There is no greater headwind facing our industry right now than supply chain management that requires new thinking and approaches to projects, design decisions, budget, schedule, and when to onboard project partners.

Design-build project delivery provides opportunities for all team members to integrate, innovate and navigate these project challenges. In this session, we heard from both a national and regional General Contractor, a regional MEP trade partner, and a subsidiary of Google and industry disruptor. Each of these contributors provided their key takeaways below.


Key Program Takeaways:

Mike Martel’s Takeaways:
  • Scalable Technology Solutions – To mitigate a variety of project challenges, including labor shortages on site, VDC (virtual design + construction) is being deployed on a larger variety of projects. Discuss how there are scalable tools that you strategically deploy. About value and return on investment vs just “cool”.
  • Reduce Feedback Loop Between Design and Construction – Start having more “performance based” design conversations between GC, owner, design teams, and subcontractors to reduce feedback loop. Get away from the traditional prescribed spec with a drawn out substitution process that isn’t flexible enough to respond to today’s challenges.
  • Break Bad Habits – There are a variety of “bad habits” teams defaulted to previously that they can’t get away with now. Need to utilize improved decision making tools as a team. Get away from leaning on overtime, expediting shipments, and trade stacking to offset late decisions or procurement challenges. Work towards procurement “as soon as possible” vs “just in time”. Understanding what items are important to the client to wait vs ones that can move forward.
Dean Lewis’ Takeaways:
  • Baseline communication culture: Design-Contractor (Subcontractors)-owners
  • Lead with transparency. Owner/GC to provide clear delineation on scope/budget/schedule. In turn they should receive pricing, lead times, and clear design variables from consultants and subcontractors.
  • DfMA or Design for the end product on site.
Brett Sontra’s Takeaways:
  • The importance of trust and a high performing team to successfully be able to tackle supply chain challenges
  • Owners and other project partners need to make decisions and spend money much earlier in the development process
  • New cataloged products that join multiple onsite disciplines into a single offsite manufactured product is what our industry needs to continue to develop to improve the supply chain moving forward
Scott Brown’s Key Takeaways:
  • Behavioral change the current “builder” knowledge onsite is “aging” and prefab/supply chain are two of many ways to capture some of the knowledge and put it into repeatable processes and can then be further optimized over time
  • Designing with Prefab in mind allows you to better plan the work, centralize the products being purchased for manufacturing, & provide multiple avenues to diversify your supply chain to build your project.
  • Productization of our buildings is happening, it is DPR’s understanding productization is enabling further optimization of Supply Chain by imbedding some manufacturing-like thinking/process into our jobsites.