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September 07 Businessexcellence 63 with clients. This eliminates sending numerous e-mails because everyone knows they are dealing with the latest version,” said Couture. “We also have discussion rooms, which make communication more effi cient and easier to get things done. We’re also providing additional economic value to clients through offerings like Contract Builder. Clients often have a need to create large numbers of contracts for suppliers which typically have much commonality. Contract Builder allows them to build customized contracts using reusable standard language, delivering signifi cant cost reductions. It also provides an example of a service we can deliver within a fi xed pricing model, which gives cost predictability to the client.” McGuireWoods is building something manufacturers may recognize as a lean enterprise model—reduced waste, cutting unnecessary work, facilitating standardized work, and strengthening client relationships through moving up the value chain. The structure of the fi rm is changing, too. “Two years ago we rolled out our ‘core values’ program, which identifi es the enduring values that are really important to the sustainability of our fi rm and also defi nes its character. All partners and employees are expected to live these values in conducting business at McGuireWoods. Diversity is also a top priority, with our Chairman Emeritus recently being named to chair our diversity committee. From an operational standpoint, we recognize that the traditional law fi rm management model doesn’t scale well, so we have adopted a more corporate structure with delegated decision making and more participation from our junior leaders, while retaining the collegiality associated with a partnership,” he said. “We’re empowering our younger people and building our future, as a 21st-century law fi rm.” McGuireWoods

IMC Construction attributes its strong, steady growth to a diversity of services and market sectors. Mike Ryan, vice president of Preconstruction, talks to Gary Toushek Businessexcellence September 07 64 IMC Construction, based in Malvern, PA, was founded in 1976 by William (Buck) Williams and his son Tom Williams as a general contracting and construction management fi rm. Client referrals and a diversity of services and markets have led to considerable growth. Today IMC is a $150 million fi rm serving the retail, healthcare, private education, multi-family, and institutional sectors, offering preconstruction, construction, design-build, program management, development consulting and national services (the national aspect involves an eight-fi rm $1.5 billion partnership comprising the Citadel Group, a construction services company that offers clients a ‘best practices’ philosophy and the geographic strength of its partners, among other advantages). IMC has constructed, for example, assistedliving housing for seniors, retail and commercial buildings, medical offi ces and clinics, pharmaceutical laboratories, distribution warehouses and other industrial buildings, corporate offi ces, private schools and other institutional buildings. It’s estimated that more than three-quarters of its business is from referrals, or repeat business. Mike Ryan, vice president of Preconstruction, says IMC “partners with a client on a project, providing preconstruction services and guaranteeing budgets early in the process; it helps us to secure a long-term commitment.” He oversees the various components of preconstruction, namely: cost savings analysis, site analysis, green building, design/development, scheduling, and project budgeting. The fi rst component, cost saving analysis (traditionally known as value engineering), involves working with design consultants, some of which, on certain design-build projects, are under IMC’s control. “We analyze various systems and fi nishes,” he says, “in terms of value, comparing elements of more expensive systems against ones that might be less expensive with a shorter lifecycle value; for example, a less expensive roofi ng system that needs to be replaced in 15 years, versus a more expensive one with a 20-year lifespan, or a white roof versus a black roof in terms of energy effi ciency.” Site analysis is about helping a client evaluate and compare certain properties under consideration, and performing a technical analysis on how the site-work costs will be affected by the earth-work; for example, whether there will be an excess or shortage of soil. “We evaluate it in-house to come up with the cost side of the pro-forma and eliminate that risk, while the client evaluates the Strength in diversity