Services

PROJECT MANAGEMENT & OWNER'S REPRESENTATION

While outsourcing project management is nothing new, today’s economic environment makes this strategy more appealing than ever before. It is not always a good idea to hire another employee or re-deploy existing staff to complete assignments that are temporary and require skills that are not a core competency within your organization. The Sievert Group has the expertise and experience in managing the following types of programs and projects:

  1. Build or redesign facilities - planning, layout, design, and construction management
  2. Energy conservation and operations improvement  to reduce the unproductive use of time, space, energy, materials, machinery, and labor
  3. Plant modernization, rearrangement, consolidation, and relocation
  4. Value management initiatives to reduce costs and improve the design of products, services, processes, and facilities
  5. Expansion into ancillary products and services
  6. Installation of new technologies and production equipment

FACILITIES PLANNING, LAYOUT & DESIGN STUDIES

Because they don’t have to deal with plant redesign often in their careers, many managers seek help when confronted with the need to rearrange, expand, consolidate or relocate operations. Sievert follows a systematic approach to plant layout and facility design.

Good layouts can increase revenues, as well as save operating expenses. Sievert is sensitive to evolving technologies and management strategies and how their applications may impact the “ideal plant layout.” The direct flow concept, just-intime manufacturing, product versus process layouts, lean manufacturing techniques, building codes and regulations, material handling, utility needs, climate control zones, work-in-process zones between operations, economic volumes, production rates and future growth needs are just some of the factors that impact optimum size and layout considerations.

PROJECT PROGRAMMING

Faced with the prospect of changing facilities (i.e., reconfigure space … remodel … install a new production operation…or construct a new building) business owners must – first of all, before any plan is drawn – define requirements and set priorities, evaluate alternative design concepts, explore site options, and determine project delivery strategies. Failure to examine such issues carefully and objectively can lead to needless costs, schedule delays, deficient quality, excessive rework – and disputes. Many projects fail because the project owner prematurely makes a “leap of faith”. The owner commits full funds or awards comprehensive contracts for the design and construction of a project whose requirements have not been defined adequately.

Project programming is an independent service that assists in setting a budget and establishing criteria for evaluating prospective sites, design alternatives and facility arrangements. The objective is to define project essentials and establish a realistic cost estimate and schedule prior to completion of the plans and specifications. Based on a well-defined scope of work and completion of about one-third of the design, an improved cost control estimate can be developed. The approved programming documents become the basis for preparation of more detailed final design and construction documents necessary for contractors to perform construction. The programming documents may also be used to solicit bids from qualified design/build contractors to complete final design and construction of the project.

PRE-ACQUISITION SURVEYS, SITE LOCATION & ANALYSIS

Sievert conducts pre-acquisition surveys to evaluate the general condition and functional adequacy of a site and/or existing building. The survey report identifies any remedial repairs and upgrades that may be necessary, including preparation of budget cost estimates. The pre-acquisition survey is helpful in negotiating the final purchase or lease of a property. It is typically required by a lender to finance a property.

POST-OCCUPANCY EVALUATIONS

Managing facilities for optimum performance requires information about life-cycle costs, productivity attributes, quality of the physical work environment, physical condition and functional adequacy of the facilities. Post-occupancy evaluations provide information to improve utilization of an existing building and assist in determining requirements for future facilities. Results from a building or workplace evaluation may include elimination of indoor air quality problems, identification of energy savings opportunities, operation and maintenance cost reductions and improved occupant health, safety and productivity. Other benefits include identification and elimination of bottlenecks, waste, re-work and other non-value added activities that cause unnecessary costs and increase cycle times.

COST CONSULTING & FEASIBILITY STUDIES

In a competitive, resource-constrained environment, it is imperative that businesses estimate costs more closely. Sievert’s Certified Cost Consultants and Certified Value Specialists are experienced in applying cost management methods to the problems of cost estimating and cost control for capital projects and business operations planning. Reliable cost estimates are critical during project feasibility studies to help decide whether to proceed with or abandon a proposed project.

CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT

Sievert provides professional construction management services to augment the role and expertise of the Owner from concept to completion of a construction project. Although we can provide services at any point in the project lifecycle we are most effective when retained at the beginning when the feasibility and scope of the project is being determined, and opportunities for cost savings are greatest. Under an agency construction management agreement, there is a professional relationship between Sievert and the project owner that is similar to the relationship between an owner and his attorney or an owner and his accountant. As construction manager, we endeavor to protect your interests and complete the project in an expeditious and economical manner consistent with the program requirements. We can provide assistance in developing the program requirements and determining project feasibility from a cost, schedule and constructability standpoint. Construction management has emerged as the preferred means for avoiding many of the problems of general contracting, such as budget overruns, schedule slippage (late occupancy) and quality deficiencies.  Another major advantage of our approach is that it enables the owner to purchase equipment and contracting services directly from the most qualified specialty trade contractors and equipment manufacturers, rather than having to pay third party vendors or a general contractor who would mark up such items. Following is a brief description of selected construction management projects:

  • Completed major facilities design and construction projects for over 50 different commercial printing and packaging companies, 20 plastics processing companies, 9 electronics/telecommunications companies, 12 metals processing clients, 11 commercial building and retail clients, 6 health care institutions, and 9 food industry companies across North America.
  • Managed the design and construction of the original cellular telephone sites in the United States. Completed design and construction of 50 cell sites in Illinois, Kentucky and Ohio within a nine-month period enabling Ameritech to get a head start in the emerging cellular telephone industry. Also, completed energy-operational audits and retrofit installations, remote monitoring of maintenance operations and systems diagnosis at facilities across the U.S.A for AT&T.
  • Managed the renovation of approximately 72,000 square feet of leased space in a high-rise office building located in downtown Chicago. The space was constructed to accommodate the consolidation of data center and administrative operations of five bank acquisitions into a single location for a large bank based in the mid-western U.S. 
  • Managed the design and construction of a world-class automotive research and testing facility in Dearborn, Michigan, for Motorola, Inc.  The facility was built to demonstrate Motorola’s commitment to satisfy Ford Motor Company’s quality and customer satisfaction requirements. The installation consisted of state-of-the-art engine dynamometers, chassis dynamometers, environmental chambers and a host computer system for on-vehicle testing and validation of automotive products. Completed over 30 major facilities projects for Motorola at various locations in the U.S.A.
  • Managed the design and construction of a Class 10,000 clean room, office and laboratory space to support cellular telephone manufacturing processes for Motorola, Inc. The project site was approximately 20,000 square feet of existing facility space within a building owned by Motorola. The prototype manufacturing facility was designed to facilitate use of hazardous materials in the production processes. Also managed the design and construction of clean room facilities for Baxter Healthcare Corporation.
  • Managed the design and construction of a 111,000 square foot building expansion program on behalf of Brown Printing Company. The building addition accommodates new high-speed web presses with Sunday technologies, perfect binder equipment, process support utilities and a warehouse with shipping dock.

VALUE ENGINEERING & COST REDUCTION STUDIES

Due to increasing competition, pricing pressures, and reduced demand for certain products and services, many businesses are searching aggressively for ways to improve corporate competitiveness and increase profits. Sievert conducts value engineering studies and workshops to identify and eliminate unnecessary costs and improve the design of projects, products, facilities, processes and services. Many of the improvement opportunities identified have required little capital investment, relying primarily on planning, organization, teamwork, application of new technologies and work strategies.

Value engineering is a powerful method for expediting a team consensus on ways to fulfill the functional needs of a customer at the best price. The value methodology can be applied to improve the value of any product, project, system or service in any kind of industry or business.  Value engineering is also a great tool for planning capital budgets and demonstrating a cost avoidance effort.

Some Examples of Value Engineering Studies:

  • To produce a rubber seal that satisfies the customer’s expectations for a 25%cost improvement over the current manufacturing product cost.
  • To provide management with value analysis proposals that would improve the process for manufacturing a strip nail.
  • To evaluate heating, ventilating and air conditioning system retrofit options relative to their ability to minimize costs to the building owner over the life of the building system.
  • To determine the optimum layout of a manufacturing facility for improved work flows and economy of space utilization.
  • To provide training services and policy guidelines for establishing a real estate management division in-house value management program for a large telecommunications company. The purpose of the program was to maximize earnings on real estate assets and assure that services are provided to customers at minimum overall cost and improved performance.
  • To provide ideas for re-design of a tire manufacturing machine that is superior to the machine offered by the competition and have the product ready for sale within one year.
  • To identify and eliminate unnecessary costs associated with the design and construction of a new manufacturing plant.

For more information about Value Engineering - Click Here

WORKFLOW ANALYSES & CYCLE TIME REDUCTION STUDIES

Speed means business. Companies are competing on speed. The ability to respond in a very short time can be a competitive weapon to reduce costs and gain market share. Manufacturing and service companies are mapping processes to figure out where the processes break down, identify and eliminate bottlenecks and non-value-added activities, determine the shortest possible time, and most economical way to produce and deliver projects, products, and services.  Sievert applies the Critical Path Method (CPM) and performs Value Stream Mapping to help organizations determine the shortest possible time and most economical way to produce and deliver projects, services, and products within resource constraints.  One company reduced order response-time for a standard product by 57%.  Another company reduced the planned duration of their facilities improvement project by 25%.  Management is provided with information needed to determine corrective actions that may be required throughout the supply chain and use of the best availabe work methods.

WASTE MINIMIZATION & ENERGY CONSERVATION STUDIES

Sievert conducts Waste Minimization Opportunity Assessments and Energy/Operational audits. In response to growing competition, increasing customer demands, and downward pressure on earnings businesses are implementing special projects to reduce the unproductive use of time, space, energy and materials. After establishing the waste streams, Sievert consultants identify, evaluate and develop options to minimize the waste. Some examples include unnecessary labor, excess space, inefficient energy usage, high inventory, high scrap rates, unnecessary material handling, inspection and testing, equipment downtime, quality defects and delivery delays.  We received three energy conservation awards for developing alternative modes of operation and system retrofits that resulted in substantial savings for our customers.

MAN-MACHINE UTILIZATION / WORKER EFFICIENCY STUDIES

Businesses need to assess periodically whether personnel and production equipment are being employed efficiently and effectively to complete certain tasks. Sievert conducts Man and Machine Utilization Studies to identify the interaction between the workers and machines including the amount of time workers and machines are performing selected operations. We look for: • Consistent over-staffing in certain tasks • Machine down time • Random – worker lack of performance • Bottlenecks – material flow interference • Poor work center design and possible employee training considerations

MAINTENANCE AND OPERATIONS STRATEGIES

Sievert provides services to evaluate and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of maintenance programs. Emphasis is placed on life cycle cost management, systems reliability and application of proven control technologies.

PLANT AUTOMATION AND MATERIAL HANDLING STUDIES

Technology enables manufacturers to change their business processes and workplaces to be more competitive. Manufacturers are restructuring and modernizing their facilities to incorporate more computer support, more automation and higher capacity more versatile machines. Technology removes human factors and enables companies to achieve “just in time” and “seamless” manufacturing objectives. Sievert keeps abreast of developing process support system technologies and provides objective feasibility studies for potential applications in selected manufacturing and distribution environments.

CUSTOMIZED EDUCATION AND TRAINING SERVICES

Training plays a significant role in whether or not projects will be successfully completed. Though project teams frequently lack needed skills, many managers fail to incorporate training into their project plans. To make up for skill shortages prior to the start of a project Sievert provides customized “on-the-job” training on “live” projects that customers select from current business situations. Emphasis on “learning by doing” and application of the techniques to specific work assignments results in a high return on investment.