RJ Martin Electric Blog

Staying on Schedule With Electrical Contracting Projects – 6 Best Practices

When it comes to capital projects of all sizes and scopes, general contractors (GCs) and end users want to get the job done on time and on budget.

RJ Martin Electric is the electrical contractor of choice for hundreds of projects around Northeast Ohio and the U.S. We understand the importance of budgets and schedules in the contracting realm. For projects in commercial, industrial, health care, retail and educational sectors, our experience has helped us identify several best practices that enable successful electrical contractors to keep their scope of work on schedule. We encourage you to consider these best practices when selecting an electrical contractor for your next project.

1) Accurate estimates with a defined scope and plan of attack. Your electrical contractor should work to understand your objectives for the project and should provide detailed plans and timelines for their scope. There should never be surprises; it stands to reason that the preconstruction process is the ideal time to prevent them before they occur. As a GC or owner, this greatly reduces your risk.

At RJ Martin Electric, we utilize sophisticated software to deliver estimates that are detailed down to the last screw. Too many electrical contracting firms don’t utilize such technology. Our estimating software represents a substantial up-front and ongoing investment of time and money, but it allows us to generate extremely accurate quotes quickly, and with no surprises.

2) Open and proactive communication. At RJ Martin Electric, it’s part of our DNA. We know that fallout from construction project delays – including overtime, lost days, liquidated damages and more – can impact the bottom line of not only GCs, but end users as well. That’s why we communicate regularly with GCs and their representatives throughout the course of an electrical construction project, as well as with other trades when appropriate.

3) Informal and internal communication. As issues arise, subcontractors – be they electrical contractors or other trades – should always be proactive in communicating with GCs. It’s important to coordinate approaches and responses together with GCs as soon as they are identified. No matter how small or insignificant they may seem, they could lead to big problems down the road if they’re not addressed.

Additionally, the electrical contracting firm you select must have the processes, systems and culture in place that facilitate effective internal communication. Field personnel and project managers in the office must be in constant communication to ensure that manpower, equipment and materials coordinate properly with project schedules. You don’t want your electrical contractor causing delays by not ordering parts on time, not having access to the proper equipment or scheduling electricians on other projects during tight work windows.

4) Prefabrication (when appropriate). Many clients request that RJ Martin Electric assemble their electrical material in advance at an offsite location, before it’s installed at the job site. This process, widely known as prefabrication, lowers labor costs and allows for better quality control of electrical equipment assembly. With prefabrication, the on-site construction footprint is kept to a minimum, as there is less room required for assembly of electrical equipment and less labor in the client’s facility. Additionally, work sites remain clean due to less garbage/scrap material, which improves safety on the job site and minimizes the risk of accidents.

5) A skilled workforce. High turnover can cause many problems on a jobsite, and it can also impact a contractor’s capacity and ability to provide exceptional service. The electrical contractor you select should employ professionals with deep experience. At RJ Martin Electric, our people, from management through journeyman electricians and more, have been with our company for years. Many have decades of experience as RJ Martin Electric employees. As a family-owned company, we work hard to create a culture and environment that encourages long-term employment. That translates to experienced and committed professionals working together to keep your project on time and on budget.

6) A strong commitment to safety. On-site safety has many benefits, including the obvious one of keeping people out of harm’s way. Yet, safety is also an essential part of maintaining project schedules. Why is safety so critical?

  • Unsafe practices lead to job site accidents. Besides the obvious personal toll of any injury, job-related injuries can lead to workers’ compensation (WC) claims, and possibly lawsuits.
  • When a worker is injured on a job site, the location of that injury immediately becomes an accident site. Often, it is cordoned off, pending investigations by OSHA and other authorities. This renders that spot inaccessible to workers, which often results in substantial delays. It’s also worth noting that an injured worker who leaves the site is one less worker to keep your project on time.
  • When you figure in potential costs associated with WC claims, legal fees, higher insurance premiums, delay penalties and more, it’s easy to see that costs associated with any job site injury can add up quickly.

Contact RJ Martin Electric to learn more.

We hope this blog helps you understand 6 best practices for keeping electrical contracting projects on schedule. If you’re looking for an exceptional electrical contracting firm for your next project, or if you want information about RJ Martin Electric’s experience in industrial, health care, commercial, education and retail markets, please call Robert J. Martin at 216-662-7100 or email rmartinjr@rjmartinelectric.com.

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