Managers Use Knowledge Gained from Past Retrofit Projects
Part 4 of a 4-part article on retrofits in healthcare facilities
For managers with years of experience managing, overseeing and delivering upgrades and retrofits, each phase of each project offers the opportunity to learn and improve the process.
For example, Amico recommends managers meet personally with vendors in a group setting to begin building a relationship by discussing the project and their proposed solutions — something not everyone is comfortable with.
“In talking with other people in my role (in other organizations), I find that not a lot of them will bring in vendors all at once,” he says. “But I try to do that a lot. We have fiscal responsibility, and as much as you want to go with someone that you’re most comfortable with, it’s important for them to understand that you have to maintain competitive pricing.”
The need for strong relationships extends to other involved parties.
“Sticking with the same design professionals has really helped out,” Harubin says. “You learn from each other about how to work together, and you learn about the minutiae of facilities and engineering and construction. Then you get the same team back, and you build on that, and you have another successful project.
“Commissioning also is well worth the money. It’s beyond belief what happens in the field and what gets installed and looks beautiful. But you tear it apart, and it’s amazing what you find when you commission equipment or a project.”
In the end, however, it’s up to managers to make the best decision since they will deal with the project long-term.
“When you start working with your partners to build these projects — whether it’s a lighting manufacturer or a water-fixture manufacturer or an energy or controls company — you have to be true to what you need and what you want because these folks will try to push you in the direction they want you to go in,” Miller says. “At the end of the day, you have to be strong enough to say you appreciate them showing you a product but that it’s really not right for our facility.”