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A construction programme is a listing of the order of events and other pertinent information for a building project. A WillBuilt programme does all this, and much more, by linking tasks and consequences within a defined timeframe.
WillBuilt is a construction and design programming company that charts the most effective and cost efficient path for a project from its inception to completion. Time costs money. It stands to reason that if time is used inefficiently then additional costs are the result. One of the simplest ways to increase one’s bottom line is to spend less in the first place through effective time management. WillBuilt understands that leadership comes before management. Anyone can steer the boat; only a few know how to chart the course. That is the essence of the value WillBuilt brings to any project - effective construction and design programming. Know where you are going to end up and when you are going to get there before you set sail…. “Begin with the end in mind”.
Lance Willson – Director.
I have been involved in all facets of the construction industry both in New Zealand and overseas for 4 decades. A Past President of a NZ Registered Master Builders Association and owner of construction, project and construction management companies, I have long recognised the importance of construction programming.
25 years ago I learnt a valuable lesson. I owned a construction company and received a variation to the building contract that was going to extend the completion date for the project but was not of my making. The client argued that the variation could be included within the existing contract timeframe. One thing we both agreed upon was that time costs money and additional time costs additional money. If only I had had a construction programme from which to measure the increase in the time for the variation and, therefore, substantiate the extension of time (and costs) that I sought for the contract. I set about learning how to programme a project effectively; how to negotiate with subcontractors, suppliers, designers and clients so that they had “buy-in” to the timeframes for their specific tasks/responsibilities and, then, how to include the construction programme as a contract document to hold all stakeholders accountable for agreed times.
Willbuilt has been borne out of my desire to have contracts run smoothly and seamlessly within an agreed time frame. This benefits all parties and eliminates surprises. It also saves substantial sums of money for Builders and building owners alike. I have been practicing what I preach now for over 25 years.
Principle role within WillBuilt – Managing Director and Principle Programmer
My principle role within WillBuilt is to provide my clients with the best direction to achieve completion of their projects by utilising the project resources in the most cost effective way. The best way to achieve this is through implementation of an effective construction programme.
What are you passionate about in the business?
I want to raise the awareness of the benefits that effective programming can bring to a builder, designer, subcontractor and client. All benefit when WillBuilt is involved. The best way to demonstrate this is for a client to follow a WillBuilt construction programme as they manage the project. The positive results will astound you. Most of WillBuilt’s existing clients have used our services for multiple contracts – a testimony to the benefit WillBuilt’s programmes have on their businesses. There are many pitfalls in the building industry and often business owners and staff fail to recognise the importance of diligent planning and preparation to avoid them. I want to pass my knowledge on to others who in turn can maximise their opportunities and build viable and successful companies.
What do you like?
Family, friends, outdoor pursuits, rugby (did I mention the All Blacks?), gym workouts and golf (which I’m still playing badly). Above all, I enjoy sharing and listening to others. There’s a wealth of experience out there.
Christchurch is currently experiencing an unprecedented construction boom as a result of the Canterbury earthquakes. It is vital that large commercial building projects have well designed construction programmes. The costs of these contracts often runs into hundreds of millions of dollars and overheads are high – some running into the many thousands of dollars per day. So it is vital that building contractors use time efficiently because delays can prove very expensive.
Moreover, most commercial contracts have liquidated damages clauses built into them. This means that the client is entitled to deduct specified monies from the contractor if the project is delayed without an agreed extension of time (EOT) to the contract. The construction programme is also used to measure the extent of any variation or bone fide EOT to the contract and thus determine the accurate number of days allowed for the EOT. Without an effective construction programme, the request for the EOT is often challenged as the client also realises that, if the contract time frame is extended then, it will add costs to his budget. One thing is certain, arguments cost money in the building industry even if you are assured of your position. An effective construction programme will take the guesswork (and argument) out of the impact that EOTs have on the completion date of a projects.
Finally, it is important in a commercial building contract (as it is for any sized contract) that all the stakeholders in time are aware of the Plan to execute their work in a project; where and when they are expected to perform their tasks and that the task times are achievable and have been agreed to. Most subcontractors will perform if they have agreed to the timeframes for their respective tasks. When that happens, jobs run smoothly and with minimum stress. Everybody is happy, including the client, and everyone saves money.
For the same reasons that construction programming is essential to the time management of large commercial projects, so too do the same principles apply for residential construction. It wasn’t just the large commercial and industrial buildings that felt the brunt of the Canterbury earthquakes. The damage was indiscriminate insofar as building size was concerned. The number of new house builds and extensive house repairs runs into billions of dollars. Many residential builders are only just starting to acknowledge that good time management also applies to their building operation and WillBuilt now have many house builders following WillBuilt programmes and their businesses are benefiting from the experience. As with all building contracts large or small, the projects run more smoothly and the contractor and (subcontractors) increase profit margins when adhering to a WillBuilt construction programme. The proof of this is in the repeat business WillBuilt has with all their customers. If you have not experienced the WillBuilt difference to your projects, try it. Your bottom line will grow and your stress levels will drop. You will even have more spare time for leisure activities and that’s what we all work hard for.
Leighs have been utilising the services of Lance Willson from Willbuilt on a number of significant projects over the past 2 years and the relationship has proved to be of benefit to both parties. Projects have been accurately sequenced and any critical tasks clearly identified and any required planning measures established. We have been very impressed with the professionalism of Lance and the way that our team has developed as a result of having Willbuilt as part of our Project Delivery Team.
Graeme Earl, Operations Manager
Leighs Construction Limited
Level 2, 219 High Street, Christchurch, 8011
PO Box 11191 | Christchurch, 8443
M: +64 21 421 542
With a steady constant flow of projects ahead we wanted a way to track each project so everybody involved knows in advance when they are required and to keep the projects ticking along with minimal down time.
We saw the potential of using the Willbuilt Construction programme to help with work
flow on site, pre-organising sub trades and materials.
In a competitive market it pays to keep up with advanced innovative ideas and we saw the advantages of using the Willbuilt system from the forman on site to getting progress payments.
It is also a great tool provided to our clients to keep us honest! Everybody knows “Time is money” and with the Clients most expensive asset- it deserve that respect.
Lance has been great to deal with and was always available to get us up to speed on using this system.
Brent Stanton-Director (LPB)
Stanton Builders (Ch-Ch) Ltd
566 Hills Rd
Trent Building Solutions have been using WillBuilt Construction Programmes since February 2013 and have found them very effective. It helps keep ourselves and our subcontractors all on track to complete a project on time and it’s a great marketing tool with our clients too. They really appreciate how the programme is presented to them and knowing when certain milestones will be reached during the course of construction.
I highly recommend WillBuilt Construction Programmes to Residential Builders who want to increase their productivity and avoid unnecessary time delays.
TRENT BUILDING SOLUTIONS LIMITED
Lance Willson of Willbuilt provided us with complete detailed programming on the rapid design and build of the new temporary Christchurch Police station.
His commitment, accuracy and understanding of the construction process were outstanding.
He worked in well with our onsite staff, sub-contractors and suppliers to bring this project to its completion on programme.
Apollo Projects Ltd
IBL Builders has been using the services of Willbuilt construction programmes on two complex Architectural new-builds over the last year. This has proven to be invaluable for our site Foreman and subcontractors, with being able to plan ahead and make all parties aware when their services will be required onsite, this helping to keep the project flowing with no delays.
Lance has been very proactive sitting down onsite with our Foreman discussing the critical tasks and making any adjustments required. Lancehas vast construction knowledge and is able to sequence all aspects of the build seamlessly to provide a great experience for all parties including the homeowner.
John Veitch - Director
Q: Why is design and construction programming so important?
A: For the very same reason that planning anything you do is so important. Rather than have the plan in your head, putting it down on paper and sharing it with all those that have a vested interest in the project allows everyone to sing off the same song sheet. You substantially increase your chances of successfully completing your project on time and to budget if you have buy-in from fellow stakeholders and a chart from which to accurately measure your progress.
Q: What’s the difference between a construction programme and an “effective” construction programme?
A: Put it this way, an effective construction programme “is” a construction programme but a construction programme “is not necessarily” an effective construction programme. How so? A construction programme can be described as a list of tasks that need to be completed in order to construct a project. In its simplest form, this can be merely a “to do list”. What makes a programme effective is how those tasks interface with each other; how the suppliers, subcontractors and the client are tied into the contract and how the building methodology has been planned to complete the contract in the shortest and most cost effective manner. WillBuilt knows how to build effective construction and design programmes so that all those involved in the project benefit from the efficiencies designed within the programme.
Q: What happens if we don’t use an effective construction programme to build our project?
A: If you’ve never used an effective construction programme before, you’re most likely going to get more of what you have always got. How’s that working out for you? If you think you could be more efficient by using a construction programme then, give it a try. Chances are that, once you have experienced the benefits of a WillBuilt construction programme, you will use it on future projects and never look back. Your operation (and those of your subcontractors) will become more efficient and your bottom line will grow accordingly.
Q: My subcontractors dictate when I finish my jobs. How can I get them to work to a construction programme?
A: From my experience, most subcontractors are keen to help but often suffer from the same problems that builders do – they have too much work and, therefore, too much clutter so they are constantly juggling jobs (and dropping a few) whilst trying to keep everybody happy. Once a subcontractor has bought into the time frames to execute his tasks within an effective construction programme and the builder “works the plan”, the subcontractor will do his utmost to hold up his end of the bargain. It’s called integrity and most people have it. The trouble is that the builder often doesn’t have a plan and if he does, it’s in his head. The problem is that nobody else can see it and, therefore, can’t follow it. The construction programme is the song sheet from which everyone sings off. “Plan your work and work your plan”. Here’s the thing – your subcontractor will also make more money by following a WillBuilt construction programme simply because it forces them to be more efficient which leads to increased profits.