West Virginia Executive Spring 2017 - Page 64

The Boy Scouts’ H. Bernard Wehrle, Sr. Scout Leadership Center, completed in 2016 by Pray Construction. THE ROLE OF THE BRAIN IN A BRAWNY BUSINESS The Ronald McDonald House in Charleston, WV, completed in 2016 by Pray Construction. OF COURSE YOU NEED BRAWN to build things, but don’t forget the brain that sits over the brawn. A creative contractor leverages experience to save an owner time, money and headaches. Commercial contracting is not just about the bricks and mortar. It is an intellectual exercise with a good deal of management embedded in it. While one may visualize a contractor as a brawny fellow donning a toolbelt and hardhat, this is only a piece of the total picture. Not obvious to the untrained eye are the cerebral events surrounding the physical activity we know as contracting. Contractors are called contractors for a reason. They manage related, interdependent people, services and materials. Understanding this critical function can serve an owner well. “As a lender, we value a contractor who has expertise in the management of the job’s foundation. One who understands how to manage contracts, schedules and relationships is likely to complete projects as scheduled and as budgeted. This lowers a lender’s risk considerably,” explains Brad Ritchie, president of Summit Community Bank. “Trusting a contractor to handle the plethora of activities involved in a complex transaction is invaluable,” he says. “The intellectual capital demonstrated in a company’s collective knowledge surrounding workflow management, relationship management and industry events, up and down the supply chain, separates the best contractors from the pack. They ease our fears, knowing we are not going to have any surprises.” Unpack the heady concept of a contractor’s intellectual capital and you will find a few key components. Communication, creativity and trust are heavy hitters. Often overlooked in the action-oriented process of building is the importance of communication. The complex nature of multiple businesses working in tandem to complete pieces of a project, all dependent on the successful completion of others’ work, necessitates excellent communication. Tack on the technical nature of the project and the relative lack of experience of most owners, and the role of communication becomes significant. A seasoned purchaser of contracting services, Lori Payne advocates for excellent communication on a project, large or small. Payne, the chief administrative officer at McKinley Properties III, LLC, who manages several jobs each year, explains, “Well- planned, intentional communication can make the difference between success and failure in any project. As is true in all relationships, having clear communication is always a good idea. While we do not want surprises on a construction job, if they occur and are not shared, the outcome worsens.” An astute accounting and business office propels successful projects, providing a structure on which to build. Creative thinkers can provide solutions for customers, be they nascent or experienced. “I have confidence in running a nonprofit but lacked experience in budgeting for, designing and building a new facility,” explains Dewayne Dickens, executive director of Ronald McDonald House. “Having an experienced, trusted contractor on my team ensured success for us. At every turn, I realized how much our contractor helped us through the entire process with creative solutions. They saved W26vf6BWF&VvF&V7BW&66W22&fB@BFR77FV26RFFR7V6G&67F2( 7&VFfG&6W76W26&R&RfV&RFFW"7V7Bb&V7BG&7&V7g&6G&7F"FW '&vGG&'WFR7&V6W2G'W7Bखb6G&7F"&fFW2V&WFFwvW"2&RF6VR@VFW'7FBFR67G2766FVBvF66W2FWR6'B6G&7F"F&Vv7&VFfR&&V6frfG0v2FvWBvW"2"W"FW6&V@WF6RBvW"67BgW'FW"G'WFgV6G&7F"6FV7G&FR7V'BFWFFR7BbF6RFV662FFRfW&'VFvWBV7F&VB@fW&f&Rf&BV6ƖRFRfVFFv6'VFr2'VBFRFVvBr@&6VGW&W27FGWFVB&Vf&R&V7B7F'G06F7FFRFR&V7N( 27V66W72fWBW 6G&7F.( 266VFr&6ff6R@7VGW&Rb6V6F&Vf&RVvvpFV'VFr&V7B5T4EdU%D4r4T5D%4E$5DU FV&&R&WB&67G'V7F( 27&VFfRWFFvW2f6Bwwr&67G'V7F6c tU5Bd$tUT5UDd