Construction and Engineering: The Craneburg Process

Construction and Engineering: The Craneburg Process
by Glyn

We are a construction company but really, what do we do?

Ask anyone of our employee to describe what we do in the most basic term, and the response will be “we build QUALITY civil infrastructure; roads; bridges; buildings; water and wastewater installations etc.” That’s indeed a basic and distilled explanation of what we do. People are mostly interested in finished products and this answer is an appropriate response to that desire.

Out of sight and behind the elementary explanation is work that’s dependent on processes, intense technical details, includes a variety of methods and techniques, and requires an advanced and versatile equipment fleet.

Culture: the first step in construction methodology.

All construction companies make claim to quality and competitive rates. It’s called marketing!  But do they “walk the talk”?  Most issues that take place on projects are caused by human error, lack of responsiveness, not paying attention to detail, lack of pre-planning etc.  What causes this behaviour?

We believe that the way to “walk the talk” begins with teaching employees our core values. Customer satisfaction is at the nucleus of our values because we realise that businesses cannot be successful without this simple value. Honesty is another core value that is right alongside customer satisfaction.  One can usually summarise a company quickly by what its employee’s attitudes portray, and they usually reflect the calibre of leadership in the organisation.

The core values of the organisation are held by the culture we have built here over the years. For a construction company, our culture is distinct with a fine blend of clan, adhocracy and market culture. This mix closely fits the direction and strategy of Craneburg; in approaching upcoming goals; describes our history to date, and is appropriate for the kind of business we do. We built this culture through deliberate efforts; showing genuine interest in employees’ well-being, setting targets and discovering innovative ideas. This has ultimately translated into finished products that are top notch and serves the customer’s best interest.

Attention to data

Our commitment to quality and culture for perfection implies; we don’t start a project without due diligence. Every project begins with a thorough data gathering and analyses exercise, to collect technical information which helps us examine what’s beneath the project’s feet. These technical details such as soil types, groundwater tables and other geotechnical data help us determine the best solutions and proper equipment and tooling selection. Our attention to detail is helped by our high calibre in-house experts across various field; design, MEP; QS etc.

 

The solution

After analysing the data, Craneburg determines the right methods and equipment to get the job done. Choice of equipment can make or break a project thus it’s important to get it right at first go.

For instance, Craneburg is the first contractor in Nigeria to design and construct a concrete highway. The project was a 10-kilometre road with high traffic counts – particularly heavy trucks. We concluded that concrete was a desirable choice because it simply holds up better under heavy loads. What was really unique, though, was the actual construction methodology. Our method involved the basic concrete mix of portland cement, coarse aggregate, sand and water, with unique admixtures added to increase workability, reduce the required amount of water, mitigate harmful chemical reactions and improve its physical properties. This technique minimises concerns for wear or tear compared to traditional asphalt and bitumen technique, which requires high maintenance cost because of wear and tear.

Having the right approach for a construction project is quite critical and requires lots of professional thoughts.

Staying the path

Quality and on-time delivery are quite important to us at Craneburg. We ensure this is achieved through a thorough Project Management (PM) plan which encompasses the project scope, project risk, project calendar and resource requirements. The PM plan projects the basis for monitoring, control and risk mitigation. Speaking of Project Management, our decades of experience have shown us that there’s not one-fit-all methodology. We’ve utilized a number of methodology including the waterfall methodology, agile methodology, lean method and critical chain. The choice of methodology comes to a myriad of reasons but that doesn’t matter much to us because we’re adept at all.

Once a project is underway, we ensure the communication lines are kept open to all stakeholders, by giving updates and feedbacks; our aim for communication is to ensure that every stakeholder has enough information to make decisions on the progress of the project. Usually, we use a status report has all the updates and information, ensuring everyone is kept in the loop. Our Projects are monitored tactfully by the team; we take note of critical projects milestones as a basis to match with the target that was set at project initiation.

Quality is achieved through our dedicated team of quality control experts, who ensure conformity to quality specification through constant monitoring and testing.  Test is carried out on different elements of the projects such as soil compaction, strength of concrete, welding etc. It is very crucial to have a very structured approach towards quality control, to ensure risks are mitigated to the barest minimum. Our practice is to draft a quality management program, devise a quality management process, train supervisors on the process, implement a control system, hold people specifically accountable, and review performance and results.  Also, continuously improve the process where possible. We understand that quality control is not just a routine but are necessary steps taken to ensure quality specifications are met. While it is advisable that quality standard be clearly specified, there are cases where it isn’t.  Hence, we proceed in crafting a mockup or sample of the work should be made and approved so that it may be used as a standard to which subsequent work may be compared.

The product

Most times the quality of our output may not be determined at the facade just as the carats of gold may not be counted merely by its looks. However, when any of our employees say we build quality civil infrastructures, it is because they have been absorbed into the process of quality. The result of our stringent processes is a finished product at the highest standard. Find some of our projects here.