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Facilities Management: Successful Delivery and Efficient Operation



When a layperson hears the word “construction”, they typically relate it to personal observations or experiences. Perhaps they’ve observed the construction of a new fieldhouse being built at a nearby university, or maybe they’ve been fortunate enough to design their own home, hiring a general contractor to build their dreamhouse. Those experiences are but a blip in the overall scope and management of a true construction project.

The Pintail Solutions team has veteran leaders with expertise leading complex projects from conception, through programming and design development, physical construction, operational readiness, and warranty. We start at the very beginning, partnering with the same people an idea originates with. We develop RFQs, RFPs, and facilitate formal interviews of qualified design firms, assessing each one for strengths, but also identifying the best cultural and philosophical matches for our clients.

Actual construction is the easy part. Ensuring we have the right team to execute the work is the true challenge. This requires leadership. It means every person who steps onto the jobsite will be aligned and focused on achieving the same, common goal. It means the Construction Manager (CM) and the Safety Officer are aligned. It means the welder or the plumber is focused on the final product, just like the client team is. Once this critical step in ensuring a successful project is achieved, the focus must become achieving operational readiness.

Operational readiness is a process which ensures the building, utilities infrastructure (or physical plant), process equipment, maintenance procedures, and occupants are all fully trained and functioning according to the original design and intent. Utilities systems must operate at maximum efficiency. The facilities team is fully trained on maintenance and downtime procedures. Process equipment functions as designed, and the users of that equipment are trained in standard operating procedures and workflows.

To achieve true operational readiness, every single person working within a new space must be included in the design of that space. In a hospital or laboratory, this generally includes MDs and PhDs, business leaders, technicians, supply chain staff, food & nutrition staff, janitorial staff, and facilities staff, to name a few. There are always others as well. Each one of these groups must contribute early in the design development phase. This process is commonly called Owner Project Requirements, or OPR. Eliminating the OPR process will lead to inefficiencies in workflows. When workflows for an environmental services worker is impacted, it will likely also affect the workflows of the principle investigators, lab technicians, doctors, or other staff.

The final crucial component to a successful project is what we call the warranty period. This is a window of time, typically 1-2 years depending upon the contract, during which the client may call upon Pintail Solutions to address any problems identified with the completed facility, or operation of that facility. Even a small construction project will have anywhere from 5-10 contractors performing work or services during construction. Large projects will have dozens upon dozens. Navigating the complexity of a construction contract and who is responsible for what can be tricky. As an OPM, Pintail Solutions will determine who the responsible party is. We eliminate the time and legwork required to solve problems on behalf of our clients.

These steps might sound simple, however there are too many moving parts for an inexperienced project management team to successfully execute. Pintail Solutions will serve as the proverbial air traffic controller of your project, ensuring the successful delivery and efficient operation of your new building or campus.

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Pintail Solutions is a niche management advisory firm focused on enabling overall project and portfolio delivery, developing and deploying new business strategies, and delivering construction projects across life science organizations.

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