The Talisen Difference: Our Building Approach

When it comes to the construction industry, Talisen aims to do things differently. We focus on collaboration first and foremost; and on getting the job done right, not just getting it done. Our clients have seen the results of our efforts firsthand: projects that are completed on time, within budget, and beyond expectation. But what, exactly, is behind our well-oiled machine? A combination of innovative processes and an integrated project management system that brings unrivaled value to our clients. Read on to learn more about Talisen’s approach to construction and how our clients benefit from doing construction differently.

The Construction Process

Most people are familiar with the traditional construction process: a project manager creates a schedule and budget, bidding begins, estimators get involved, contracts are awarded, work commences, and (hopefully) the project is completed on time and within budget. Unfortunately, however, this process is often fraught with delays and cost overruns. At Talisen, we believe in a more efficient approach that benefits our clients in ways other construction companies cannot match– an approach that brings value through cost savings and shortened time to market. Here’s how:

Pre-Construction: Estimating, Take-Off & Procurement

Traditional Approach

The estimation process is a critical component of the pre-construction phase of any project. When most general contracting companies receive an invitation to bid on a project from a potential client, the companies’ estimators will step in to analyze the plans and specifications for the build and approximate costs associated with the project. These estimators will also conduct an itemized inventory of all the materials needed to finish the project (called a “take-off”), establish cost-tracking systems and reporting protocols, and compile a list of suppliers and subcontractors. Once the hypothetical contracting firms are awarded a project, it is only then that the firms’ project managers step in to organize and plan the project’s scope.

In almost every construction company, the project manager:

  • Only becomes involved with the project once it has been awarded
  • Has limited input on the subcontractors chosen for the project
  • Possesses little to no knowledge of the scope of work included in the contract
  • Is limited to a short, 1-4 hour review of a project before the build begins

This is not how Talisen’s bid and award process works. In contrast to most construction companies, Talisen’s project managers are deeply involved in each element of a project before building even begins.

Talisen’s Approach & Client Benefits

Because Talisen is always looking for new and innovative ways to benefit the client, we do things a bit differently. The major differentiator in our approach to the estimation process is that our project managers are our estimators. In other words, as soon as Talisen receives an invitation to bid on a project, one of our several project managers steps in, assuming the estimator role early on in the process.

Because there is no such thing as a “one size fits all” approach to estimating project expenses (the scope, materials, cost, functions, and timeline of each and every project are different), having a project manager handle the estimating portion of a bid is immensely beneficial for all parties involved. Here’s why:

  • By the time Talisen wins a bid, the project manager who handled the estimating process already possesses an intimate understanding of everything related to the project. This established familiarity results in cost savings and a shortened schedule by allowing project managers to dive in as soon as the project is awarded.
  • Our clients enjoy the convenience of a single point of contact for all project communications– i.e., a project manager who has been deeply involved in the build from the beginning.
  • In addition to making project communications more effortless for the client, having one person (the project manager) handle and relay all costs, schematics, and progress updates means no hand-offs and no information getting lost in translation. This decreases the potential for miscommunication, confusion, or mix-ups– saving time and money as a result.

While this may sound like a lot of responsibility, Talisen’s project managers are aided by our Director of Pre-Construction, who offers decades of experience as an estimator and ensures nothing is missed during the estimating phase. The Director of Pre-Construction also sets up procedures and processes to aid the Project Manager in assembling their bid. We’ll explain more about this process later!

Talisen’s Estimating Process

Talisen’s project managers begin the estimating phase by conducting a deep dive into the requirements for the build, pouring over drawings, finding efficiencies, developing ideas on how to shorten the time-to-market (project schedule), and looking for ways to create cost savings for the client– all before Talisen has even won the bid. Our project managers also conduct an itemized inventory of the necessary materials for each project (take-off) and identify opportunities to save money on repeat or high-quantity items (think: wholesale).

When Talisen wins a bid and is awarded a project (also known as “procurement”), our project managers collaborate with Talisen’s Director of Pre-Construction to select the best subcontractors for the build utilizing Talisen’s self-developed cloud applications. Talisen’s Vendor Management App is crucial at this point in the pre-construction phase, as it informs Talisen’s PM of vital subcontractor information while making trade selections for the project, including each subcontractor’s:

  • Bidding history
  • Preferred geographic areas of work
  • Ideal contract size/scope of work
  • Union vs. non-union capabilities
  • Insurance/liability standards
How Do Talisen’s Project Managers Perform Both Roles Successfully? 

Two critical factors empower Talisen’s project managers to successfully perform their duties in conjunction with those of an estimator: self-developed applications and tools and an invaluable organizational structure.

Talisen-Developed Apps & Tools

As previously mentioned, Talisen has developed applications and tools that facilitate and ensure effective management of even the largest projects. These tools harness tracking and logging capabilities that enable our project managers and team to access and provide real-time updates and status reports throughout each project.

Talisen’s Organizational Structure

In addition to Talisen-developed tools and applications, our company’s four departments work together to delineate the elements of each project and ensure effective management and completion of even the largest builds, such as those completed for clients like Google, Northwell Health, A+E Networks, Tory Burch, and other well-known organizations.

Talisen has two Business Unit Departments. Each business unit is overseen by a Business Unit Director who manages and develops a team of two to three project managers (PMs) and oversees projects assigned to those PMs. In addition, each project manager receives the support of the Director of Pre-Construction & Vendor Management and two to three assistant project managers (APMs), who are responsible for managing the different day-to-day and long-term functions that lead to the success of a project. 

By structuring the business departments in this way, project managers are consistently checked and supported by a team of construction professionals whose role is to ensure each project phase runs smoothly. In addition, our Compliance Department ensures projects, vendors, and Talisen are always in compliance with insurance and NYS/NYC regulations, and our Accounting Department tracks project costs and payments from clients and to subcontractors. Talisen’s Field Superintendents also play a critical role, monitoring daily progress on the job site and coordinating with subcontractors and laborers to meet and improve each project’s schedule and safety standards. This collaborative team effort ensures Talisen completes even the most complicated builds on time and within budget. 

Construction: Collaboration, Cost-Efficiency, Schedule & Safety

Before kicking off a project’s construction phase, the project manager and field superintendent review the project together and sync thoughts and ideas on how to build safely and improve the schedule. The project’s PM and field superintendent also collaborate to manage the trades and project team members throughout the build, holding weekly job site meetings with the client and subcontractor teams to:

  • Discuss any challenges that may have come up during the build
  • Provide progress updates
  • Look ahead at coming construction phases

As the build portion of the project nears completion, Talisen creates a punch list of any outstanding items and works with the client, architect, and subcontractor teams to resolve said items to the client’s delight. 

Post-Construction: Close-Out & Commissioning

Once a project’s construction is complete, the PM assembles and documents all project information (i.e., equipment manuals, receipts, etc.) and turns it over to the client for their records. This is known as the close-out phase of the post-construction process. Finally, during the commissioning phase, all MEP (Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing) systems are checked and assured according to the client’s operational requirements. This final step gives the client complete peace of mind that everything is performing up to standard.

Let’s Do Construction Differently

If you’re looking for a different approach to construction, one that will save you time and money, contact Talisen today. We’ll be happy to show you how we do construction differently. Discover the value of choosing Talisen for your next construction project. Contact us today!