The Best Advice Given by Construction Executives

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February 13, 2017, “The Jobsite” includes Peter Di Natale's advice column for Construction Executives:

Peter Di Natale, President, Peter Di Natale & Associates, Inc.
When you design and construct a commercial or residential facility, the end result will always be an intimate experience for the businesses and families that will be using it or living there. There can be a lot of emotion on the customer's part, or certainly on the next intended buyer's part, and builders have to understand that. 
This industry is different in that respect from other big-ticket purchases. So the choices customers make, whether they take your guidance or not, have to be respected. 
We had one property where the owner wanted to have an entire kitchen facility fabricated in Italy by a separate manufacturer and shipped in, and it wasn't going to be ready according to the schedule we originally agreed to. So we re-phased our planning to accommodate an empty space, ready for the kitchen after work around it was done. This required more precision and more contingency planning than a project normally calls for. It was a very unusual request, but it was important to this customer's vision and we were able to slot it into the structure as intended. It fit like a glove. 
Ours is a project management-driven profession that can suddenly require reverse engineering and you have to be prepared for that. So the most important bit of advice is to develop a customer-centric listening skill. And go beyond expectations.


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