Steel Advice - The Fabricator's Resource
Dedicated to support the steel fabricator with real world solutions to real world problems.
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The Project Manager
Always check to be sure that the materials you need for your project are available for purchase as soon as you can make a list of the main members to be fabricated.

When necessary, material orders may be placed ahead of the approved shop detail drawings. If meeting this need is set up correctly, you may be able to bill for goods and services that have to be purchased early to guarantee timely delivery.

Remember that Mill orders can hold up projects just like drawing approvals and RFI's. All these components of the job have the potential to stall fabrication and delay billings.

Special purchases that have long lead times should be made as early as possible. Do not allow yourself to get into the position of being forced to wait for support vendor schedules to clear so they can do your work.

If you need help from your customer in the way of documentation or special financing to support these activities do not hesitate to ask them. Staying proactive with your projects will make them successful for all involved.
As project managers we realize that every job is different, and each one will always have its own set of problems and circumstances that we may not have seen before. We proceed with efforts to do everything right, but there will always be some interference with our perfect plans for a successful project. There is no way to prevent all the problems that could happen, but there are things that can be done to minimize the damage.

At the beginning of the job, time is spent reviewing the drawings, specifications and the estimate to become familiar with the project. We outline the budget and begin shopping for the components that will have to be purchased. We set up each job with every effort to stay ahead of the required schedule, for falling behind makes for a difficult and costly experience.

One of the most important things that a project manger can do at the beginning of the job is to review the drawings for missing and incomplete information. Creating a list of requests for information, or RFIs, is the first step towards keeping the project on schedule. Nothing interferes with project schedules like waiting for RFI responses from the designers and general contractors.

Sending out RFIs early will help to streamline the work. When submitting the RFI, include a return request date for the answer. Provide information regarding the impact to the schedule if an answer is not received by the requested date. Maintain a document that shows the RFI number and includes the dates the questions were sent and received.

Be diligent about documenting each RFI and aggressive about getting the answers timely. The RFI question and answer game can get easily out of control, and once that happens, it is near impossible to get the job back on track.

Getting the answers to the RFIs ahead of the steel detailing process will help to make the detailing go more quickly, and will allow for more timely approvals. The faster this process goes, the sooner there will be work in the shop. All the front end work that you have to do to make this happen will pay off, so don't wait for the RFI process to begin with the steel detailer asking the questions.

The Devil is in the Details!
Catching and Resolving Problems Early
In the October Issue the link to the beam and column details just showed the pictures, this month we share some detailer's opinions about what these details missed and what is shown incorrectly.

Do you see what they did? Can you find anything else that should be different, added or changed?

Click on the link below to review sample details and give us your opinion of these drawings by return email!
Secure your goods and services early to guarantee availability and delivery
Review Drawing Samples
New Steel Detailer in town! Click here to Check them out at the Classifieds!