General Manager

Construction Dispatch and Scheduling Software – Construction General Manager Interview


On June 23, 2021 we sat down with Ahmed, an underground construction company general manager to learn how he uses the VIZZN dispatch and scheduling app.

Greetings construction and operations management fans! I’m here with Ahmed, who is the general manager of an underground construction company in Alberta, Canada.

VIZZN: Ahmed, can you give me a little background on your day-to-day functions as a general manager in an underground construction company and what kinds of projects you work on?

Ahmed: I’m responsible for efficient project setup, that the necessary people and equipment are available for continuous mobilization to sites, optimizing equipment as necessary, ensuring that innovations are being implemented properly and efficiently. Resource availability is a big factor in our day-to-day operations, manpower level job costing and live job costing are things I have to stay on top of as well.

Scheduling is also something that we look at. So from a day-to-day perspective, those are things that we look at and ensure that we’re very efficient in the results of those. But from an overall level, we’re looking at the progress of tenders (bids) to ensure that we’re we have a competitive edge on the market.

VIZZN: The projects themselves, what are geographic areas and what are the types of projects?

Ahmed: We are primarily a residential subdivision contractor servicing in the greater Calgary area. And we are also in the earthmoving business as well. But the mother company has been founded on building communities and services and lots for developers. Some of the developers that we do work for are some of the bigger developers in the region such as Brookfield, Qualico, Hopewell, and Genesis.

So chances are any individual in the greater Calgary area, who lives in one of those great communities, we serviced the lot.

VIZZN: What will be the size of these projects and the annual dollar budgets.

Ahmed: They do range in sizes between the minimum could be a 20 or 50 lot subdivision, and they can rank up to 400 loss subdivisions. Prime example last year and the new community that came up the Northwest Calgary Rocklin Park had 400 plus lots plus off sites and feeder mains.

So those are the kind of capacities if you’re talking about dollar figures, you’re ranging between a minimum of $1 million subdivision to over $25 million in value.

VIZZN: That would be the underground project sizes for your company, correct?

Ahmed: That’s right.

VIZZN: Let’s talk more about your role as a general manager. Who do you report to and who reports to you?

Ahmed: I report to the President. My team is the operations manager, superintendents, and project managers. Those are individuals or team members who directly report to me.

VIZZN: Within your division, how many pieces of equipment are used by your project teams?

Ahmed: Each project or subdivision would require somewhere between seven to 10 pieces of equipment. And in a busy season, we run about 10 to 12 crews. So, on a given day, we’re roughly occupying between 100 to 120 pieces of equipment on the underground side. The rough grading side of the earthworks side is also within that range between seven to 10 pieces of equipment on each job site dependent on the capacity of the job. So the earthworks department probably also runs between four to five crews maybe even up to seven or eight crews. So you do the math and you immediately get to be between 150 to 200 pieces of equipment.

VIZZN: What are some of the equipment?

Ahmed: We have excavators, the 800 series, for example. And an 800 series is just the way that they’re defined – 800, 850, 870. Those are the equipment that we carry on the underground and some of the smaller pieces of equipment could be packers and water trucks, for example. We also have rock trucks, dozers and pushcats. Some of the other smaller equipment could be tractor backhoe with like 710s and smaller excavators like the 200 series of 300 series. From a scraper perspective, you got 657s; those are the bigger scale scrapers that we utilize as well.

To be continued…

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