This time of year was always exciting when I was a kid. School would soon be out! The invitation of summer proved difficult to resist—time to recharge, hang out with friends, and pursue interests in ways not possible between September and June. The only problem? It flew by much too quickly. (I know many of you can relate.) What I did not know, however, was all the activity going on at the school building while I was away. Three decades in the BAS industry have taught me a few things about that. And it’s why I still get excited this time of year! School may be out for students, but it is definitely in session for BAS contractors. Summertime is the time for retrofits, renovations, and upgrades. Opportunities for contractors abound inside facilities across K12 and university campuses. But just like my childhood summers, time flies. A significant amount of work must be completed in a narrow window of approximately 12 weeks. This short time frame presents a unique set of challenges. The wrong approach may compress profitability and prevent on-time completion. Don’t worry. Kele can help you across the entire process—from bidding and preparation, to pre-work offsite, to technical support, to product delivery. We can help you do it all in an easier way. Here are some recommendations that will optimize your time and increase value for your school projects this summer.
Work ahead. Do as much as you can offsite between now and the beginning of your project.
Tackling work offsite is becoming a lost mindset in some ways, but it might be the most important step toward success and profitability with school projects. It provides a better utilization of resources and labor. The biggest challenges contractors face is resource availability to complete the job in that short amount of time. While you may not have access to the building until your project starts, you can get started now. Don’t order everything with a “plan” to “figure it out” when you arrive on campus. Starting now creates a cleaner, easier experience from start to finish. A few ways to minimize the amount of field work in front you:
- Acquire all the material you might need.
- Organize in a way that will add efficiency on site.
- Pre-fabricate, including panel building.
Panel building is an excellent example. By the time you are on site, you have other priorities for your team during a retrofit or renovation—running conduit, wire, mounting devices, and so on. Contractors can build panels themselves or consider a local resource, which are increasingly hard to find and already busy this time of year. Instead, let Kele’s panel shop assemble the panel for you and free up resources for those tasks that can only be done on site. We build your panel now, so all you need to do is hang it on the wall!
Do your homework. Think through your school retrofit project from start to finish.
Most often, school facilities will benefit from a retrofit during the summer months. Our product line breadth and decades of partnering with contractors on K12 and university projects ensure you will have the right products. But we want to help you beyond “just selling you some parts.” Retrofits can, of course, present unique and sometimes unexpected challenges beyond product selection. Our support team walks through a project with you from beginning to end to help you address both needs and technical issues you might face. We also advise on the most cost-effective and efficient way to imbed the parts into the job. This not only ensures acquiring the right parts up front, it also minimizes your costs while pursuing the work and maximizes resources to execute the work the way you planned it. Even if a project specs a product that Kele does not provide, we will guide you to be sure everything is connected and working. Should you have a need that Kele technical service cannot address, we will point you in the right direction to a credible resource. It’s ultimately about a personal, supportive experience, and solutions tailored for individual contractors. That’s our goal, and our team is available! Leverage Kele up front and stay in touch once you arrive on site.
Have a partner. Things will change and the unexpected occurs. Be ready.
Any contractor will attest to the unlikelihood of a project being completely figured out before it begins. Plans and specs change. A different product is needed. Perhaps 20 parts were ordered, and you realize halfway through the project that 25 are needed. Maybe a technical issue emerges. This never seems to happen during the project! These inevitabilities only intensify the time crunch to finish before school begins—a BAS contractor’s twist on “back to school anxiety.” You cannot afford to lose time waiting. Even when on-site work is in full swing, Kele can still be a partner to help keep things on track and your team focused. How?
- Kele’s unmatched product inventory.
- Same-day shipping and a simplified supply chain gets product to you faster than any other supplier.
- Kele’s technical service team is on call and ready to assist.
Kele understands the pressures contractors face to get school projects completed on time. We can remove much of that pressure by helping you work ahead, plan, and by being a responsive partner once you’re on site. Ultimately, Kele can help you maximize time, labor, field resources, and profitability. More importantly, we can help you get your work done before the first bell sounds in the fall. Call us.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rob Benson is Kele’s Chief Sales Officer. Before Kele, Rob worked at Johnson Controls, becoming an industry expert after 29 years of service. As a former customer, Rob provides excellent insight on how Kele can impact BAS and HVAC customers using innovative technologies, providing unparalleled customer service and offering a huge range of products. When Rob is not in the office, he enjoys spending time with his wife Nili, his two adult children, and running marathons. To learn more about Rob, visit our introduction page here.