Wolgast Blog

Guess: Which Profession Has no Room for Errors?

Posted by Cory Sursely on 3/19/2014


By Cory Sursely, Executive Assistant

I caught a rerun of Family Feud on GSN recently and the question was posed, “What profession has no room for errors?”  They featured seven possible answers.  I automatically thought of physicians, which was the top answer.  After that, it became a little tougher.  Police officer was up there, but neither pilot nor bus driver were.  So what else could it be that 100 American people thought?  I was on the edge of my seat to find out.  Then they said it, "Construction"!  Of course, being in the industry I know this, but I didn’t know that the majority of people on Family Feud would have thought of it.

All the measurements, ordering materials, knowledge of how to use equipment, timing,  coordination for safety measures, fighting the elements, and establishing a solid foundation are just a few of the pieces that need to be choreographed to create a structure that could stand and be useful for approximately 100 years or more (with maintenance of course). 

When you think about it, every construction project starts with a plan on paper.  Executing that plan takes a skilled team of people to ensure that it’s followed to a T and should there be a discrepancy of the plan to a real world scenario, that team has to be knowledgeable to make appropriate adjustments along with the architect and owner in real time, so not to delay the project, blow the budget or miss the deadline.  None of us are infallible, but a professional contractor with all the credibility, certificates, insurance and bonding capacity will be precise and will also have the ability and wherewithal to correct any inaccuracies (if any) to protect you from risk on your investment. There is definitely very little room for error.

The other answers, in case you were wondering, were: Police Officer, Accountant, Fire Fighter, Hair Dresser and the President

Tags: Professional General Contractor, the Wolgast Way, Safety on Site

Construction Scheduling for Dental Offices

Posted by Cory Sursely on 10/24/2013

Continually meet with patients throughout construction

DentistScheduleDentists sometimes put off improvements to their building space due to the anticipated disruption of their business.  Determining how to remodel their office or relocate to a new space when a practice can’t survive without an active patient load can feel like a big risk.  However, I’m here to tell you that it's possible to remodel, renovate or relocate with minimal impact to your practice when you use a professional contractor.

Whether it’s a new location or an occupied building, scheduling and flexibility are the keys to keeping a dentist office running smoothly through construction.  Because a dentist practice can’t survive very well without activley seeing patients, determining a schedule and a plan prior to construction makes it possible to avoid a detrimental office shut down.

Scheduling for the renovation or addition to an occupied building requires more coordination, but is possible for a dentist to keep seeing patients.  A schedule for this type of construction will include phases to keep half of the exam rooms open at a given time, time for temporary construction of make-shift clean rooms to allow for exam or treatment space, or possibly after-hours construction activity.  Flexibility of the dental practice to adjust patient flow and equipment relocation is necessary for the project to run smoothly and quickly.  Open communication is helpful, too, as the project goes on.  Any important events happening within the practice should be discussed with your on-site project supervisor as soon as possible, so they can create or adjust for the space needed.  All of this is done with the final end date in mind.

Of course building a new location that is unoccupied is easier to coordinate with only the end date to consider, however the end date is a very serious matter.  With the coordination of the move, ribbon cuttings, grand openings and other promotions, as well as keeping up your patient visits, meeting that final date is critical to the future of any dentist’s business.  A professional contractor should be able to guarantee they will meet that date.

We rely on the dentist and their staff to help us during the schedule planning phase because it's difficult to guess what their needs will be during construction.  As we go through the thought process of how to achieve open, clean space, the dentist and project team are able to pinpoint where and when it will be needed.  It also helps us create the most time efficient schedule to get the practice up and running quicker.

For more information on how we can efficiently design and build your dental practice with a guaranteed completion date, please contact Dr. Michael Shepard at 800-965-4278 or mshepard@wolgast.com.



Tags: Professional General Contractor, the Wolgast Way, Scheduling, Safety on Site, Dental Office Construction

Construction Safety on School Grounds

Posted by Cory Sursely on 4/24/2012


We’ve all heard that with great power comes great responsibility, but it’s especially true with the power equipment and tools used on school construction sites.  Student safety becomes a big deal as School Districts continue to make updates and renovate their existing/occupied buildings.  It’s a big deal also due to the increase of “strangers” who enter the school grounds to work on a construction project.  This is demonstrated by the increasing efforts of schools to qualify visitors before they’re allowed to enter school buildings.

Construction is considered one of the most challenging professions in the world.  With the equipment, variety of activities, and falling/tripping factors, it’s easy to see why construction is heavily regulated to keep workers and site visitors safe.  When we work on an occupied building, it’s safe to say that safety becomes a broader concern.  By following MIOSHA regulations and having safety plans, manuals, meetings and policies (as we do for every project), a construction site becomes very predictable and safe for anyone who may step onto it, including school kids.  On all projects, our Field Managers take great care to see that safety measures are met and at the end of the day sites are left in a manner that prohibits curious people from entering it or possibly hurting themselves.  Additionally, our Field Managers are required to maintain CPR and first aid certifications and Wolgast upholds zero tolerance for any substance abuse, which is supported by pre-employment and random drug testing for all employees.

Safety concerns don’t end with construction related activities.  We tend to the security of students in the building, too by using ID badges.  Badges are only issued to those individuals authorized to be on the job site.  We use these badges to help ensure that only people with a legitimate, project related purpose are granted access to the job site.

Admittedly, Wolgast has selfish reasons to be safe.  First and foremost, we appreciate having our co-workers and friends report to work healthy and happy every morning.  Secondarily, an excellent safety record and reputation helps us obtain future work and keeps insurance rates down.  We take it very seriously because safety never hurts!

We offer more information about how to avoid risky business during your construction project in the white paper Risk Management the Wolgast Way.

Also read: How Technology Updates Change Schools and Four Steps for School Boards to Plan a Construction Project


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Tags: Schools, Construction Management, the Wolgast Way, Scheduling, Safety on Site, Risk Management

Tips for moving into your new Medical/Dental Office

Posted by Cory Sursely on 8/19/2011

AMoving into your new officesSo your new medical/dental office is about ready to be moved into, are you ready? Here are some experienced helpful tips from Wolgast to make the move go easy and not impact you or your employees in a negative way.

First off, remember to get your Medicare and Medicaid paperwork submitted right away so that the government is aware of your change of address and there are no issues that arise with the government. Not getting this information processed on time can lead to a billing gap and we have seen instances where doctors and dentists have lost out on months’ worth of revenue because paperwork was not processed on time.

Next, remember medical record privacy when packing up the patient files. These records need to be packed and moved such that security and only authorized access to them occurs. This may take some special planning but being aware of your HIPAA requirements when transporting and moving records could save you a tangle of paperwork and bureaucratic headaches.  If you are moving electronic files too then you need to treat the computer hardware and backup data with the same respect as you would give moving paper files.

Remember to have your information technology support people out early on the day of the move to ensure that computers can talk to each other, files have been transferred or transported safely, and that electronic medical records (EMRs) and digital imaging equipment (like the new digital xray machines) are connected, networked, and ready to go.  Expect a few glitches that first day and plan ahead by having a service technician there as each system is tried out.

For the general move, start preparing at least two months prior to the move date and make sure everyone knows what they are responsible for packing and unpacking. Your movers can give you an estimate of how much moving materials you will want to purchase. If you start purchasing a few months early you can pace that expense over several months and potentially save money by not over purchasing supplies at the last minute.

Lastly, taking the time to plan ahead and plan early lets everyone finish on time with a minimum amount of rushing. Then sit back and let the movers do the work, discourage employees from moving boxes or equipment themselves as they may injure themselves doing the work. An injured employee won’t be there to help unpack and may actually cause you to have more bills due to their medical treatment for pulls, strains, or sprains. Before you know it you will be moved in and up and running in your new facility.

Also read: Using Your Building as a Marketing Tool and Investigating Ancillary Services for Your Practice (A White Paper)


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Tags: Medical Office Construction, the Wolgast Way, Scheduling, Safety on Site, Dental Office Construction

Safety On Site - What It Can Mean For Your Construction Project

Posted by Cory Sursely on 7/29/2011

Safety Manual ImageSafety is an important aspect of any business but especially in construction, where a little accident can have serious impacts to those involved; the workers, the owner and the contractor.  First and foremost, it is our concern to keep all of our workers healthy, so they can go home to their family each night and be a consistent provider both physically and financially, as well as a reliable contributor to our team.  That’s why it’s important to have a General Contractor who is not only following the codes and regulations, but has incorporated a culture of safety into their operations.

Furthermore, an accident with equipment will mean having to delay progress if that item was important for the next steps as parts, or an entire new unit, has to be ordered and delivered and any site damage repaired.  An example would be improper hoisting and installation of an HVAC unit.  Perhaps, the unit swings into a wall, or worse yet, falls to the ground.  Barring no injuries, there will be the need to repair where the building was struck, plus the damage of the HVAC unit, which will incur further costs to the project and delays as the unit can no longer be installed and perhaps work has to be put on hold because that unit had to be in place to continue forward with the schedule.

All work sites are subject to OSHA and governmental inspections. Non-compliance issues because of a lax attitude on safety can lead to work slowdowns, stoppages, and fines because safety was not the first priority of everyone on the job.  If a physical injury accident or, insufferably, death occurs, then that same lax attitude on safety can come back to devastate the workers or their family, contractor, General Contractor, or owner as fines, lack of proper insurance coverage, and possibly even criminal charges are heaped onto those involved.  The investigation alone will stop work on the project and if the contractor or General Contractor is put out of business, you then have to find someone who is willing to take the place of the contractor that was shut down. This will likely be at a premium and again cause severe costs and scheduling issues.

That is why it’s important to have a General Contractor like Wolgast Corporation on your team. Wolgast not only focuses on working safe and following regulations (for both themselves and subcontractors) but Wolgast also factors in the extra time to do a job safely.  This makes for a more realistic delivery schedule and expectations for all involved and less stress for the owner who now knows that safety is an important part of everything being done.

Tags: the Wolgast Way, Safety on Site, Good for Business, Risk Management

Staying Open During Construction

Posted by Cory Anderson on 6/9/2011

Busy Business Owners Can Build, Too

By: Cory Anderson, Executive Assistant


It’s a classic case:  a thriving company is busting at the seams and needs to remodel or add to their building to make room for future business, but the thought of construction stopping or slowing production stifles the owner from taking the risk of expanding.  So what is a business owner to do?  Instead of putting it off until they lose business because they can’t accommodate any more customers, they should find a contractor that will work with them to keep their operations running.

During the planning stages of a construction project, “not inconveniencing the customer” is an actual thing that is discussed and creatively considered.  Your project manager and project supervisor should discuss with you different ways that will allow your staff to keep functioning during construction.

Getting Creative

Restaurants need to keep serving food to customers.  If any area other than the kitchen is being remodeled or updated, the drive-thru or take-out should be available to keep customer flow happening. 

Other service businesses can benefit from moving equipment and furniture to areas in the building that have been prepped for the temporary workspace.  A Project Supervisor should be able to work with you to plan, schedule and assist during the transition.

Schools prefer to have all construction happen in the summer and in most instances that is the best way to do it.  However, it isn’t possible to finish some projects within the three month time-frame.  Therefore, work schedules can be adjusted so that construction happens during off-peak hours or added safety measures can allow for construction on occupied sites during school hours.

Another means for less disruption is getting through construction quickly, which is Wolgast’s specialty.  For more than 60 years, we have built a reputation for speed and will apply our systemized approach to quickly complete your project, too.

In summary, through necessity and an understanding of business operations, a contractor can creatively find ways to keep businesses open if it is possible.  I have compiled photos and case studies of remodels and additions where the business did not have to close down or slow operations. 

Projects Open During Construction

Tags: Medical Office Construction, Schools, the Wolgast Way, Safety on Site, Dental Office Construction, Good for Business