6/25/18 – The San Diego Union-Tribune: Market Update - Gafcon Strengthens Construction Management Practice with McDowell Scheduling Acquisition
Gafcon, Inc., an award-winning construction and program management firm based in Southern California, is expanding its construction expertise with its recent acquisition of Orange County-based McDowell Scheduling, experts in efficient planning for complex construction projects.
Gafcon uses sophisticated technology tools to visualize project timelines in conjunction with construction progress. (Graphic: Business Wire)
McDowell utilizes sophisticated software and decades of experience to identify challenges and potential delays, helping clients develop projects on time and under budget. The firm’s experience ranges from developing and monitoring schedules for private organizations like Downtown Disney to planning large-scale public transportation projects for Caltrans.
Construction schedules are complex plans that provide a roadmap and guidepost for work before and during construction. Industry analysts have found that as many as 75% of projects fail to finish on time due to inadequate and incomplete focus on the interaction of activities and tasks needed to complete the project. In an industry where time is money, effective and accurate scheduling is one of the most critical components of effective construction management.
Founded by Philip McDowell in 1988, McDowell Scheduling boasts a proven track record and has been responsible for more than 3,000 project schedules. McDowell joins Gafcon as their director of scheduling.
“I’ve been developing schedules since before computers were commonplace in construction. Being able to mentally build a project and envision the entire sequence of work is a lost art, like a great director storyboarding an entire movie before filming even starts,” McDowell said. “My partnership with Gafcon and the resources they offer will allow us to build a truly world-class scheduling team, a significant value-add for our clients.”
As an owner’s representative, Gafcon manages overall construction project operations to achieve efficiency in cost, quality, and time. The company has offices in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Orange County.
“The acquisition of McDowell Scheduling creates an unparalleled advantage for Gafcon in our industry. Philip is a true thought leader and understands the detailed logistics of each construction project type,” said Robin Duveen, COO of Gafcon. “His 30 years of insights will be a significant differentiator for our scheduling department and our clients.”
Beyond high-quality schedules, McDowell is partnering with Gafcon on developing the next generation of technological tools for project modeling and data visualization. These new graphic tools will aid in distilling complex project management information into a format that is easily understood by owners, contractors, and managers at all levels.
“Philip brings a truly impressive expertise in scheduling. He is a seasoned veteran who will help Gafcon find new time and cost efficiencies for the owners we represent,” said Sean Olcott, Gafcon’s virtual design and construction director. “We are already collaborating on innovative solutions that combine advanced scheduling with Building Information Modeling (BIM), geographic information systems (GIS), reality capture technology, and data visualization.”
McDowell’s role with Gafcon includes a strong mentorship component. Already an active educator in the scheduling field, having taught Construction Planning and Management Systems at UCLA Extension, McDowell will train the next generation of Gafcon schedulers from the lessons learned through his storied career.
A sought-after expert witness in delay claims, McDowell has been called upon to offer forensic analysis in legal proceedings regarding delays in construction project delivery. This expert evaluation can save owners millions by identifying the causation of project delays or defending costly delay claims by contractors. His specialized knowledge augments the deep bench of forensic consultants already on Gafcon’s team.
Since the acquisition was finalized on March 1, McDowell’s skills have been utilized for creating schedules on Gafcon projects in the educational, hospitality, and healthcare sectors. Gafcon looks forward to providing the “best in class” scheduling services in the industry.