Posted on January 18, 2023
The construction industry consists of many elements to ensure a successful project.
From budgeting meetings to design renderings or from office personnel to fieldworkers, it takes many team members to provide the ultimate outcome and achieve the common goal – a project that everyone can be proud of.
But, to make all those elements work and the vision come to life, one of the most important elements that a business can promote is open communication, or as we like to call it, an open book policy.
An open-book policy is an agreement between an owner and contractor that lays out the plan with complete transparency on costs, budgets, prices, schedules, materials, and more. This policy ensures customers are getting the best value for their money’s worth and eliminates any oversights and omissions of details that may otherwise cause conflict and out-of-budget expenses.
Journey’s philosophy on an open book policy is simple. We want our project owners to know what we know so together we can make the best decisions. Additionally, we strive to take the gray areas and transform them into clear concepts that everyone can understand, without hiding anything. Furthermore, we believe this concept intentionally creates innovation.
Our open book method doesn’t erode confidence but instead builds trust because, without transparency, true relationships can’t be formed.
Applying the open-book policy starts in the pre-construction phase and continues through to project completion. However, when initiating this concept, Journey offers a few steps to take upon meeting with the customer:
- Present Company Information and Team – At Journey, we strive to inform customers of company history, background, mission and values, initiatives, and more sets the direction for the entire project experience. We also know how crucial it is to identify team members serving on the project and their roles and responsibilities so that customers know whom to speak to, should questions or concerns arise. Doing these things will allow your customer to feel connected on a personal level and improve trust amongst the group.
- Outline Project Plans, Milestones, and Schedule – As the excitement of embarking on a new project takes over, so does the anticipation of seeing that project come to life. When working with Journey, you can help your customer envision their project by outlining a schedule, project plans, and estimated milestone dates.
- List Budget Elements – Whether it’s displaying fees, listing estimates, or projecting the cost of materials, Journey knows that being transparent in every element of your budget will prevent any surprises from occurring. Your customer will thank you for the peace of mind.
- Meet with Others – At Journey, our relationships are our top priority. If your customer has chosen to hire a particular design company to complete architecture work, or if you’ve hired sub-contractors to aid in your services, we encourage you to schedule a meeting to introduce yourself and get to know one another. Distributing phone numbers, emails, and other contact information is also beneficial so that all team members can reach each other as needed.
- Identify Safety Expectations and Project Concerns – Journey believes that being transparent requires both parties to openly talk about any concerns and expectations they have. We know firsthand that thoroughly explaining your safety guidelines and policies can help the customer feel at ease. Likewise, vocalizing any project concerns on both ends can help clear up any future miscommunication or issues.
- Schedule Follow-Up Meetings – Once groundbreaking has ensued and the project is well underway, Journey maintains a strong practice of scheduling follow-up meetings with the owner, design team, and anyone else who is a part of the project. Doing so helps everyone stay connected and clued in on any project delays or milestones.
The benefits of these steps within the open-book policy are tremendous and long-lasting as they:
- The construction management team becomes advocates of/for the owner(s) and vice versa
- Allow the construction management team and owner(s) to excel at teamwork and align common goals
- Improve performance and budget
- Prompt early project completion
So, how is Journey’s open book policy different from our competitors?
With Journey, you can be sure to expect nothing less than an open-book policy that is true to its core. We provide our customers with complete transparency, a customer-focused mindset, and a knowledge of the gray areas that, historically, have been an issue in construction.
Journey milestone estimates are presented with extraordinary detail to explain the quantity and quality accounted for every step of the way. And Journey milestone schedules are thoroughly vetted for accuracy and completeness to show the critical path. Our level of detail is unique, allowing for truly informed decision-making by all stakeholders. All of this demonstrates our commitment to our “customer first” approach.
Furthermore, Journey also understands how crucial financial transparency is in every transaction. We have vast experience and work hard on budgeting so that clients are well informed on costs, leaving no room for “surprises” to occur throughout a project’s duration.
We also expect the same open-book policy and efforts from our owners and customers. We believe that everything is based on total trust and integrity – which is a core value of Journey.
Integrity drives how we live out our open book processes as it allows us to create an environment where decisions are obvious while setting clear expectations and limiting or eliminating complexity.
Furthermore, integrity holds others accountable to follow through on made promises and creates savings to be returned, enabling the owner to put more back into their project. Overall, an open book policy benefits all parties and creates a win-win!
To learn more information about Journey’s Open-Book processes, please visit the Journey website or call 605-332-5968.
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