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Job Order Contracting Streamlines Your Facility Projects

Dec. 19, 2018

When public agencies and institutions face significant challenges completing projects in a timely manner, they are turning to alternative construction procurement methods like Job Order Contracting.

When public agencies and institutions face significant challenges completing projects in a timely manner, they’re turning to alternative construction procurement methods like Job Order Contracting (JOC).

Job Order Contracting Benefits

JOC is an indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity construction procurement process that helps owners and facility managers complete several individual projects with a single, competitively awarded contract. As tasks arise, they’re done based on guaranteed, preset prices.

“We’re quickly able to change pace if we have a project that we have a JOC program on and we see a design that we need to change, or a design flaw, we’re able to make those alternations quickly and efficiently,” explains Mike Derr, contracts and purchasing officer with County of Monterey, CA.


Change Management: Convincing Leadership to Adopt Alternative Procurement

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The contracts are performance-based and awarded for at least one year. This helps contractors develop facility familiarity and can lead to better communication with operations and facility managers. 

Contractors became our partners. We found a better working relationship through the JOC program, there was more streamlined communication. The contractor knew what his goal was and the pricing, and we knew what our objectives were going in every year, which really helped reduce the overall back and forth,” Derr says.

[Related: 4 Tips for a Quick RFP Process and 3 Myths Debunked]

Available either through a cooperative or a standalone program, depending on the size of your organization, the Job Order Contracting method can work on a variety of projects, including:

  • Straightforward new construction
  • Repairs
  • Renovations
  • Replacement in-kind
  • Maintenance
  • Emergency work
  • Time sensitive projects
  • Alterations

Ease Change Management With a Partner

Changing procurement methods requires changing your organization’s culture, and it can be hard to reverse years of practice and processes. Working with a strategic partner can make the change management process easier says David Velarde, vice president of operations at Gordian, a provider of facility and construction cost data, software and expertise.

“If you’re going to hire this strategic partner, they should take on the lion’s share of the implementation burden,” Velarde notes. “We’ve all heard how you have to do more with less. There’s less people to do this, there’s growing deferred maintenance. Let your strategic partner do all of that for you with your departments, your legal, your facilities, your procurement.”

Whether or not you choose to work with a strategic partner, research is key when considering if a Job Order Contracting program is right for you:

  • Know state, county and city laws regarding JOC programs and whether it can be used on federally funded projects, grants or bonds.
  • Research cost savings, long-term opportunities and other potential benefits of using the JOC program as opposed to traditional procurement.
  • Review case study data and key performance indicators from similar organizations.
  • Get input from different departments including maintenance staff and internal architectural services.

County of Monterey sat down with the Gordian group and identified which of these areas could be addressed quickly and efficiently by JOC.

[Side topic: Stop Wasting Money on Deferred Maintenance]

“We were able to move about 62-63 percent of our projects more efficiently and quickly right through JOC and we reduced the overall workload on our inhouse staff, which gave them the ability to really address our long-term projects,” Derr explains. “Our staff was now able to focus on long-term capital improvement, five-year projection plans, instead of trying to be reactive to all the small issues, we got those out of the way.” 

For more information on the benefits of JOC or for examples and case studies, listen to the BUILDING education session Change Management: Convincing Leadership to Adopt Alternative Procurement.

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About the Author

Rachel Kats | Former Staff Writer

Rachel has years of experience covering everything from government and education to feature topics and events. A Wisconsin native, she holds a bachelor’s in mass communications and journalism from St. Cloud State University.

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