The fit out of AIG’s regional center in Phoenix, Arizona, was Manning Group’s first opportunity to showcase its considerable expertise in architectural wall installation for a long-time client dealer in New York. Despite sudden changes in scheduling and manpower requirements, Manning Group moved the project along so smoothly toward an on-time completion that the dealer’s installation overseer was able to leave the job site earlier than expected.
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Manning Group’s client for this project is Empire Office, the New York City-based Steelcase Preferred Dealer that also enjoys the distinction of being the world’s largest commercial furniture dealer. When the AIG project came along in 2013, Manning Group — the FSN member serving Arizona and New Mexico — had been a regular service provider to Empire Office for nine years. Manning had numerous furniture installations for Empire Office to its credit but, as yet, no history of architectural wall installation for Empire. The Manning Group team welcomed the opportunity to further demonstrate its capabilities and reinforce the relationship with this valued client.
Manning Group received, delivered and installed 218 linear feet of 9-foot-high Muraflex MIMO glass architectural wall plus 15 barn doors and 2 pivot doors. The product set would serve to define the spaces for 15 private offices and 2 conference rooms. All product was received at Manning Group’s Phoenix warehouse. The on-site installation work ran two weeks.
Manning Group employed a number of proven lean installation techniques to maintain an efficient operating tempo and ensure on-time completion:
- Each night's delivery was limited to the product that was scheduled to be installed that night.
- The warehouse team carefully prepped the product while it was still in the warehouse, stripping and disposing of the packaging and placing the various elements onto Manning Group's specially designed carts in an order that was keyed to the pre-determined installation sequence.
- With all product up on wheels, loading at the Manning Group dock and unloading at the job site dock was a fast, easy roll-on/roll-off process. Each cart was rolled directly to the point of installation for the load it was carrying.
- By scheduling simultaneous installation work in side-by-side office spaces, the Manning team was able to position carts along the dividing line and thus supply product at the same time to both installer teams.
- With no extraneous product on the floor at any one time and minimal project waste, the job site was neat, clean and uncluttered at all times.
Key Project Data
|Project Environment||19th floor tenant improvement in existing building|
|Installation Time Frame||2 weeks|
|Installed Product||218 linear feet of Muraflex MIMO glass wall plus 17 doors|
|Management Team||Jim Guzman, foreman
Kris Norris, project manager
Challenges and Solutions
Despite this being Manning Group’s first opportunity to work with the Muraflex MIMO line, the installation went very smoothly. Manning’s architectural wall specialists easily applied their expertise with Teknion, DIRTT, KI, Haworth and other brands and quickly gained proficiency with Muraflex. After two days of guiding and observing, Empire’s installation rep felt confident that the job was in good hands and moved to other projects more in need of his presence.
One office within the scope of work had not been built to specification, which rendered one sheet of Muraflex glass on hand unusable. In order to keep the project on schedule, Manning Group turned to a trusted local supplier to produce a replacement sheet to the new, custom size as well as Muraflex’s exacting specification for the beveled edge. Manning handled the procurement and logistics.
Work Hours and Staffing
The original project plan called for after-hours delivery and staging of the product and daytime installation. However, due to noise issues with tenants on the floors above and below the job site, Manning Group was suddenly told that all work would have to be done after 6:00 PM. Despite this last-minute change, Manning Group was able to adjust work schedules and staff the project with sufficient manpower, keeping the installation on schedule.
Communication and Coordination
The more parties there are involved in a project, the more complicated and demanding the job of the installation project manager and foreman in terms of coordination. In this case, the Manning team had to maintain close coordination and constant communication with Empire’s project manager, who was in New York, and with the building manager, CB Richard Ellis. Maintaining extremely tight building security, CBRE required timely notice for all deliveries and building access by the Manning Group field team.