Value Engineering: An industry-wide concern
For the June issue of Glass Magazine, I spoke with several decorative glass suppliers about the challenge of value engineering on projects. Decorative glass is a prime target for VE due to its high price point and late position on the project timeline. The suppliers offered tips to help avoid having decorative glass―and other specialty glass products―value engineered out of a project.
Since the article went to print, I have heard from a number of readers about how VE affects their businesses. Below are two letters we received about the VE issue.
In response to the article, the owner of one contract glazing firm added perspective on VE of decorative glass from his company’s experience: “One of the reasons besides cost that [general contractors] try to get [decorative glass] removed is that suppliers … require large deposits and 100 percent payment prior to shipping. Everyone wants to be paid promptly, but construction projects, and how they are financed, are quite rigid in procedures. When contractors have to make exceptions or additional administrative work, it is understandable that they will [attempt] to see decorative glass value engineered out.”
It’s clear that the VE issue extends beyond decorative glass and into all segments of the industry. I heard from Steve Fronek, vice president of technical services at Wausau Window and Wall Systems, who said the Wausau sales team faces the VE challenge daily.
“The best way to ensure that the value engineering process serves the needs of all stakeholders is to make it part of early pre-bid design-assist. During design-assist, a cross-functional team focuses on optimizing fenestration configuration and design to meet or exceed performance requirements, address aesthetic preferences, and stay within budget—to maximize value for the owner. In this manner, a level of trust is established that makes the entire project run smoother. Wausau is often invited to participate in design-assist in partnership with an installing subcontractor," he said. "During the shop drawing and engineering phase, design-assist partners co-develop the details with the architectural team, so that all involved understand design criteria for better quality and a faster overall schedule.”
I’d like to continue the VE conversation here. What have your experiences been with VE? How does VE affect your company, and your profit margins? Feel free to email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave a comment below.
Devlin is senior editor for Glass Magazine. Write her at email@example.com.