page 1
page 2
page 3
page 4
page 5
page 6
page 7
page 8
page 9
page 10
page 11
page 12
page 13
page 14
page 15
page 16
page 17
page 18
page 19
page 20
page 21
page 22
page 23
page 24
page 25
page 26
page 27
page 28
page 29
page 30
page 31
page 32
page 33
page 34
page 35
page 36
page 37
page 38
page 39
page 40
page 41
page 42
page 43
page 44
page 45
page 46
page 47
page 48
page 49
page 50
page 51
page 52
page 53
page 54
page 55
page 56
page 57
page 58
page 59
page 60
page 61
page 62
page 63
page 64
page 65
page 66
page 67
page 68
page 69
page 70
page 71
page 72
page 73
page 74
page 75
page 76
page 77
page 78
page 79
page 80
page 81
page 82
page 83
page 84
page 85
page 86
page 87
page 88
page 89
page 90
page 91
page 92
page 93
page 94
page 95
page 96
page 97
page 98
page 99
page 100
page 101
page 102
page 103
page 104
page 105
page 106
page 107
page 108
page 109
page 110
page 111
page 112
page 113
page 114
page 115
page 116
page 117
page 118
page 119
page 120
page 121
page 122
page 123
page 124
page 125
page 126
page 127
page 128
page 129
page 130
page 131
page 132
page 133
page 134
page 135
page 136
page 137
page 138
page 139
page 140
page 141
page 142
page 143
page 144
page 145
page 146
page 147
page 148
page 149
page 150
page 151
page 152
page 153
page 154
page 155
page 156
page 157
page 158
page 159
page 160
page 161
page 162
page 163
page 164
page 165
page 166
page 167
page 168
page 169
page 170

November 07 Businessexcellence 57 what he considered a key element that had been missing from his arsenal, a way of integrating the disciplines. Although not the solution to integration, but a very powerful tool, Beck undertook the development of its DESTINI product—based on a software product called Refl ex, created by a small start-up in the UK. The program’s intention was to enable Beck’s integrated team to sit with owners at the beginning of a project and fi nd answers to questions about it, so they could rapidly assemble a 3D intelligent building model, from which costs, schedules, images, design parameters and other criteria could be gathered, to give a sense of what the project would cost and how long it would take to build. And then guarantee it. Stewart Carroll, who was part of the UK start-up and made the trip across the pond to become COO of Beck Technology in Dallas, says the evolution of DProfi ler was signifi cant and expensive, but it’s been well worth the effort. “It’s a decision-making tool aimed at an owner of a project, plus a contractor, and an architect, and other chosen individuals, meeting for a few hours, rapidly building a multi-dimensional model, then extracting any type of information that helps determine whether you should proceed with the project,” he says. Carroll and his colleagues have used the program in-house for some 400 projects since its inception in 2004. “Consider all the things that happen prior to an owner making a decision to move forward with a particular project, such as whether to build new, or merge two existing facilities, looking at costs and getting fi nancing in place, securing the property, working with a developer to create a proforma, and so on.” DProfi ler helps the owner answer the question: should they go ahead with the project? “The technology is graphical in nature, simple enough to use in a presentation, enables rapid set-up to a 3D model that everyone can point to, then in real time costs can be extracted, assumptions clarifi ed, development proforma automatically generated, and a realistic, holistic picture of the potential project can be appreciated. “Architecture, construction, and real estate development have become commoditized industries,” he continues, “and we’re saying that the value proposition between owners and those practitioners has been historically the same for centuries. DProfi ler empowers these practitioners to change that dynamic, so they’re not only paid to exercise their talents, but to bring knowledge to the table earlier. And we think the future of the industry is including more perspectives at the initial stages of a project—the superintendent, for example, who usually never meets the owner, could attend a meeting where the discussion includes their knowledge and experience to help the owner understand the various ramifi cations involved.” Other aspects of DProfi ler include a carbon calculator and an energy module for sustainable design, offering a simple 3D model that calculates the mechanical loads associated with a building, to enable a re-orientation of the building that will minimize energy costs. Beck has made DProfi ler available to the industry, selling it for a fee to architects, owners, general contractors, government entities, and universities. Why? “Peter Beck fundamentally believes that the construction industry is really back to front,” says Carroll. “Errors or omissions that occur in the fi eld, on the site, are typically patched-up rather than fi xed, and the earlier you make good or bad decisions, the bigger the impact of those decisions. And this technology is involved right at the beginning of the process, to help determine if and how the project should go ahead. So he wants to be involved in changing this industry, not in an arrogant way, but an ethical one, and he feels that this kind of technology has the potential to help accomplish that.” BeckTechnology “Errors or omissions that occur in the fi eld, on the site, are typically patchedup rather than fi xed, and the earlier you make good or bad decisions, the bigger the impact of those decisions”

58 Businessexcellence November 07 Executive vice-president Tim Hensey explains to Gary Toushek why W. G. Mills, Inc. is one of the leading construction fi rms in Florida Managingtherisk The number of schools in the portfolio of Sarasota, Florida-based W. G. Mills, Inc. is close to 300, and growing. So far the prolifi c construction management general contracting company has designed, built, and/or retrofi tted public schools in 22 of the 67 school districts in the state, and is currently at work on at least a dozen. Since it’s mostly repeat business, it’s fair to say that the pubic offi cials who make decisions for those districts like the work of Mills. The company, founded in 1972 by chairman Walter G. Mills, who’s very active in the business, also does “practically everything commercial,” says Timothy Hensey, executive vice president, including retail, offi ce, medical offi ce, healthcare (including retirement and assisted living housing), churches and golf course clubhouses. With offi ces in Clearwater, Ft. Myers, Jacksonville, Palm Beach Gardens and Kissimmee, Mills has 225 employees and an average annual revenue of $350 million. The company believes in promoting internally, and most of the 15 executives, including the regional offi ce managers, are graduates of the University of Florida’s School Building Construction (founder Mills is a 1962 alumnus, president Lemuel Sharp III is 1973, and Hensey is a 1980 grad), and are equity partners in the fi rm. Golf clubhouses are fun to build, says Hensey, mainly because some of the owners try to outdo each other with amenities to attract members. Mills has taken advantage of this aggressive climate and so far has renovated or constructed about 50 clubhouses. There are a number of outdated facilities (older than 20 years), so when the club down the road builds a new clubhouse, or a new club is constructed, older clubhouse owners are almost forced into the position of having to protect their investment by updating their facilities. “We’ve built some fabulous clubhouses with high coffered ceilings, crown molding, stain grade imported Honduran mahogany,” says Hensey. “One particular clubhouse has eleven different types of fl ooring. So these facilities are enjoyable to design and build, as a contrast to high schools, which have a fi duciary responsibility to construct cost-effective learning institutions.” The company has certainly found a lucrative niche in Florida schools, however, which need to be constructed for resistance to severe weather, especially hurricanes; these educational institutions can range from $50 million to $100 million each, depending on what the client wants. Almost all school districts in Florida deliver their facilities by construction management at risk, explains Hensey, so a builder is responding to a publicly advertised request for proposal, and submits credentials (similar projects completed, the project team, resumes and references). “A selection committee will narrow those written proposals to a short list of three or four, and they’ll conduct face to face interviews where you typically have 20 to 30 minutes to tell them why they should select your fi rm. It’s become very competitive and sophisticated, and there’s