One of the toughest challenges for any manufacturer is to accurately predict where its current path will lead in five or 10 years — and what the business will look like at the end of that journey.
Those who are good at forecasting can reap tremendous benefits from thoughtful planning, particularly for major capital expenditures such as selecting a site for a plant, building a right-sized facility with flexibility for growth and designing a workplace that employees find inviting.
With more than 40 years of experience in the industrial sector, Westwind has “the best ideas on building” that can help to accomplish those goals, says President and Founder Greg Oleszczuk.
“We're not here to be the cheapest — we're here to be the best fit,” Greg says. “We guide our clients with prompting questions that keep us all away from the bane of the construction industry — change orders.”
He explains that clients appreciate the upfront questions from experienced construction managers who want to build projects the right way from the start. “When we go into a project, we ask the clients: Tell me, where you see yourself in 5 years or 10 years,” Greg says. “Don’t tell me only what you will be doing next year — because by the time the building is constructed, it may already need updating.”
Senior Project Manager Mark Bonser says a hallmark of all Westwind industrial projects is the time that the company invests upfront to understand the processes and workflow of its clients. That information is critical for proper design of a plant that takes into account everything from the placement of restrooms and truck bays to the use of natural lighting to create a pleasing workplace environment.
“People typically think of an industrial space or manufacturing area as very dark, confined and controlled,” Marks says. “But modern manufacturing isn’t like that, and we have a deep toolbox of solutions to create inviting workspaces for employees.
“For example, we offer a prismatic skylight about 2 feet wide by 10 feet long that floods a space with a tremendous amount of natural light, yet it’s energy efficient and walk-safe from the roof side. Using natural lighting in addition to the LED lighting, manufacturers can create a truly pleasant workspace that employees enjoy.”
Equally important with good design and planning, Westwind makes it a point to stick to a timetable for a project and keep it on budget. As part of that service, the company helps clients to select the best construction method that suits the project, anything from pre-engineered metal buildings to tilt-up concrete structures.
Mark says a project can quickly turn into a quagmire of extra costs if the general contractor doesn’t walk the client through a careful planning process that anticipates all the decisions that need to be made before construction starts.
Westwind’s planning process is generally the same for companies in a number of different industrial sectors — and regardless of their size. “We treat a million-dollar company with the same respect as a $500 million company,” Mark says. “We have worked with some clients for decades, and it’s gratifying to see that we have in our own way contributed to their growth.”
No job for an industrial client is too small for Westwind to consider, he adds. One long-term client asked Westwind to increase the cooling capacity of its IT area, with a budget of only a few thousand dollars. “Even though it was a very small job, we made sure they were taken care of, and they were extremely pleased with the outcome. Now we are sitting down with them to discuss a large office expansion this year.”
Westwind can quote work on both a fixed-price or an open-book or cost-plus basis, where the work is invoiced to the client for actual costs incurred plus an agreed profit margin. “With the cost--plus basis, the client is heavily involved in decision-making throughout the process,” he says. “They really achieve minute-by-minute financial literacy of the project.”
For more information on Westwind Construction, its portfolio and capabilities, visit the company’s website at http://westwind.build.