A construction firm undertakes onsite implementation of the crafted architectural together with structural design details. Construction is a delicate adventure which requires experience, expertise, professionalism, structural rudiments and technicalities.
For unhindered operations and worming the firm into people’s heart; registering with the right government agencies e.g Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and professional bodies like Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) and The Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria, (COREN) shouldn’t be underestimated.
As far as life exists, governments, organizations and individuals would keep demanding Civil Engineer’s expertise and guidance in construction of houses, roads, bridges, runways, tunnels and aqueducts — which are architectural masterpieces which gauge and reflect structural developmental level of a country /region.
It is obvious that construction companies are crucial to the infrastructural outlooks and economic development of a nation — most especially a developing nation like Nigeria. It is widely known that a mistake from the Doctor would only lead to the death of patient being attended to while a miscalculation on path of a Designer/Engineer could resort to the death of exodus of people utilizing such structure(s) — owing to structural defect/failure. This is where the issue of technicality comes in.
In most cases, the manager could also be the firm’s owner. Don’t be surprised that construction company is a critical and fast growing sector to reckon with in Nigeria because it is tied directly or indirectly to the nation’s growth and prosperity.
In effectively running a construction firm, it is highly important to recruit experts, professionals, trained and retrained personnel towards protecting and defending the firm’s reputation. A durable and adequately designed structure that is aesthetically built will linger in people’s minds for long and will speedily enhance the growth and wide acceptance of such a firm while a shabilly built structures could permanently drive an upcoming or an existing firm into oblivion. A firm is as good as it’s successful projects.
Running a construction firm is quite tedious and capital intensive — especially in acquiring tools, vehicles and equipment. It takes patience, strategic thinking and proactive planning to be on top of construction practices.
Many structural defects emanating after a structure has been commissioned have been attributed to inadequate designs or deficient materials used owing to large chunk of the project’s budget that goes to the officials who facilitated the award of contract.
The 5 essential things in effectively running a construction firm are not limited to those mentioned below. They are:
(1) Recruiting Professionals/Certified Engineers
It is pertinent to build a solid team of professionals. A conglomerate of working team is what constitutes a firm. Their expertise qualities, decisions making prowess, creativity and innovative attributes reflect in the firm’s completed projects. It is very important to recruit the right people with the right skills sets, traits and personalities into the company’s fold.
(2) Managerial Skills
Coordinated and simultaneous activities of a construction firm depending on how it is managed — could make or mar the company’s growth. Managerial skills like negotiating skills, accounting principles, crafting scintillating business plans and proposals, bidding skills, time management, research and technicalities are all essential in day to day running of a firm.
Solid relationships and connections may seem trivial but, they are very crucial in relevance and sustenance of a construction firm. Exhibition of active networking skills could facilitate unrestricted access to top echelon clients which in turn could land your firm in a bigger project. Conferences, workshops and seminars are ample avenues of meeting and connecting with people of like minds. Always have business card handy.
However, meeting and connecting are not as important as nurturing the bond. A catastrophic blow to the nurtured bond is burning bridges. Constant touch with old workers and contractors are essential because there are chances that you might still need them. Bridge burning should be avoided by all means.
A few of old firms are still in operation simply because of networking. Networking is a veritable tool of their relevance and sustenance amidst change of government. Not surprising that upon successful installation of new government officials, some firms have folded up — majorly due to weak networking. Construction is networking. For those anticipating of running a construction firm, this skill is extremely important.
(4) Workers’ Welfare
For maximum and quality output, the workers’ welfarism should be held paramount. Worker’s mood could hamper or increase productivity. On site, the Manager/Contractor should provide welfare facilities like restaurant, rest room and changing room for workers.
Commensurate payment as at when due would motivate workers to bounce into action and further foster and strengthen employee/employer bond.
(5) Leadership and Supervision
In order to ensure that construction projects being executed aligns with best Engineering practices, leadership skills and periodic supervision are necessary. Site supervision involves communication, planning and allocation of work, overseeing and evaluating work on site towards ensuring that the specifications and standards aren’t compromised, putting safety measures and rules in place for tactically averting accidents on site. Site supervision involves high level of multi tasking.
It is left for the supervisor to figure out and select those who posses the required skills needed proper execution of the project in view and present periodic reports to the project director.
In case it was discovered that the supervisor failed to exhibit leadership qualities by effectively discharging his duties thereby leading to worker’s death while construction is ongoing, the site supervisor could be prosecuted and this could damage the reputation of such firm.
It is highly important to restrict access to high risk areas and especially train the inexperienced workers.