Wachovia Financial (now part of Wells Fargo) was a large financial institution with over 4,000 facilities. A significant number of their branch roofing systems were nearing the end of their useful lives. A capital improvement project was at hand. They had experienced a round of replacements prior to our involvement, and from all accounts it was a terrible experience. Expensive, disorganized, and chaotic were terms used to describe the work and management processes.
More specifically, they felt the competitive bidding process was “fixed.” They felt there were too many layers of management involved (consultants, contractors, manufacturers) driving up the cost and they felt that contractors were not sensitive to the specific needs of retail banking. The work had to be performed as quickly as possible, outside of retail hours, and special clearance was required for roof access to banks. In addition, each community has separate guidelines for managing local labor (union vs. non-union) requirements.
In other words, there was much more to managing their capital replacement needs then just delivering material and engaging in work.
Through a bid process, up against one of the largest national contractor groups and a well-known manufacturer, we were determined the clear winner to manage Wachovia’s capital replacement projects. We led Wachovia through the complex logistical maze with ease and helped avoid both the common and uncommon trouble spots encountered by clients with large capital improvement projects.
In all, we simultaneously managed 20 re-roof projects, over 2.1 million square feet, spread throughout the country. The projects were all completed on time and on budget.
Although we were the lowest bidder, between $700,000 and $1 million under the other bid participants, this is not what makes us most proud of this project. It is the fact that we worked behind the scenes to help Wachovia avoid the many foreseeable problems. We designed a work plan with the least amount of retail downtime. Over 90% of the work was performed on weekends and after hours. It is difficult to measure the financial and customer experience impact of reduced service interruption, but suffice to say it’s significant.