It’s rare when a contract furniture installation company gets the opportunity to install nearly two and a quarter miles of architectural wall as a single project. Cubicle Solutions, Inc. (CSI) not only had the opportunity, it agreed to accomplish the work on a 6-month schedule between April and October 2013.
New England’s largest non-union architectural wall installation project to date was to take place at one of two corporate headquarters campuses providing workspace for associates of the leading off-price value retailer of apparel and home fashions in the U.S. and abroad.
It was a plum assignment for CSI, and one with a degree of difficulty that climbed significantly when the end user’s occupancy date had to be moved up, depriving the wall installation schedule of two precious weeks of productivity.
How CSI—the non-union New England member of Facilities Services Network—managed to complete the project on time is a story of extraordinary project management expertise, a well-practiced team of wall installers, and a firm commitment to exceeding the customer’s expectations.
Privacy Wall is a steel-frame, high-performance, moveable wall made by Steelcase. New England’s largest Steelcase dealer contracted CSI to receive on site and install 11,500 linear feet of Privacy Wall in a new-construction environment on a corporate campus in Marlborough, Mass. The installations spanned three floors on each of two buildings.
Project Environment Corporate campus; 2 buildings, 3 floors each, with ongoing construction
Time Frame for Field WorkLate April to September 2013
Manpower12 installers per typical day
Installed Product11,500 linear feet of Steelcase Privacy Wall
Management TeamDan Fusco, account managerRich Lawless, project managerChun Ly, foreman
The project required more than 60 trailer loads of product. Because of unforeseen limitations on dock time, CSI ended up receiving about 95% of the product on site. The other 5% or so was redirected to the CSI warehouse, where it was stored until needed, then redelivered aboard CSI trucks to the job site.
- The end user’s move-in date was moved up, knocking two weeks off the wall installation schedule for the first building. CSI accepted the contract change and accomplished the accelerated schedule by lengthening the work day to 10 hours and adding four Saturdays.
- CSI’s logistics plan included accommodations for frequent vertical pushes and some very long horizontal pushes. However, the accelerated move-in date created time pressures for the GC and all the trades which further complicated the logistics picture. To ensure a level playing field, the GC imposed strict rules regarding dock availability: If a truck was late for a delivery, it was moved to the end of the schedule or laid over until a suitable time slot opened up in the schedule. This situation made the coordination of deliveries to site one of CSI’s biggest challenges. Steelcase was shipping upwards of 60 trailer loads of product to be received on site. Due to the congestion at the site, additional trailer loads were redirected to CSI’s warehouse. Making it all work was an ongoing focus for the CSI project manager.
- The accelerated schedule for the first building as well as the general tightness of the overall schedule required constant coordination with the general contractor and the phone and data company. CSI’s project manager was on site throughout the project in order to ensure the required high levels of communication and coordination. Additionally, CSI’s project manager attended two weekly meetings, one with the GC and one involving all the subcontractors.
- Some of the wall product arrived in damaged condition. The tight installation schedule precluded the reordering of these pieces so CSI improvised custom fillers for the gaps between the architectural walls and the buildings’ windows and window sills.
- With the wall installations and workstation installations happening concurrently, there was near-constant competition for dock and elevator time. CSI and the workstation installation company made it all work through astute project management, a common commitment to customer satisfaction, and stair carries when there was no acceptable alternative.
The VP of the Steelcase dealership said, “We could not have done it without the CSI team and Rich Lawless.”