In the not-too-distant past, Interstates had to decline jobs that were too small or in locations too far from regional offices due to logistical difficulties. Today, however, with its growing Design-Build Partnering (DBP) service, Interstates can alleviate the burden of project management and technical challenges for clients in almost any location.
Combining Interstates Engineering knowledge with local electrical contractors makes it possible for small and medium projects to get the expert touch – simplifying a client’s project by taking on the technical challenges of design and construction while utilizing the local workforce for its execution. Jaron Vande Hoef, Senior Project Manager at Interstates, says, “Our core value proposition as a company is being able to offer turn-key electrical capabilities. We can design it. We can build it. We can automate it. But, the catch has always been that we could really only do this on big projects that can afford to have us mobilize and travel or on projects near our regional offices.” Smaller projects from key clients were being turned down for these reasons, which was troubling to Vande Hoef and his team.
“The question was: How do we say yes to these great clients? How do we say yes to smaller jobs in parts of the country where we don’t have regional offices?” Vande Hoef asks. The idea for DBP was conceived to answer these questions. Utilizing local electrical contractors in places where Interstates does not have regional offices, DBP gives Interstates the ability to say yes to clients and solve their technical challenges without the hassle. Traditionally, an owner would need to procure engineering services, manage the bid process and construction process, and overcome all the technical challenges along the way. With DBP, Interstates simplifies the process and delivers a technically correct project while maximizing a client’s project investment.
In early 2017, Interstates took on a wheat heater addition project for Ardent Mills in Ayer, MA. “We were thrilled to work on this project with Ardent and continue growing our partnership. We worked with a local electrical contractor that Ardent was familiar with, and we were able to execute that project together,” says Vande Hoef.
In North Chicago, the DBP team has helped Procter & Gamble (P&G) redo its utilities infrastructure for both an air compressor addition project and a chiller project. “Working around Chicago can be tricky for us, because of its union labor environment, but when we partnered with a local electrical contractor, they navigated that scene for us. It was very successful,” says Vande Hoef.
Not every project is suitable for DBP. “We are focusing on offering this service to our key existing clients, currently,” says Vande Hoef. He says the service is most valuable to multi-site clients whose facilities are small enough not to have engineering or project management staff on site. DBP is a smart choice for projects where local contractors might submit widely varying budgets, projects where local contractors would benefit from technical and project management expertise, and on those projects too complex for local contractors but too small for larger, self-performing Design-Build electrical contractors.
Several more proposals for DBP projects are in the works, and Vande Hoef says feedback has been positive. Al Paoli, Project Manager at Elgin, IL-based MKD Electric, says, “Overall, we are very happy with the working relationship between our companies. Interstates’ project manager was very easy to work with and was always quick to respond to any questions we had. I feel that, together, we were able to be very responsive to any questions or concerns that P&G had, in addition to being able to influence the decision-making and planning process.”
Taking on the technical challenges of design and construction for valued clients, no matter where, is at the heart of the Design-Build Partnering service. If you want to learn more, contact Jaron Vande Hoef at 712.722-1664.