Recently we held our annual trade partner appreciation events in Columbus and Cincinnati - something we've been doing for a few years now. They are informal open houses designed to connect our team with everyone who worked on a Pepper project over the past year, and we always look forward to it.
At Pepper, we believe we can only be successful if our trade partners are successful too. Our relationship with them is a priority, and with the increased industry focus on Lean Construction and collaborative delivery methods, our trade partners are becoming more important starting in the planning phase and not just in construction.
We've seen their insights impact the outcome of our work in significant ways. Here are just a few examples from this past year:
- Kraft Electric put forth extra effort to help fill in some voids and secure a final electrical inspection.
- Jones Schlater Flooring accommodated some last minute schedule requests on a project where we were working nights - and executed everything with quality.
- Trucco came to all client meetings with different options for pricing, pros/cons of each option, heat maps, etc., which armed the client with valuable information to help them make informed decisions.
- Interface Construction in St. Louis, Missouri, contributed to the project being completed with minimal punch work, well ahead of schedule and with ample time to handle some unforeseen items. Top notch skills and an excellent safety culture to match.
- We did not have completed details for the metal panels that were to enclose the front entrance canopy of an industrial project. Division 7 offered a plethora of standard details they've used on past projects.
- On one project, PCI cut the framing, drywall installation and finishing duration in half.
- Valcom, who does not normally perform demolition, offered to perform select demo alongside Pepper’s self-perform general tradespeople, giving us the appropriate manpower to get the work done in the tight timeframe that the client needed.
- Applied Mechanical Systems (AMS) served as our design-build HVAC and plumbing contractor, and not only were they a leader on the jobsite when it came to safety and daily site management, they also performed several high risk safety lifts (both crane and helicopter) with precise execution. The crane lift was primarily a blind pick due to the size of the building and the helicopter lift proved to be as uneventful as possible (which is a good thing). All of this was a result of AMS’s proper planning, communication (both field and office), as well as the safety leadership by their foreman on site.
- Vaughn Industries performed outstanding safety and did a great job communicating and coordinating on all electrical requirements to make sure no one on the jobsite could get injured by energized equipment.
- Holts Mechanical was on site early to pre-assemble all duct work and stay ahead of the schedule.
- Continental Flooring's performance on an interior renovation helped with getting ahead of schedule.
And we have worked with others who are very knowledgeable and always willing to answer questions - even providing insights for projects they are not working on. These trades are more than a subcontract. They are true partners.
After the appreciation events, our team sat down to reflect on how they went. We were pleased. And we decided we want to do more. While we expressed appreciation to them, there's also opportunity to acknowledge their contribution in a more meaningful way. We haven't decided exactly what we're going to do next year. We know we don't want it to be the same as everyone else, and we all agreed situations like the ones mentioned above need to be more widely recognized and celebrated. Because when we come to the table as partners, everyone wins - including the design team and owner.
To all our trade partners, thank you for a successful year. And if anyone is interested in becoming our partner, I encourage you to complete our online qualification process.