“A strong team can take any crazy vision and turn it into reality.” – John Carmack, CTO of Oculus VR
EPC contracting is a specialized niche in the substation construction industry, one that comes with its own unique needs, specialties, challenges, and opportunities.
But this sector was the source of some frustration for DIS-TRAN: we couldn’t seem to make much headway into that space. “At that point, we couldn’t have bought one of those proposals if we had tried,” says David Ducote, who heads DIS-TRAN’s proposal department. “We realized we needed the increased focus of a dedicated team.”
To that end, DIS-TRAN has launched a new in-house group specifically dedicated to EPC projects: the EPC Support Team. Since their launch, we have gone from winning few EPC projects to now closing nearly half of the business submitted to us.
The new EPC Support Team offers:
Dedicated personnel. EPC Support Team members work exclusively with EPC customers. “Though we go through the same procedures and systems, EPCs are unique creatures, and we’ve got to be able to understand the specifications they’re sending,” David explains. “The support team can't be working on different customer types if they want to stay focused.”
Accommodating EPC idiosyncrasies. EPC clients typically have their own proposal systems, procedures, and forms. Previously, it was challenging to accommodate multiple project protocols. “Proposal Managers would be working on different customer types, and it would throw them off,” David says. DIS-TRAN needed a team that could conform to the way EPCs naturally work.
Pricing competitively and fairly. In forming the new team, we also went through pricing exercises to ensure our pricing was correct. Were we losing business because we were priced too high? Could we still earn a fair profit when scoping out the full project? The EPC Support Team helped us to answer those questions.
Aligning proposal and project management teams. Typically, after winning a job, the project would simply be assigned to the next available Project Manager; but with EPCs, that meant a disproportionate workload could fall on a single PM’s plate and lead to all clients being under-served. For that reason, the EPC Support Team consists of EPC-dedicated project managers as well as proposal managers.
Ultimately, DIS-TRAN took the time and effort to invest in EPC clients. It has enabled us to better help them and run their projects. The EPC Support Team is already turning out to be a big hit.
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