Low Voltage Project Management
Low Voltage Project Management is a little different than your average project management service. In general, the term project management covers many effective processes, and a variety of services depending on what is being managed. This article focuses on project management for the Division 27 and Division 28 systems, also known as the low voltage systems.
As technology consultants, Network Technologies, Inc’s (NTI) services focus on these systems. We design infrastructure and selected systems as part of the architect’s team, or directly for the owner. We also provide management of the procurement process, and/or vendor implementation oversight on-site and off-site support for the systems in NTI’s scope.
What are the Low Voltage Systems Our Project Managers Manage?
The Construction Specifications Institute’s (CSI) Master Format standard defines specifications for U.S. and Canadian building projects into 50 divisions. Each division is organized by materials and methods. For NTI services, the two relevant divisions are presented below. For easier viewing, please click on the pictures.
Procurement Management Defined
As technology consultants and as part of our base design services, NTI will often review an owner developed RFP and comment. If asked, we also recommend vendors as a support service to our design consultation services. And if requested by the owner or operator, we can also optionally provide procurement management and/or vendor oversight management during construction.
If desired, NTI can provide Procurement Management. NTI’s procurement management outlines all of the performance and equipment requirements and specifications for the systems in scope. Our RFP(s) will address the necessary factors to successfully select the best vendor(s) for one or more of the project’s technology systems. NTI’s will review the RFP information developed and recommend changes for all bidders to provide an accurate and appropriate apples-to-apples response.
After the final draft for each RFP has been approved, we will issue the RFP(s), along with pertinent construction documents, to pre-qualified bidders. Upon receipt of the responses, we will evaluate each respondent’s proposal for accuracy and conformance to the RFP requirements. We then assist management with selection of the vendor who provides the best value. Once we have determined which vendor provides the best overall value for each system, we will make a recommendation to award the project to the successful vendor(s).
NTI can also provide Vendor Oversight Management during construction. NTI will oversee the installation process for items in scope including scheduling each system installation, and managing the installation process. These services are oversight to verify adherence to the RFP and construction drawings and anticipation of potential issues, with problem resolution
NTI will work in conjunction with the appropriate vendor(s) throughout the implementation stage of the project. These efforts include:
· Review of system submittals
· Vendor scheduling considering technology interdependencies and lead time requirements
· Responses to RFIs submitted by the vendors
· Site visits during the installation phase to ensure each of the vendors are installing the systems in accordance with the drawings (equipment room layouts), RFP requirements, and industry standards
· Upon completion of each site visit, we will issue a report to the Owner to summarize our findings. In that the typical site visit is a several days affair, we will bill for site visits at our standard rate plus reimbursable expenses
What NTI Does with Procurement Management
We will interact with all vendors to answer questions regarding:
- the timetable for the installation/implementation process
- insurance and bonding requirements
- background information on the vendor or project team members
- training requirements
- warranty issues, extended service agreements, etc.
The specific services that NTI can provide in a short narrative form are:
- Develop the RFP - NTI will provide the best possible information for all bidders to provide an accurate and appropriate response that can be compared without caveats for variances in systems presumptions, inclusions and exclusions from RFP to RFP.
- Issue the RFP - After the final RFP draft has been approved by the owner, NTI issues the RFP(s), along with pertinent construction documents, to pre-qualified bidders. We then manage the process including explaining the description of the bid process, verifying inclusions such as visits and/or bidders meetings, responding to bidder questions, and holding bidders to the response deadlines.
- RFP Response Review - Upon receipt of the responses to the RFPs, NTI will evaluate each respondent’s proposal for accuracy and conformance to the RFP requirements. Our goal in this phase is to make sure we reach an “apples to apples” comparison of each response.
- Contract Award - Once we have determined which vendor provides the best overall value for each system, we will make a recommendation to award the project to the successful vendor(s).
Vendor Installation Oversight As Project Managers
Once the RFP process is complete, the installation process shall require planning and oversight to assure that all requirements are considered, deadlines are met so that there are no delays or costs associated due to omission of time sensitive consideration, confusion regarding installation timeframes, or conflict in scheduling.
NTI will oversee the installation process for the each of the NTI scope items including:
- Scheduling each system installation
- Managing the installation process
- Oversight to verify adherence to the RFP and construction drawings
- Anticipation of potential issues, with problem resolution
There are dozens of low voltage systems that can be included in some projects.
Not all systems require a procurement process. And not all systems merit special oversight during construction. When NTI provides procurement and/or vendor installation oversight, we are most often speaking of managing the procurement or implementation of one or more of the major systems above.
NTI’s design team is led by our principals and/or subject matter specialists to address each project’s unique vision. They lead our designers and drafting professionals assigned to each project. As students of the industry, each principal, specialist and designer can be both teacher and student insofar as we help educate each other with the objective of providing a best in class design each and every time. James Lingle leads our project management efforts.
If you are interested in more information, please look around our website or contact us below!