“Ability to Estimate Costs, Establish Budgets and Control Expenditures”

MetalMan’s actual cost of construction is significantly lower then the costs experienced by many other construction firms. These cost savings are the result effective management processes.

      • Low overhead – the principals of the firm are active, always present at the project sites and perform all managerial duties themselves. As they have a vested interest in the financial performance of the firm, they avoid waste and are constantly on the lookout for ways to save money.

      • Accurate cost estimating capabilities, based on experience and historic cost data enables management to establish accurate budgets of projected costs. The process begins with a careful and comprehensive quantity survey. Labor costs are based upon material quantities. As a part of the estimating process, the firm conducts surveys of existing material pricing. Each division of the work is estimated regardless of intent to subcontract or self-perform.

      • Self-performance of specialty work is one of the most powerful tools the firm utilizes to minimize and control construction costs. As capacity to self-perform work is limited, management is highly selective of the items they elect to self-perform. If a qualified and capable subcontractor is offering an attractive bid to perform the work, MetalMan will utilize the subcontractor in lieu of self-performance.

      • Ownership of specialized equipment – the firm owns specialized equipment that cannot be rented and enables self-performance of specialty work items.

      • MetalMan has developed streamlined means and methods for the work it elects to self-perform. Management develops resource based and man-power loaded schedules to guide, monitor and control the costs of self-performed work.

      • The firm has established material procurement procedures and policies that ensure the best value is being obtained. The firm requires that multiple prices are gathered and compared prior to purchasing to make best value determinations.

      • The firm has developed and utilizes a unique subcontracting program and subcontractor payment policy. The program has been proven to be a tremendous success and yields numerous benefits. The firm’s program permits small contractors to participate on projects at a fraction of the costs experienced when utilizing larger and more sophisticated subcontractors. We prefer to employ subcontractors where the owner or owners are on-site with tools in hand. We provide materials and extend our insurance to cover these subcontractors. We make weekly payments based upon a schedule of values and in-place, completed and accepted work. Through use of this program in addition to saving money, we aid these smaller firms in their emergence and growth with maximizing our M/WEB participation levels.  

      • MetalMan’s policies and procedures have enabled the firm to retain a following of dedicated and loyal subcontractors, vendors and employees. As a result of our policies, many of the vendors, subcontractors and employees that are with the firm today have been with MetalMan since inception.

      • Our most powerful tool in our cost control program is simple and basic. We let the Golden Rule be our guide in our dealings with subcontractors, vendors and employees. We always endeavor to be fair, and we are ready to help whenever possible. We are generous and share resources. We reward exceptional performance, and we pull together to overcome mistakes. Our subcontractors, vendors and employees value us and our clients as much we value them.  This is reflected in their pricing.

For an example of how effective MetalMan’s program is please review the following case study:

“Otter v Penguin”

In June 2004, the City of Dallas awarded a Construction Manager at Risk Contract to a large construction company for the delivery of an Asian Small-Clawed Otter Exhibit to be constructed at the Dallas Zoo. A year later, the City of Dallas awarded a work order for the delivery of an African Penguin Exhibit as a part of MetalMan’s 2005 Design/Build program at the Dallas Zoo.

Both exhibits required extensive site work and contain a pool, heated and chilled water, underwater viewing, streams, waterfalls, shade structures, an ozone based life support system and landscaping. Both exhibits included a climate controlled holding building for the animals and keepers.

From the start of design to the completion of construction, the Asian Small-Clawed Otter Exhibit required nineteen (19) months with a total cost of approximately $2.3 million dollars.

From the start of design to the completion of construction, the African Penguin Exhibit required ten (10) months with a total cost of $750, 000.00. Both exhibits function well and are very popular with the Zoo’s visitors.

As a Design/Builder, we recognize our duty to be good stewards of the Owner’s funds. After the establishment of the GMP, we take all of the steps necessary to ensure compliance. We respect the fact that a GMP is our promise to deliver the completed project to the Owner without exceeding the GMP. In the unlikely event that we would exceed the GMP, we recognize our duty to adsorb any expenditure over the established GMP so long as those expenditures are not the result of increased scope of work.

We realize that the best time to control the final costs of the project is during the design phase. We have developed a methodology that is simple and makes all the team members responsible for the costs associated with their designs.

The process starts by developing a comprehensive budget for the entire project based upon the conceptual design. We establish a pot of money for each element of the project and make everyone aware of their limits. We maintain a contingency and dole it out in a controlled manner. When someone asks to add something, our response is to ask what they are willing to give up of equal value. The estimating process continues as the design evolves and is refined as the design reaches the detail stages. We will not consider the design to be complete until it fits within the GMP Budget. The cost control process continues throughout construction. We realize there will be some overruns along the way. Our policy is to first attempt to offset the overrun by savings generated in other areas or though value engineering during construction. We will use the contingency only when there are no other options.

MetalMan has developed the skill set necessary to develop accurate and comprehensive cost estimates. We are detailed and use hard numbers whenever possible. When we are forced to guess, we do so in a responsible manner to protect the GMP. We update estimates as designs develop and construction progresses. Our estimating skills have been tested and proven on countless jobs delivered at the Dallas Zoo over the past eighteen (18) years. We are only aware on one (1) project where the actual costs exceeded the budget, and the cause was not a mistake and beyond our control.

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