Mythbusting the Trinity of Construction

We recently had the opportunity to visit with a new customer. Well, at the time, we were hoping to call them a new customer and since then it has worked out well for all of us.

There were three generations of engineering and construction experience represented in that boardroom, which is exactly the kind of company we find to be the most engaging and receptive. So, after we discussed how OEP’s engineering designs can compress their construction schedules and make them more profitable, one of the founders of the company said something that cut through the room like an arc-welder.

He said, “It’s the Trinity of Construction. No one has the Trinity of Construction”.

Apparently we do, And now, so do they.

As it was explained, the Trinity consists of three elements: Quality, Time and Cost (I capitalize these three because we all know how important they are to our industry). The belief is that when things are good, you can have two of the elements, but it’s an impossibility to have all three at once. If you’re lucky, you may have some degree of control of the variables involved in construction, or you may even be able to choose which of the three elements will have to be sacrificed in order to secure the other two.

So if you want Quality and Time, it will cost you, well, Cost you. If you need Time and Cost, you may have to sacrifice Quality, and so on. It’s a bit of a chess game when you look at it like this, yet all the pieces are equally vital to a successful project. Deciding which one to let go is no small task. That’s where we come in with the proverbial Holy Grail, the Lost City of Atlantis, the complete Trinity of Construction.

Think of it like this: a customer wants us to Value-Engineer the steel reinforcement for a 20-story casino. We can utilize high-strength steel (Quality), reduce the tonnage (Cost) and compress the construction schedule (Time) so they are able to open their doors a month early. Let’s imagine their daily revenue is a million dollars. Their annual revenue just increased by 30 million.

The latest project with our “new customer” just broke ground and is going beautifully. Which, I suppose, is the icing on the Trinity.