How the Design-Build Method is Changing the Construction Landscape.


How the Design-Build Method is Changing the Construction Landscape

design build contractor

How the Design-Build Method is Changing the Construction Landscape



I’m incredibly excited to share our latest podcast with you! This week, I had the tremendous pleasure of meeting with Shannon Linker. Not only is Shannon fascinating, experienced, and super smart, but her skill set is also quite unique.

As the current Vice President of Commercial Sales and Technical Services at Metal Sales Manufacturing Corp, Shannon is an expert in both selling and providing services like shop drawings, drafting, and engineering.

Shannon shares her expertise with project delivery methodologies with a particular focus on the increasing popularity of design-build, and how it differs from design-bid-build.

  • The Design-build method delivers a project in a single point of contact for both the design and construction phases.
    • Most popular (and growing) method for delivering construction projects
    • Simplifies the construction process
    • Optimized delivery system for both schedule and cost
  • The Design-Bid-Build method forces the owner to manage two separate relationships—one with the designer and one with the contractor—in order to complete construction.
    • Traditional method for delivering construction projects
    • Unforeseen issues and/or changes often leads to finger-pointing and higher costs, delays, or even litigation.

The Benefits of the Design-Build Method

In a word: Collaboration.

At about 40% of the total construction market, the design-build delivery method is rapidly growing, and may outpace the traditional design-bid-build method. And for good reason. Design-build takes the owner’s needs and goals into serious consideration. It’s more effective, quicker, and streamlines the process into a single point of contact.

Reports show design-build is about 33% faster than the tradition model. It makes sense. There is far less back-and-forth between AECs, companies, and owners, which results in an easier (and likely better all-around) experience.

“The design build model has been growing and is probably around, what I’ve seen or read is about 40% of the total construction market now.”

It’s important to remember that design-build doesn’t necessarily remove the separate roles in the construction process. Architects, engineer contractors, general contractors, etc. are often still present, but they function under a single umbrella company. They’re parts of a whole, if you will.

Unsurprisingly, when everyone in the process is present with the project owner from the beginning, there’s less room for major errors.

Is Design-Build Still Competitive?

Because there tends to be less cross-functional collaboration in the planning stage, design-bid-build projects tend to be more expensive. Things are going to be missed opportunities, mistakes made, a lack of communication…the list goes on and on. BUT design-build removes many of those issues by simply bringing all the entities together from the start.

“At the end of the day, the owner saves money.”

Let’s get to the nitty-gritty. Is the design-build method more competitive as its traditional counterpart? I felt this was a super important consideration, and was very interested to hear Shannon’s thoughts. According to Shannon, the answer is YES!

Obviously, when a team works together often, they come to understand, predict, and communicate a project’s needs quicker and more efficiently. But how does that affect the project owner’s bottom line?

“The design-build contractor might be making more money on the design, but at the end of the day, the owner saved money.”

One, the job gets built faster (and if it’s a revenue generating company, that translates immediately into more money). Second, given the collaborative methodology, delay costs are greatly reduced. And lastly, (for the same reasons), a project is likely to go through less change orders.

Digital Strategy is Important in the Design-Build Process

The design-build method is becoming more prevalent, and Shannon and her team see this. In fact, it is one of the ways they are differentiating themselves from their competitors.

If you can’t support a design-build process, some project owners, managers, and contracts won’t want to work with you. This might sound harsh, but time is money, and if you can be flexible, it will demonstrate your agility and willingness to work in the customers’ best interest.

Having a solid digital strategy is one of the best ways to adapt. Whether you are trying to win the job or chasing new business, a reactive, informative, and approachable website will help you grow your business. AECs need to find your website, but once they’re there, they have to stay.

“When building manufacturers have a great online presence, it’s easier to keep those with a design-build mindset on your website, and that translates into more product specifications and more commercial sales.”

A professional online presence lends itself to the design-build by offering digital specs, an efficient process for bidding, automating professional submittals, and reducing overall processing time.

When building owners are working on projects, they go straight to a manufacturer’s website looking for products to include in a submittal. They’re packaging everything together (all the documents, specs, sustainability facts, etc). It’s a lot of work. But with a great buyer experience on a great platform, this process becomes much easier and quicker to share in the design-build method. And should any changes need to be made, the AEC can jump on the manufacturer’s website and simply download the digital specifications and get them out to the rest of the team.

CONCORA Can Help You Thrive in a Design-Build Process

Whether your customers’ methodology is design-bid-build or design-build, Concora’s platform will help you connect best, easier, and more effectively with AECs, who can specify or purchase more of your products.

The AEC community focuses on relationships, but it also relies on quickly identifying which products best serve their projects. Shannon mentions two concerns: providing information in a good way and having that information technically-oriented so customers can find it.

Concora’s platform makes the design-build process easy for everyone involved in the construction process. When GCs can quickly and digitally access product content, create submittals, locate sustainability information, find 3D renderings, etc, their projects will be built faster and with less frustration.

We have talked to hundreds of architects, engineers and contractors (AECs) and identified 3 important elements that your website needs for them to specify or use your products:

  • Great user experience: easy to use, easy to find product content
  • Great content: 3D, 2D, BIM, CAD, 3-part specs, sustainability
  • Great tools: sustainability, project showcases, submittals, and more

Concora’s Digital Experience Platform bolts directly onto your website and easily allows AECs to do business online with you. It can be deployed in less than 30-days and you will have a great partner that understands your commercial goals and what’s needed to be specified and purchased more in today’s digital economy.

Concora believes in providing product manufacturers the best experience for AECs. And just like the design-build method, Concora hits the mark with a seamless product and single entity process. We pride ourselves on building relationships that help you grow your commercial sales.

When you work with us, you become a part of the Concora family.

Want to grow your commercial sales today?

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