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« IFMA Reports Increased Emphasis on Energy Efficiency | Main | Autodesk Acquires Provider of CAD, CAM, Estimating Software »

11/11/2011

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I would think that for many trades the manufacturer/supplier of the materials/products in question should be willing and able to confirm what a reasonable rate of productivity is. This would help greatly to validate a claim.

I come down firmly on the side that "modified total cost method" is an inherently faulty and unfair means of establishing loss of productivity. Essentially it relies on a perfect world analysis of productivity, and a perfect understanding of all factors that may have caused delay. For instance, one might have an understanding of what a task takes on average, but how do you measure the impact of mechanic or management competence?

What about things which nobody has control over? Is it a 2-way street? Should a GC be able to backcharge a sub, if the sub's super was out sick for a couple of day?...and perhaps backcharge the sub for the claims of all the other subs who lost total productivity.

Every job will lose productivity for many reason's not all which are susceptible to the blame game. Modified total cost method encourages a "butterfly effect" view of productivity which has no place in the construction world.

Two things that do have a place in the construction world are honesty and responsibility. There is no way I can think of for a contract to prescribe in advance who is at fault, or to what degree, when a party's productivity is hindered by circumstances beyond their own control. It can go no further than offering typical remedies (negotiate, arbitrate, adjudicate).
Unfortunately, defense is in the reflexes of nearly everyone in this industry. Mid-level managers on the front lines are especially prone to immediately and totally reject even the odor of any claim against their firm. Top level management is then faced with the choice of turning on their employee, or supporting their stance.
To not listen to the facts is irresponsible. To deny any responsibility for the situation is very often dishonest. I doubt that any "method", short of an overhead-intensive continuous auditing program can replace individuals who can manage to be honest and responsible.

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