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Are You Picking the Wrong EPC Team?

Facilities - Gannett Fleming
Author: David Broughton, Project Management Director
You’ve decided to execute your project via the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) delivery method. With this integrated approach, design, procurement, and construction experts work collaboratively from the start of the project to keep it on schedule and at cost.

Using this turnkey delivery method, the EPC contractor is charged to coordinate all aspects of the project, relieving you of the day-to-day details and delivering a completed project that meets your expectations. Sounds great, right? Before you dive in, keep in mind that selecting the right EPC contractor is one of the most significant decisions an owner can make to successfully execute the project.

Guidelines for Selecting the Right Partner

Don’t rush the capital project selection process without investing the time to vet your contractor. As with any project, the outcome is only as good as the execution team. You’re paying for personnel, company integrity, experience, and project delivery knowledge. As you consider candidates for your team, use this checklist to guide your decision:

  • Learn about the firm’s values, vision, standards, and business processes.
  • Check licenses, complaints, and litigation history.
  • Review the firm’s safety record.
  • Examine personnel resumes for qualifications.
  • Check the team’s skill set and verify alignment with required project tasks and complexities.
  • Note relevant team experience and project sizes compared to yours.
  • Get details on the firm’s track record for delivering projects on time and on budget.
  • Inquire about the capacity for additional projects during the scheduled time frame. Often, the best personnel are the busiest; they may not be available to start immediately.
  • Dig into the team’s history of working together.
  • Ask for details on quality assurance and quality control practices.
  • Conduct client reference checks. Did the project flow smoothly? Was the working relationship positive? How were issues resolved?
  • Meet the proposed team members face-to-face. There’s no better way to assess the team’s synergy.

EPC partnerships require collaboration, flexibility, and trust, and choosing the right partner is critical to project success. Invest wisely during the team selection process and enjoy the advantages of EPC delivery. In a future blog, I’ll talk more about the intricacies of EPC contracts.

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