Before embarking upon a project, we advise that it is prudent to go through a bit of a checklist, as a natural part of the due diligence required prior to undertaking a significant project.
The aim is to get clear about what your plans and expectations are in the project, and whether the services that we can offer are what would suit your requirements.
Following is an overview ‘Checklist’ of sorts, drawn up to assist prospective customers to gain clarity about the project that they are undertaking.
We understand that this checklist is a broad overview, and that parts of it may have already been established by most customers. The main purpose is to perhaps ‘jog the memory’, or provide a little extra consideration about areas that may have been overlooked.
When people initially consider embarking upon a project, the first problem that usually arises is that the customer may have unrealistic ideas about what is involved in carrying out the project.
In many cases, aspects such as time frame, volume of labour, volume of materials, availability of parts, re-manufacturing of parts, and other miscellaneous items, all contribute to the cost and the overall time/duration that the project is going to take.
All of these aspects need to be carefully scrutinized so as to be clear on the objectives for the project.
One of the next serious points to consider is the Level of Finish.
There is a significant difference between Levels of Finishes, ranging from poor, to basic, to budget, to quality, to premium.
It is extremely important for a customer to clearly establish what level of finish they are aiming for, if their budget is in alignment with the level of finish targeted, and what their expectation is of what the final product being delivered will be.
For example, it is not fair or realistic to any party involved to expect a premium finish at a basic investment.
In our experience, the vast majority of difficulties between the customer and the service provider result from unclear expectations of the level of service being provided, and for the level of budget agreed upon for the service.
Naturally, construction and restoration processes take time.
If there is a required timeline/deadline restraint needing to be met, it not only needs to be clearly identified from the onset, or as early as possible, but it also needs to be factored into a realistic program which allows for extra time for contingencies.
In our experience, contingencies invariably arise.
A realistic Project Program is well advised.
Parts and Materials
Parts availability is also crucial to consider.
Parts availability (and in some cases material availability) is a factor that can contribute greatly to the smooth progress, or stagnant delay, of the project.
A project that has all of the parts and materials readily available will run and flow smoothly from start to finish.
Conversely, a delay in parts and materials availability could hold up the project, impacting not only on the timeframe but also on the overall costs.
Delays cause interruptions in the flow of the project, and stop/start delays cause problems, often resulting in mistakes being made or having to re-work or re-build elements of the project to meet the changed requirements of delayed, new or different parts that arrive late in the Project Program.
Hence, minor delays and minor changes can impact heavily on the overall timeframe, administration, labour, materials and end cost to the customer.
Duration of the project, and Storage
Duration of the project, especially the time spent in the workshop is another significant consideration, especially in regard to storage.
Many customers like to have a long drawn out project that they simply funnel a bit of money into here and there, whenever they can afford to. That is all well and good if there is the space to keep the project, however that is not always a viable option.
Extra storage costs can also be expensive, and potentially eat into the budget of a project.
Personal Customer Input
Every project, and every customer is different, and every customer needs to be clear about how much input, directly or indirectly, they want or need to apply to the project.
Some customers may wish to have no hands on input at all, and simply walk (or drive) away with a finished project after all the bills are paid.
Some customers may want to do part of the mechanical work, part of the timber work, part of the sheet metal body work, upholstery or electricals, or a mixture of any or all items.
The customer needs to be clear, just how much input they are prepared to give. They also need to be realistic about just how much input is required and/or beneficial to the project.
A low standard/quality of input, or elements of disruption, may actually be detrimental to the project. Rectification works, as well as delays, can be costly.
It should be noted that a well meaning customer can quickly and easily become detrimental to the flow, standards, costs and outcome of a project when their skills are not up to the tasks being undertaken, both manually and in administration and management.
Productively, a customer who is well prepared, well skilled and well organized can be a blessing to a project, and potentially save a considerable amount of time and money.
A realistic, smooth flowing, well planned and organised project can often be the most economical path, and less problematic for all parties.
This has given plenty of food for thought to start off with.
Further to these basic initial considerations there are other matters regarding business and financial transactions that can be raised in later discussions, should you wish to proceed further with your enquiries.
Certainly, we would be interested in carry out the Structural Timber Coachbuilding for your project, and should you require further works to be carried out on your project we would be happy to discuss your requirements in more detail.
We wish you well with your exciting new project, and if we can be of further assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact us:
Phone: 0438 006 022