By the end of the project Pennsy's crews had placed 69,000 tons of stone base and 36,200 tons of hot mix. Harbonic says that paving ranged from as little as 150 to 200 tons a day to as much as 2000 tons a day.
"It's hard to juggle and plan for that, especially in the bidding," Harbonic says. "But over the years of bidding site work you figure you're going to run an average tonnage over the life of the project, so you try to minimize the minimums and maximize the maximums. That's how you're going to make your profit.
"The cooperation among us and the project management team was pretty good, but it was a challenge because many buildings were set back on the site and the out-parcels out front they had to be ready first," Harbonic says. "It was kind of working backwards on the job."
Which made planning and communication even more important.
Scheduling Silver Spring
Pennsy Supply had the construction schedule for the entire job in advance, but with other construction going on at the site, regular meetings kept them on schedule and also enabled them to handle their other clients.
"We were able to service that particular job and still do our other construction and our contractual work, and that was an essential aspect of this job," Harbonic says. "We wanted the job and we knew we could do it, but we had to be able to do it in conjunction with our other jobs. Otherwise it wouldn't have worked out."
So to make sure Pennsy could handle all its obligations, the contractor was involved in a series of regularly scheduled meetings - both in house and with the project manager and client - throughout the duration of the job.
Every week Pennsy would meet on the jobsite with the general contractor, IMC Corp.'s construction manager, and with Regency Centers, the developer, and review the schedule for the next two weeks.
"Once we knew their schedule we'd bring it back to our scheduling meeting and work it in," Smith says.
Internal meetings included everyone involved in Pennsy's Supply's jobs, including Phil Ackley, general superintendent who schedules Pennsy's crews and jobs, a scheduler from the hot mix plants, quality control representative, and even the master mechanic.
"The mechanic needs to be there so we know if we have any equipment problems we need to work around and so he knows what we need and when we need it," Harbonic says. "That way he can make sure that equipment is ready to go for that job or, if he needs to, he can get a piece of equipment in for us."
Smith says Pennsy lays out a two-week schedule as well, modifying it as the days pass. He says the schedule includes plant production schedules, job dates, crew schedules, and equipment schedules "to make sure we don't overload."
Smith says Pennsy uses a large whiteboard to track all scheduled work: dates along the top and the foreman listed on the side, with information on the board including the job, the material required, which paver is assigned, and how many trucks will be needed to deliver mix.
"It's important that you can see your plan and this gives us a good look ahead of where we are," Smith says. "You can physically look at everything and see where you're going to run into trouble or not run into trouble. It gives you a pretty good prospect on if you can make it happen."
Harbonic says the chart is especially helpful for Pennsy's two field superintendents, who handle crews in the field and rely on it to see what work is coming up and to help them plan for it from a crew standpoint.
Smith says Pennsy makes every effort to keep to its plan, but because of the regular planning sessions it has the plan does evolve from day to day.
"We try to keep to it, but we try to leave some flexibility in the schedule too so we can accommodate when a job is delayed or if something falls through," he says.
To keep productivity high Pennsy also keeps some jobs unscheduled so they can fit them in as needed.
Because of the constant communication and regular meetings, Pennsy was able to continually update its schedule, not only getting the work done on the Silver Spring project but maintaining its schedule with other customers.