I’m often asked, and it was repeated again this morning; If prefabrication is so time and cost saving, why aren’t more people doing it?
There is no simple answer. As a former technician, I would be worried about my job being outsourced. As a former Project Manager, I would be concerned that my source/fabricator wouldn’t understand my technology and may mess things up. Also, I would have to reconcile my project costs to ensure it makes sense financially, which means more work for me upfront, even if it saves me time at the end. As a sales exec, I would probably be concerned that I am not adequately bidding the work and it could backfire on me. What if I didn’t include enough costs? What if something is missed? It’s not in my system to be built that way and I only price based on what the system says. As an engineer, I would need the CAD files created and I would need to spend time upfront to design the enclosures, which was not included in the bid. That time could impact the project financially. As an Ops Manager/Branch Manager, I would be concerned of buy in from my technical/sales staffs. Change is always hard to get into a culture, even if it means that it will change their world for the better.
Well, I’m going to tell you that FEAR is False-Evidence-Appearing-Real and the fears I outlined are all unfounded. As a matter of fact, the results are quite the contrary. I personally have held each position mentioned above and understand how this thinking can overwhelm the positive outcomes.
Proven Advantages to Prefabricated Kits:
Sales – Faster estimates. Less slip. Easier project turnovers.
Engineering – Quicker design from standard. Less time with CAD. Standards drive efficiencies.
Ops – Faster production. Easier coordination. More efficient use of resources. Lower level resource can perform higher difficulty tasks. Less loss margin from labor slip. Faster project turnover. Happier technical staff from making their job easier.
Branch – Higher executed margin. Reduced sell price to market. Direct EBIDA impacts. Easier to manage headcount/resource loading on projects. Higher quality product turnover to your end user.
So I have one last question to ask of you; Why aren’t people doing it MORE?
These just scratch the surface of the possibilities/savings of prefabrication. If you have not explored the possibilities, I am here to help.