The Value of a Professional Pt 1 by Mike Christie

In a recent visit with a customer faced with the prospect of a major renovation due to regulatory requirements, I had a very interesting conversation. This customer had a fueling system on federal land, deemed to be sub-standard and deadlines had been set to fix non-compliance issues.

The customer had determined that in order to save costs, they were going to coordinate and possibly attempt to perform the renovation themselves. Scope of work included, tank removal, remediation and temporary and permanent tank installation in a very public, environmentally sensitive area. Falling under the jurisdiction of at least four governmental bodies in the municipal, provincial and federal level it is needless to say they were under the microscope, and their business was in the transport industry very far removed from construction.

Surveying the job, I recommended that the customer engage an engineering firm, and reputable installation contractors. The customer contacted both and requested further consultation from me on the project. He was shocked by the costs put forward to him to engage these professionals, and once again had decided to tackle it himself. Hours were spent discussing the workflow, interruptions to business, potential hazards, and future needs.

At this point the discussion progressed towards timelines. We discussed the proposals he had received as a factor of time alone. We then compared what he was faced with trying to coordinate it on his own, using unfamiliar contractors (we even made the step of speaking to a few who were very unfamiliar with the equipment). Through this time analysis, we were very quickly able to determine that he was faced with minimum 40% more time required to complete the project.

He was now able to understand the value of hiring a professional (as we all know time=money), minimizing his exposure to risk factors, and by limiting the amount of his involvement, he could focus on his expertise and run his own business to its full potential.

To be continued…

Mike Christie
BC Petroleum Contractors Association.