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General contractor in Markdorf

The floor is to be laid, but the screed is not yet dry? When trades are not optimally coordinated, chaos often breaks out on the construction site. The consequences: Costs explode, deadlines are missed – and in the end the quality is not right. Project management manager Oliver Kempf and his team ensure that everything runs smoothly with optimally coordinated management based on the lean construction approach. Even on large construction sites with an area of several thousand square meters.

Große Baustellen = Koordination

Oli, Konrad Knoblauch GmbH is the general contractor for many projects. What does that mean?

In principle, we cover all service phases in the execution.This is not just limited to the furniture interior fittings, as we take care of all the trades that are necessary after taking over a finished shell – for example drywall construction, floor coverings, technology such as air conditioning, ventilation, sanitation, but also electrical installations. With our network and our partners, we can cover all areas well and dovetail them perfectly, which brings considerable advantages in terms of costs, time and quality. Ultimately, we take responsibility for the entire process.

What does Knoblauch build as a general contractor?

We are very diversified in this respect. These can be very large hotels with up to 300 to 400 rooms, but also large office spaces in the corporate sector, i.e. several thousand square meters that are being expanded. In some cases, this involves almost 40 construction phases. Of course, we also serve our customers in smaller projects.

How does Knoblauch in Markdorf deal with rising construction costs?

Rising construction costs affect everyone in the industry. That’s why cost transparency is incredibly important – especially in ongoing projects. We regularly provide information about project costs and clarify with the customer what they will have to expect in the event of changes to the plan so that there are no nasty surprises at the end. If you enter into discussions in good time, you can always find a solution. Ultimately, it is important for our customers that the construction site runs smoothly, that they are well informed and can make decisions in the event of cost changes, but that they themselves have as little work as possible.

You work with the lean construction approach. Is it different from normal construction projects?

Yes, of course. Normally, each trade is commissioned separately for a specific range of services. Bids are submitted on the basis of a bill of quantities and then the respective trade, for example the floor layer, has its to-dos in view. But the truth is: construction projects don’t just involve the individual trades, but are an interplay of many participants who can only achieve the optimum result as a unit.

And this interaction between the trades doesn’t always work?

Anyone who has ever had a construction site knows how difficult it is to manage. There are four trades in one room that don’t coordinate properly – and chaos ensues. Particularly in large construction projects, poor management often leads to missed deadlines, cost explosions and quality losses. So an incredible amount is wasted – time, money, materials. We have realized that optimal interaction through the lean method offers incredible added value.

Alle Gewerke sitzen an einem Tisch

How exactly does lean construction work?

With the lean method, all trades come together and plan the processes together. Each trade can contribute its needs and specify the preliminary work that it needs in order to make progress. This preliminary work also results in a to-do for another trade. With lean construction, the know-how and experience of all the companies involved and the customer flow together. In concrete terms, this could mean, for example, that every Monday a decision-maker from each trade involved plans the upcoming week together with us. The following Monday, the previous week is then evaluated and the lessons learned are carried over to the next week.

How do you ensure good quality?

On the one hand, we select the craftsmen we work with very carefully. On the other hand, of course, we constantly check during the construction process whether the quality that we have sampled with the customer is right and meets our high standards. If it is not sufficient, it is reworked or, in case of doubt, newly manufactured. There is no question about that.

Do you also work with external project managers?

For large construction projects in particular, customers often bring in their own project manager, who then also represents the customer in our meetings. This is often the case because the customers don’t even know that we can also take on this function. Of course, you could save yourself the trouble. However, if external specialists, including experts, are on board, we integrate them into the processes in the best possible way.

Do you always create the designs for the construction projects?

That varies. The design is often already available, especially for large projects. And if a project manager is also involved, there are usually already plans and a timeline for the project. For example, sometimes the date for a store opening has already been set. First we check the feasibility of the designs and then we draw up a plan based on the design. Of course, with our interdisciplinary interior design, we also have our own in-house expertise – interior designers, architects, lighting planners – and are also happy to create our own designs.

Hand on heart. Designed today, opened tomorrow. How fast are you?

Of course, it depends on the size of the space, the complexity of the technology, etc. Good advance planning with the customer to discuss budgets and sharpen details is definitely important, because the cleaner we can work, the cleaner the project will run. But since everything comes from a single source, we are much faster and more flexible than if the customer commissions individual trades and coordinates them themselves.

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