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Project management - Work packages collaboration

“Operations keeps the lights on, strategy provides a light at the end of the tunnel but project management is the train engine that moves the organization forward.” – Joy Gumz
Over past few blogs we have understood the the projects & it's components. Here is the collaboration of the work packages during planning & execution stage of the project. For the project to be successful, constraints like time, cost, quality are crucial and hence we need to be mindful during planning stage itself to have better collaboration.

When we consider project, there are various contracts / services / material to be procured which are required for facility building in compliance to various national & international standards.

For typical pharmaceutical facility creation following shall be list of services & materials which requires to be procured for successful completion of the project.

1. Civil construction package

2. Modular Partitions & Metallic ceiling

3. Rapid Doors

4. Office Doors

5. Epoxy work


7. Piping works

8. Electrical

9. UPS

10.Equipment's – Manufacturing, Utility & Miscellaneous categories


12.Automation & controls package

13.Fire system (Gas Detection System) & Fire hydrant system

14.Fire - safety & security – surveillance systems

15.Material handling

16.Civil, Structural, Architectural consultancy work

17.Engineering design consultancy work

18.Process equipments

Above packages are comman and varies depending upon the type of project we intend to carry out. The procurement & finalization of all these packages are the first step of project. Here depending on the type of industry the decision can be balanced between going ahead with manual procurement, e-Procurement or combination of both to seek maximum benefit in terms of time saving and cost negotiations.

Pharmaceutical industry has to comply with various national & international standards. So standards and specifications need to be well evaluated & proven parties need to be taken into considerations.

Let’s consider these individual packages one by one.

Civil contract works package

This package is standard and proves critical from long term sustainability of facility. Qualitative work is to be done by contractor as there will many issues like leakages etc. many companies has their regular set of contactor for civil works as there would be many recurring issues which would be related to many maintenance related issues like leakages, cracks, drainages, sewages, paintings etc. Also if these contractors are not reliable then there will be frequent issues like delays, cost overruns etc. These vendors to be evaluated well before awarding them contracts.

Modular clean room panels

This package involves clean room panel. Here this job is much more specific & supplier has to understand the requirements very critically in order to support the user. Also the support in terms of material delivery & installations need to be ensured for successful completion of project. The proven parties only can be considered in such cases. Sometimes, in such cases online procurement becomes risky unless these vendor qualifications are carried out properly.

HVAC works packages

This package includes air-conditioning requirements of industrial facilities. For pharmaceutical facilities, to maintain parameters like temperature, RH, pressure etc. is crucial so the contractor who would be working for that facility creation need to be technically sound & proven. So existing & regular parties to be given due preference. Only the set of contractors who has dealt with similar experiences and proven need to be assessed from long term sustainability of plant. Vendor qualification prior to getting them onboard in terms of technical as well as commercial aspects.

Electrical works package & similar miscellaneous works packages –

There should be similar strategy for vendor finalization to qualify vendor first to the requirements and then only awarded the work.

After award of contract, further support in terms of material deliveries, installation & execution quality and after sales service are key performance indicators for any service provider or material supplier. Here the support becomes crucial from the service provider.

Construction contractor have big influences upon project success. Therefore, it is quite critical to select a qualified contractor in the process of construction management. A competent construction contractor is one of the indispensable conditions of a proper process and completion of a construction project. There are several theoretical frameworks or models applied in the evaluation of contractors. And there are some practical criteria for selecting an appropriate contractor. This write up has analyzed the relevant theoretical methods for contractor evaluation and examined the actual criteria for the selection of contractors. This study aims at identifying the criteria for selection of contractor and bid evaluation means by which different emphases can be recommended to suit the requirements of clients and projects. The research was conducted by sending a questionnaire to different project managers in India and had an exceptionally high rate of response of 72%. The analysis led to some interesting findings that reflect on the current practice. The paper is concerned with providing construction contractors with recommendations in pursuit of better evaluation of construction bids both technically and financially.

Some Actual Criteria for the Selection of Construction Project Contractors: In actuality, contractor evaluation is regularly performed by industry professionals using their accumulated experience and judgment. There are variations in the amount of effort expended in the process. An important step in evaluation is to examine the contractor’s system for handling project information regarding work tasks. The contractor’s approach to safety and what actions it takes to achieve desired results should be closely scrutinized. Many factors should be considered during the contractors’ qualification screening. The following list includes most of the components that should be examined when conducting a contractor qualification. (1) Financial standing, such as financial stability, turnover, profit, obligations, amounts due, and owned financial funds. (2) Technical ability, such as experience, plant and equipment, and personnel. (3) Management capability, such as past performance and quality, quality control policy, quality management system, project management system, experience of technical personnel, and management knowledge. (4) Quality, safety, senior management, including experience, tenure with firm, and division of responsibilities. (5) Current projects/backlog, including number, size, and location of projects, percent of capacity being utilized, and status and expected completion, past failures in completed projects, number of years in construction, past client relationships and cooperation with contactors. One way to collecting the data necessary to perform contractor evaluations is to conduct questionnaires. But in this way, contractors will be tempted to answer in a way that puts them in the best light. For instance, one commonly used questionnaire asks contractors if safety is a priority in their business.

Following details can be considered on hiring new contractor:

As you plan your next project, choosing the right contractor for the job is a critical first step in your planning process. You want to make sure you vet the quality of their work in advance, spell out in writing what work you want performed and agree upon the scope of the project, and inquire whether the contractor is properly licensed and insured in case something goes wrong.

This checklist compiles the top 10 tips to consider when selecting a contractor:

1. Get Multiple Estimates

Talk to several contractors and get written estimates from at least three. Make sure you’re comparing apples to apple when you get multiple estimates. Look at building materials, work methods, timelines and other factors that may vary by contractor. Be cautious of estimates that are too high or too low.

2. Hire Local, Licensed Contractors Whenever Possible

Local contractors are easier to contact if problems develop with the work in the future, and they are more likely to be familiar with building codes in your area. Ask the contractor for their local, physical address. Be suspicious of anyone who goes door-to-door or refuses to leave a contract overnight.

3. Check Their Past Work

How has their worked turned out in the past? Do they specialize in the kind of work you want done? Check references about the quality of their products, their workmanship and their customer service. Inquire about their professional reputation and years in business. Bureau. A contractor with more than five years of experience shall be preferable.

4. Take Your Time Making a Sound Decision

Get multiple bids before making a decision. Don’t be pressured into making an immediate decision, particularly with regard to signing a contract. Be cautious when asked to pay a large deposit up front. Make sure to read the fine print on all estimates and contracts. If you’re having emergency activities done and don’t have time to thoroughly research a contractor, ask colleagues in Industry, veterans to see if they have had a good experience with an emergency services contractor.

5. Check Their Insurance and Bonding

Make sure the contractor is properly insured and bonded. Ask the contractor for a certificate of insurance which should provide the name of the insurance company, policy number and policy limits the contractor carries. You can contact the insurance company directly to verify the coverage and make sure the policy is still in effect. Do not do business with a contractor who does not carry the appropriate insurance coverage. If the contractor is not insured, you may be liable for accidents that occur on your property.

6. Get Everything in Writing

Secure a comprehensive contract before work begins. Get everything in writing, and make sure the contract is clear and well written. Consider having a lawyer review the proposed contract for your protection before you sign it if the project involves substantial costs. The contract should include:

  • A detailed description of the work to be completed and the price of each item.

  • A payment schedule – for example: one-half down and one-third when work is partially completed, and the balance due upon completion of repairs.

  • The estimated start date and completion date on larger projects.

  • Any applicable guarantees, which should be written into the contract and clearly state what is guaranteed, who is responsible for the guarantee, and how long the guarantee is valid.

  • Signatures from both parties. You should never sign a contract containing blank sections.

Changes to the contract should be acknowledged by all parties in writing. Ask the contractor for confirmation that he or she has obtained all applicable licenses & documentations. If you decide to cancel a signed contract, you should follow the contract’s cancellation clause. Written notification of the cancellation should be sent by registered mail to ensure you have proof of the cancellation.

7. Understand Your Right to Cancel

Law may require a “cooling off” period, in which you can cancel the contract without penalty. Check with the laws of your state to understand your rights. Be sure to follow applicable rules during the cooling off period. If you do cancel, consider sending the notice of cancellation by registered mail to ensure you have proof of the cancellation.

8. Don’t Pay Up-Front

Don’t pay for the entire project before it is completed. Make sure you make checks payable to a company, not an individual, and do not pay in cash. For larger projects, it is standard practice to pay one-third of the estimated costs as an initial payment. That way, you can retain your cashed check as a receipt.

9. Anticipate Delays

Delays happen, and may not be the fault of your contractor. In spite of the timeline outlined in your contract, circumstances such as weather may prevent the work from remaining on schedule. Be realistic and prepare to adjust your plans accordingly.

10. Keep a Job File

Keep your contract and all the supporting documents in one folder. Your file should also contain any change orders, plans and specifications, bills and invoices, canceled checks, and certificates of insurance and any letters, notes, or correspondence with the contractor.

Having a note of above checklist and mindful planning shall ensure timely ensure your Project success with Time, Cost & Quality. You need to plan & execute the project to create Win-Win for all the stakeholders involved for long term sustainability.

Rupesh Pimple

Project Professional


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