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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Coordinating Specialists

  • Author(s): Tommelein, Iris D
  • Ballard, Glenn
  • et al.

Specialty contractors (SCs) are construction’s ‘job shops’. They must allocate their resources to match the various ‘delivery’ dates demanded by multiple projects. Managing the production of a specialty contracting firm is, consequently, quite different from managing a project. Further, specialty contractor management depends upon the quality of production management on projects, i.e., their coordination by general contractors. Unfortunately, there is a trend among general contractors to adopt a brokering role and neglect coordination. This paper presents the production and control tasks of both specialty and general contractors through the use of process models, emphasizing the responsibility of SCs for design completion and the mutual interdependence of SCs on design changes and installation accuracy. Lean production principles are recommended and CPM is critiqued as inadequate for SC coordination.

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