A new study from Dodge Data & Analytics, conducted in partnership with Sevan Multi-Site Solutions, explores critical success factors for multi-site projects, from the perspectives of both owners and contractors. Multi-site work is an often-overlooked area of the construction industry that represents a significant volume of work, whether through a series of small projects across hundreds of locations, as seen with new signage installed in big box retail stores across the U.S., or through construction programs of new buildings and major renovations. According to the report, titled Challenges and Opportunities in Multi-Site Construction SmartMarket Insight, the most important factor contributing to the success of these programs is the strong relationship developed between building owners and contractors, and the findings take a close look at the opportunities for improving upon that relationship.
“We see clear evidence that established relationships between contractors and owners built on trust and performance produce better results in overall cost and schedule than simply a ‘race to the bottom’ on price alone. When the right contractors are selected for the right reasons, the outcomes are typically better for all stakeholders,” says Steve Kuhn, Executive Vice President of Sevan Multi-Site Solutions.
As part of the research, Dodge and Sevan examined nine major areas that impact the success of multi-site projects: how owners source firms for their programs, managing changes to the scope of work, the impact of technology, dealing with permitting issues, how to convey lessons learned through a large program of work, how to address skilled labor shortages, enhancing safety onsite, managing material and equipment procurement, and how payment terms influence an owner’s ability to attract companies.
For many of these nine areas, critical gaps between the perspectives of contractors and owners emerge. A few top examples include:
- More than half (56%) of owners are confident that they know what makes their projects attractive to contractors to bid, but only 16% of contractors agree.
- Nearly all owners (92%) believe that they frequently form and sustain long-term partnerships with contractors, but only 35% of contractors find that to be true.
- Over half of owners (52%) believe that they are frequently keeping abreast of the changing permit requirements, but few contractors agree (21%).
- Most owners (76%) report that they frequently communicate their future construction plans to contractors, but only 19% of contractors find that this occurs on a frequent basis. The most common reason that owners offer for not sharing information is uncertainty about program changes, but most contractors think owners are more concerned about confidentiality.
Despite their differing perspectives, though, both owners and contractors value the importance of stronger communication early in the project. Over 70% of owners and contractors agree that making time for program-level scope/schedule coordination early in a multi-site program improves scope clarity, quality, schedule and budget.
“Dodge has done several studies on traditional construction projects that demonstrate that early coordination and collaboration across the project team, including the owner, improves project outcomes,” says Steve Jones, Senior Director of Industry Insights Research at Dodge Data & Analytics, “but the benefits of that approach are magnified by the unique challenges of doing a large program of work.”
The study provides a basis not for correcting either side, but for supporting efforts for clearer communication based on understanding the differing perspectives voiced by each.
“The importance of clear and open communication early in a program cannot be over emphasized,” Kuhn continues. “Taking the time to truly understand the goals of the other side is essential to creating better outcomes and minimizing unmet expectations. It is only through frank and open dialog that both owners and contractors can truly appreciate the goals and challenges faced by each other.”
A complimentary version of the Challenges and Opportunities in Multi-Site Construction SmartMarket Insight is available at: http://www2.sevansolutions.com/2019-04-16_Dodge_Challenges_Opportunities_Multi-Site_LP_2019_Dodge_Study.html
Two upcoming Dodge-hosted webinars will feature the perspectives of contractors on November 7 at 2 p.m. EST and owners on December 3 at 2 p.m. EST.
About Sevan Multi-Site Solutions: Sevan’s vision is to be the best in the world at delivering innovative design, program management, construction services and data analytics services to organizations with multiple sites. We have a passion for sustaining people, the environment, and our clients’ businesses. We help iconic global brands roll out multi-site initiatives efficiently, predictably, and transparently. Applying breakthrough technology solutions, we optimize new builds, rebuilds, remodels, renovations, modular construction, and merchandising initiatives. Our expertise spans numerous market sectors, including retail, restaurant, grocery, retail fuel and convenience stores, financial, and government, as well as the healthcare, housing, and hospitality industries. Sevan’s clients include McDonald’s, Walmart, Walgreens, Starbucks, BP, Kroger, HCA, 7-Eleven, Chipotle, Sunoco, Jiffy Lube, DaVita, Albertsons and many more. For more information, visit www.sevansolutions.com.
About Dodge Data & Analytics: Dodge Data & Analytics is North America’s leading provider of analytics and software-based workflow integration solutions for the construction industry. Building product manufacturers, architects, engineers, contractors, and service providers leverage Dodge to identify and pursue unseen growth opportunities and execute on those opportunities for enhanced business performance. Whether it’s on a local, regional or national level, Dodge makes the hidden obvious, empowering its clients to better understand their markets, uncover key relationships, size growth opportunities, and pursue those opportunities with success. The company’s construction project information is the most comprehensive and verified in the industry. Dodge is leveraging its 100-year-old legacy of continuous innovation to help the industry meet the building challenges of the future. To learn more, visit www.construction.com.