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SMS Projects > Articles > Important Facts about Construction Management and

Important Facts about Construction Management and Supervision

Building a house is perhaps the most substantial economic expense borne by a family in Israel, if not the biggest one.  The problem is that this important investment is made against the backdrop of the highly problematic reality in which the construction industry in Israel operates.  The construction quality culture here is not highly renowned, to put it mildly.  The opposite is true – in recent years, over 3,000 claims relating to construction flaws in new apartments have been filed every year and this figure continues to increase at a rate of about 18%, year over year.

So how can you stay out of the statistics?

Yoram Kraus: You can adopt the typical Israeli approach of "it won't happen to me…", trust the contractor, the engineer and the architect and "everything will be just fine…".  Although there are very few people who understand and are familiar with the intricacies of construction in Israel, reality shows that quite a few choose this option, despite the fact that they are dealing with their life project, utilizing most of their savings and future income.  If this were not the case, the courts would not be up to their necks in construction defect lawsuits.
And then there is the smart, simple and safe option – hiring a project manager.

Why do we need a project manager?
Yoram Kraus:  Just like every group of people requires a leader in order to work as a team and progress toward achieving the objectives, it is clear that any project involving dozens of individuals requires a manager, just as an orchestra needs a conductor.  The project manager is your representative in the construction project.  The project manager is a professional, familiar with all of the standards, procedures, tricks and "shticks" of the construction project.  The project manager's main responsibility is looking out for your interests when working with all of the professionals involved in such a complex project as building a home.

How exactly will the project manager help us?
Yoram Kraus:  In general, the project manager will make sure that you get the appropriate return for the money that you invest, that the construction activities are being performed and progressing according to plan, that there are no deviations from the predefined budget and, just as importantly, he will ensure your peace of mind and save you money!
The project manager's work can, in most cases, be divided into three stages, while SMS adds a fourth stage:
1.    Stage I – Planning
Before starting the construction project, the project manager will accompany you as an all-around consultant – selecting the contractor and various professionals, preparing the contracts and conducting negotiations on costs, supervising the acquisition of materials and preparing a realistic schedule for construction progress.  At the bureaucratic end, the project manager will verify that the plans are approved and compliant with the standards, and that all required permits have been obtained from the authorities.
2.    Stage II – Construction
This is where the project manager functions as your construction supervisor.  He will accompany the entire construction project, ensure coordination among the various professionals, supervise construction quality and standard compliance, and will ensure that the contractor meets the required timetables, without attempting to take shortcuts or deviate from budgetary restraints.  He will ensure that the materials used are those agreed to in the contract and that they meet the standards.  At every stage, based on milestones defined in the contract, the project manager inspects the work performed thus far, approves the invoices submitted by the contractor and the payments due.  The project manager actually relieves you of the burden of financial calculations and the stress that accompanies the payment issue.
3.    Stage III – Handover
After the contractor announces construction completion, the project manager will conduct a final inspection to verify that the work was indeed performed as per the contract, at the required quality level and to your full satisfaction, noting whether there is need for additions or repairs.
4.    Stage IV – SMS Accompaniment
In most cases, project managers consider their work complete at this stage.  We, at SMS, continue to accompany you after construction has ended and we stay with you while you enter the house and during the trial period, just to ensure that you are satisfied and that there is no more to add, change or repair.

Does hiring a project manager render construction more expensive?
Yoram Kraus:  On the contrary!  At the bottom line – the project manager saves you money!  Studies in the filed found that proper management with a project management can save up to about 20% of the construction costs.
In addition, most people who build a home in Israel fail to adhere to the initial budget defined at the beginning of the project.  On the other hand, most of those who choose to work with a project manager – do succeed.
But the project manager saves you much more than money.  Time, for example.  Over 50% of the construction projects in Israel are unable to adhere to timetables set during the planning stage.  The failure to meet timetables directly impacts all of the project parameters – increases its cost, interferes with the work of various professionals and increases the stress experienced by everyone involved.  The project manager, by setting a logical timetable and closely monitoring adherence thereto, ensures the project's fluid progress over time, just as planned.
And did I mention confidence and peace of mind…?

When should we contact a project manager?
Yoram Kraus:  The trick with construction flaws is catching them before the concrete is poured or the wall built.  After that, it is difficult to repair them and, in most cases, the dispute ends up in court.
Therefore, if you have chosen to work with a project manager, you had best do so as early as possible.  In other words, start at the planning stage, even before selecting the contractor and other professionals.

Why should we choose SMS?
Yoram Kraus: Because beyond the fact that SMS is the leading project management company in Israel, beyond the extensive experience that we have acquired, which is nearly unparalleled in the field, and beyond what being chosen by leading international companies, such as Google, SAP and others, says about the company, the most important issue for you is that we, at SMS, consider your project as a dream that we must manage and realize in the most professional and correct manner.  We are here to lead your project, one stage to the next, on the path to a peak of excellence – quality, cost, timetables and safety.  After all, that is what guarantees that we will push your project forward and we will not stop – until we reach the top together.