10 Questions to Ensure Selecting the Right Construction Manager

THE GOAL: choose a construction manager (CM) to turn your project vision into reality. A construction manager will  be able to deliver projects on time, within budget, and with a minimum of headaches.  Below is a list of questions to help guide you in selecting a CM that will ensure a successful project delivery.

1. WHAT IS THE FIRM’S HISTORY AND EXPERIENCE WITHIN YOUR LOCAL MARKETPLACE?
Look for a firm that has weathered a number of unfavorable economic cycles – i.e., they have stood the test of time. Quality contractors who have built reputations on core values of honesty, integrity, and commitment to quality are those that remain in business for years. These are the companies who are committed to meeting client needs and providing quality services at fair prices.

2. HAS THE FIRM MADE SAFETY A TOP PRIORITY?
While successful project delivery is the ultimate goal of a CM, ensuring jobsite safety must be top priority. A CM with a company-wide commitment to safety is ideal. This can be reflected in the form of a written company safety policy, a full-time Safety Director, regular employee training, and reoccurring jobsite safety checks.

3. DOES THE FIRM HAVE REPEAT CLIENTS?
As with any business, the greatest compliment a client can bestow is repeat business. That is why choosing a firm that has numerous repeat clients is a sign they are performing well. An established clientele is an indication that an owner has a construction advocate on their side. There is no stronger indicator of client satisfaction and quality work than repeat clientele.

 4. HOW WELL DOES THE COMPANY COMMUNICATE?
Communication is key. Dealing with a company that communicates poorly on any project, whether large or small, can consume the vital resources of money, material, and man-hours. The ultimate result is an elevated level of frustration. Transparency throughout the construction process, prompt responses, and access to all levels of a company’s management structure are essential for smooth project delivery.

 5. HAS THE CM CONSTRUCTED PROJECTS SIMILAR TO MINE?
Every project type has its own unique requirements and issues, and choosing a CM that has a track record with projects similar to yours can be beneficial. Selecting a firm that has performed countless projects similar to yours will prevent many unnecessary interruptions and headaches that an unfamiliar contractor would not.

6. DOES THE FIRM HAVE THE PROPER CERTIFICATIONS?
It may seem like common sense, but double check that the firm you are considering has the necessary licenses and proper bonding capacity to legally and adequately complete your project without placing any undue risk on you.

7. DOES THE CM EMPLOY A TEAM APPROACH TO PROJECTS?
A construction management firm that takes a team approach to its projects will typically provide the best project deliveries. Having various members of the company involved in projects and collaborating on issues is extremely beneficial in controlling the cost and keeping the project on schedule.

 8. HAS THE COMPANY ADOPTED MODERN INDUSTRY PRACTICES?
While choosing an experienced construction manager for your project is vital for the project’s success, this does not mean that the company has not kept pace with technology and innovation over the duration of its existence. The inclusion of groundbreaking industry technologies and practices such as LEED, BIM, mobile devices, etc. is an indicator of a company that continuously seeks to provide value to its clients.

 9. CAN THE FIRM DEMONSTRATE IT IS AN ADVOCATE FOR ITS CLIENTS?
Construction Managers typically work as an extension of the client’s staff. That is why it is important to select a CM who will look out for its clients first when concerned with quality, budget, and schedule. This client advocacy is in direct correlation with a CM’s core values.

10. HAVE I DONE MY RESEARCH?
Finally, do your due diligence when selecting a construction manager. Ensuring that the firm you have chosen meets or exceeds the criteria above will benefit you as a client and result in an outstanding project. A company should be able to provide proof of customer satisfaction – so don’t forget to ask and contact recent references to understand how well the CM works with their clients.