Plug And Play

Our family got a new TV for Christmas. It was a gift from my oldest stepson, the overly generous one. Upon setup I was impressed by both its image quality (almost spooky really, I mean, I don't really want Ironman in my living room!) and its ease of setup. I plugged in, gave it the wifi password and that was it. Immediately I had access to Netflix, Hulu, the internet, etc. 

That represents value to me.

Construction Value

Interestingly I was reminded of this same experience a couple of days later.  I was discussing a kitchen exhaust system with a subcontractor partner.  We were discussing the complexity of the interface of the 3 primary pieces of equipment and the various brands available, pricing, etc; a typical VE exercise.  We were lamenting the fact that the most popular brand of equipment among engineers was typically much more expensive than other similarly-qualified brands.  He commented, however, that the electronic interface between the various parts from this manufacturer typically work together seamlessly unlike the other options.  I realized that the value of true plug-and-play is relevant in places beyond consumer electronics.

In this instance, I was working with a subcontractor who I know to be competent and therefore trust to get things done correctly.  I was subsequently comfortable with him proposing one of the alternate manufacturers because I knew I could trust him to engineer the interface correctly.  I knew that I would also be comfortable paying a little more to work with him because of that fact.  Again, something that represents value to me as a representative for my clients.

Best Commercial General Contractor

Speed. Capacity and Execution. Leadership.

In our business development efforts at 8020 we focus a lot on the things we do to create value as defined by our clients.  We have highlighted 4 primary values as Speed, Capacity and Execution; Leadership; Pride in the product we would create and Trust and Relationship with their chosen GC.  I think most would agree that these are valuable to any buyer of something as significant as a built environment.  The trick, as many would guess, is identifying how we create this value and put substance behind our words.  This brings me back to my revelation above.

If we can explain how our services as a General Contractor, through our engagement of trusted partners and implementation of creative solutions early in the process, create a proverbial plug-and-play experience for our clients, wouldn’t they be willing to pay for it?  Wouldn’t they, like me, describe that as true value?  Ideally we are competing for our work on the basis of more than just price and conveying this sense of comfort to our clients is potentially a key to that.  At the very least, using this analogy, opens a dialogue with a client to determine if they are looking to buy the kind of value we bring.  In fact, to determine if they are our ideal client.

Our values at 8020 have been developed based on a long history of design-build, integration of disciplines and collaboration.  We already make decisions for our key subcontractor partners using this very metric yet I was still struck by the correlation between that and how I buy as retail consumer.  I believe we now have a new vocabulary to explain why we do it the way we do.  Conveying this wisdom to our clients is now our challenge.  I’m up for it.