As a result of recent customer feedback, IMEC has elevated our project manager job title to that of project director.
Our leaders on the front line have always been "directors" more than managers. They combine traditional PM duties with the key responsibilities of a construction supervisor and project engineer.
“The biggest difference I see in IMEC is the recognition that custom work is usually a fluid process that requires adaptability and sensitivity,” said Mark Korzec of Circor, “Because IMEC designs unique systems, the project director serves as an on-location extension of the engineering staff, constantly aware of every nuance and its impact on the end goal.”
In the design/build environment of custom solutions, much more is required of a project leader than with plan and spec jobs. Complex projects require IMEC project directors to adapt on-the-fly with sensitivity to the creativity of the engineering solution and the customer’s needs.
This is why a majority of our projects require an on-site director from design to commissioning. Whereas hitting a snag on a “plan and spec” job can temporarily slow down an entire project, having an on-site project director creates an environment in which quick adjustments can be anticipated and made with little if any downtime.
“Every custom project has bumps in the road,” says Freudenberg facilities manager Rene Lefevre, “IMEC’s project directors are very good at smoothing the bumps. They find a way around problems and seamlessly reach the endgame as planned with a willingness to zig when necessary. They’re very clever. We redesigned and installed an entirely new process heating system in a massive plant without ever shutting down production. It was unbelievable.”
“To have the constant presence of a senior-level manager who possesses engineering expertise is tremendous. Our goal was to build a world-class facility and the project director’s vigilance and adaptability played a huge role in making that a reality,” added Korzec.
An important facet of making our project directors effective in ensuring that everything flows holistically—from design to commissioning—is their involvement during the entire project life. “It’s very different from plan and spec. You’re dealing with the same people throughout. It’s single accountability, no confusion, no finger pointing, we’re never caught in the middle,” said Lefevre.
Creating a great environment for subcontractors is also of critical importance. Our guys pride themselves on building excellent relationships. They understand the subcontractors’ business, and how to create a collaborative team.
One of our greatest compliments came from John Amaral, vice president of Omni Properties, an executive who has been responsible for dozens of construction projects:
“Our general contractor handles all project management — with one exception. We allow IMEC to manage the installation of HVAC systems they design. It’s the only exception we’ve ever made and it’s well-deserved because IMEC’s expertise and solutions are beyond normal.” ◊
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