This is the fourth and final edition of the Owner’s Rep Guide, where we will walk you through a real-world example of how having the right Owner’s Rep on a project is key to its success. In our previous editions of the guide, we covered the basics of what an Owner’s Rep is, the steps you should take before hiring one, and the essential services that a good Owner’s Rep should provide.
Back in Sept. 2020, Bryan Health and investors broke ground on a new hospital in Central City, Nebraska, the Merrick Medical Center. The new critical access hospital was slated to replace the existing facility, which was previously owned by Merrick County. The existing hospital was originally built in 1959 to provide critical care for those in the surrounding area, but at the time, trying to manage their patients with an outdated facility and equipment was proving incredibly difficult.
Bryan Health reached out to CSM Group because of previously successful partnerships. When we were brought onto the project to help select a Construction Manager, as well as assist in facilitating the user group design process and do a third-party estimating to verify the CM’s estimates.
Understanding the Client’s Needs
Bryan Health reached out to CSM Group because of previously successful partnerships. When we were brought onto the project to help select a Construction Manager, as well as assist in facilitating the user group design process and do a third-party estimating to verify the CM’s estimates. There was already an architect involved. We needed an Owner’s Rep that would be able to find a Construction Manager best suited for the team that was already assembled.
The main goal is ensuring the individual in the Owner’s Rep position can enhance what it is the owner needs. It is not uncommon for some owners to have quality internal resources. But when those resources or individuals are too busy, unable to track specific financial issues or analyze change orders – a critical gap within the project is created. This is where an Owner’s Rep can come in and fill the necessary gaps. An Owner’s Rep doesn’t have to do everything, but instead will assess the situation and project: What does the owner want to do? What should the team do? What do they need help with? A good Owner’s Rep will provide the services that fit the exact needs of the client and/or owner.
In the midst of the project, there was a transition of leadership at the hospital. After nearly 12 years of leadership, former president and CEO Kim Russel retired from Bryan Health. The organization named John Woodrich as an interim president and CEO while the Board of Trustees searched for a permanent replacement. It isn’t ideal for an organization to undergo major restructuring while also trying to balance a large construction project – changes to leadership could cause costly delays.
Having an Owner’s Rep allowed the project team and the staff to have focus and direction to work through the project. Even though the CEO was changing, that didn’t change the commitment of Bryan Health to build the new hospital.
While Byran Health trustees interviewed candidates for the role, they were able to prioritize the needs of the patients and community, regardless of the candidate’s experience overseeing the construction of a new healthcare facility at that scale. With a fully competent Owner’s Rep on the project, Bryan Health already had the technical expertise they needed to manage the project’s timeline and budget. This allowed the newly appointed president and CEO Patrick Avila to take his time transitioning onto the project. During the process, CSM Group served as Avila’s confidant and provided him with the full scope needed to join the project.
A good, highly-qualified Owner’s Rep will always be there to help define the project’s full scope, design, and budget – which is critical. An incomplete scope can be costly, changing orders, and project disputes can lead to overruns and delays. Especially when there are unforeseen circumstances, transitions in leadership or company-wide restructuring, or any other outside factor that could impact the completion of a project.
CSM Group has a team of experts with more than 38 years of experience in managing projects across the U.S. With decades of hands-on experience, we coordinate the master plan for the project with a kickoff meeting and establish a programmatic budget and project charter. We also create presentations to key stakeholders, perform facility assessments, and develop financial models for the capital spend. We don’t just provide Owner’s Rep services, we become an extension of your organization – advising you at each step of the way, acting as a single point of contact for all members of the project team, and ensuring the project is completed on time and within budget.
If you have any questions regarding Owner's Representative services or would like to discuss your project, please contact our Owner's Rep expert, Todd McDonald.