One of the retail construction management services we offer includes the bid walk.  Sometimes the importance of this onsite walk can be overlooked in an effort to save time by merely sending out a set of plans and hoping the bidders caught everything.  Often times during jobsite meetings we conduct, site specific conditions are revealed that were not on the plans that would have dramatically impacted the overall schedule, budget and owner expectations.

Another benefit of using this system is that the contractors have already been put on an approved vendor list, essentially creating a small group of on-site experts when this walk occurs.  Potential project obstacles that might not have been seen by the owner, architect or project manager have a much better chance of being accounted for in a group setting, further reducing chances of surprise change orders during the project.

Following this walk we send addendum to the scope of work to all the bidders that includes the bid walk conditions, additions, alternate pricing requests, etc.  These steps help ensure price accuracy, reduce the gap in bid variances, and create an easier platform for making our recommendations and for your final bid award as the owner.

Julien Management is a project management and construction management consultant working with existing staff or acting as the entire project management department.  contact@julienmanagement.com

That is a question I often hear and am often asked.  Aside from hiring or having in your toolkit a great project manager, there are an endless sea of project management tools with increasing complexity and learning curves. It really depends on your project.

A simple excel spreadsheet and a weekly conference call with stakeholders may cover all you need depending on the complexities. This could be a major time and headache saver.

If you are routinely working on the same type of project with many vendors, architects, contractors, and sites where many people need access to the same database of information, a more advanced custom system could really help (ie: Lucernex, Evoco, Others). Remember though, signing on to one of these larger systems requires a time and training investment both on your part as well as the vendors you expect to utilize the system and this may outweigh the benefits of using such a system.

I have regularly used both systems for different clients based on their needs, expectations, and/or systems they have in place already, successfully managing hundreds of projects across the country.

Two last important points to remember: Communication during the project is key as is the vetting of vendors and contractors during the pre-bid phase.  

Dan Julien
Julien Management

email Dan to discuss your project and how we can help by adding to your existing staff or acting as your entire project management department.