and recent – experience in the industry.

Using the services of a commercial construction management company can ease the overwhelm in a variety of areas. But, the success of your project will hinge on choosing the right construction manager for your project.

A construction management firm’s role is to represent your interests in all aspects of project development, construction, and beyond. The importance of their role cannot be overemphasized and, for this reason, choosing the right firm to represent you is critical.

To help ensure you get the right team in place for your needs, the experienced commercial construction management team from Project Solutions Group has put together a list of tips that can help you navigate this potentially confusing and overwhelming process.

Quantify Your Needs for a Construction Manager

Every project is unique and the construction manager (CM) you select should have the qualifications and capabilities that integrate seamlessly with your project’s needs.

The first step is to identify the role your construction management company will need to fill. For example, if you’re in the conception phase of the project, you might need their team to coordinate with architects and engineers. If you haven’t selected a general contractor, you might need your CM to prequalify candidates and put the project out for bid or negotiation. You might need your CM to file for and manage the permitting process with the governing municipality.

If you aren’t sure about some aspects of the process, consider talking to a qualified construction management company about what functions they would recommend taking on themselves versus tasking other members of the project team to complete.

Solicit Recommendations from Trusted Sources

When looking for the right construction management company for your project, start by compiling a list of potential companies, CMs, and identifying their preliminary qualifications.

One of the best places to start is by asking others in your industry for recommendations. If you have already established relationships with architects, engineers or construction firms, they might have suggestions for qualified construction management companies.

Another good resource is to inquire with other members of your trade associations, your commercial insurance broker, or other trusted contacts. Check their website looking for awards won, affiliations, and similar projects to your own.

Make Preliminary Inquiries

Once you have a list of potential construction management companies, contact each one to conduct a preliminary inquiry. This is the perfect time to determine if the company has the capacity to take on your project and if your project fits in with their business model

During this portion of the review process, it is important to determine whether the company has direct experience with projects that are similar to yours. It is also important that the construction management company has recent experience in your geographic area. This will help ensure they are familiar with local building codes and have established industry relationships with trade contractors, material suppliers, consultants, etc.

The goal during the preliminary inquiry is to narrow down the list to three to five construction management companies that can support your project.

Conduct Formal Interviews

Once you have identified your short list of candidates, you will want to invite each company to participate in a formal evaluation. During this process, you will want to provide a comprehensive overview of your project to each firm and pose a series of questions.

Develop a list of questions and discussion topics that you will use for each interview. This helps ensure that you are evaluating each firm based on the same criteria. Your questions should include - but not be limited to - specifics on projects they have completed to yours, data on completion timeliness and budget overruns, certifications of their CM and crews. Be sure to have an in-depth discussion about what role you will need the construction management firm to fulfill.

One of the most important aspects of this phase is getting to know and understand the company’s principles and business philosophies. This is a great time to meet some of the project team members.. Bring your own team members into the discussion, to ensure that the parties involved will be a good fit. Taking steps now to ensure that the project team will have a harmonious working relationship will be invaluable throughout the process.

From the outcome of your interviews, you will likely have shortened your list even further and be ready to solicit formal proposals.

Obtain Cost Estimates

Writing a formal Request for Proposal (RFP) will help ensure that each proposal is being evaluated on an equal playing field. However, the RFP process can be daunting if you are unfamiliar with it. As an alternative, you can allow each firm to submit their best proposal and then extract your vital information.

Once received, you must evaluate each proposal on its own merits and in comparison with those received from other firms. Before making any decisions or moving forward with an agreement, you would be best served to consult an attorney or another legal professional for input.

Negotiate an Agreement

Once you finalize on a construction management company, you can finalize an agreement and schedule the project.

There will be many details to discuss and work out. Depending on the size and scope of your project, this can take weeks or even months. However, doing your due diligence well in advance provides you with the best chance of ensuring your project is successful for everyone involved.

Project Solutions Group provides comprehensive commercial services throughout the mid-Atlantic region, including project management, commercial real estate, facilities management and maintenance, general contracting, and mission-critical operations services.

Contact us today to learn more about how our commercial construction management services can help make your next project a success.