Why Use Prefab?

Labor Savings & Impact

Cartons on skidDirect Labor Savings: 40 to 75 percent labor savings versus “stick-built” process

Lower Installation Skill Level Required: Manufactured wiring systems require a lower skill-set and experience level to install.

Lower Labor Costs: Lower skill-set and experience required for branch wiring installation results in lower average hourly labor costs.

Layout and Non-Productive Labor Costs Reduced: Since the wiring systems are engineered and pre-fabricated in the factory, less time will be spent in the field on layout and planning execution of installations.

  • In the real-world of contracting, foremen and lead-men—those professionals responsible for planning and laying out branch wiring—often do not review plans and specifications until immediately prior to execution of the work. The resulting “learning-curve” detracts from actual productivity.
  • It is also not uncommon for other electricians and apprentices to be under-utilized during this planning and layout time.
  • Fast-track projects, accelerated schedules, delays caused by other trades, and other interference often leaves a foreman or lead-man little time to execute installations, much less time for proper planning.
  • Labor units included in commercially available estimating software as well as published NECA labor units do not include non-productive labor costs (such as field planning and layout, material handling, clean-up, etc.). These are all significantly reduced using an engineered and manufactured wiring system. These costs are often overlooked or not given enough weight by estimating departments.

Re-assignment of Skill-Sets: Since engineered and factory assembled systems can be installed by electricians with lower skill-sets and less experience, more experienced electricians can be reassigned to more complex systems such as distribution, conduit installation, and special systems.

Leveling the Manpower Curve: Electrical contractors are most often pressured to meet inspection schedules. This sometimes means a contractor must bring labor from other projects to meet schedules. This non-productive and costly practice may be eliminated when using a manufactured branch wiring system since branch wiring can be installed faster and with fewer workmen.

Material Considerations

Kneeling technician reviewing somethingReduction of Project Management & Overhead Costs: We provide a turn-key solution that requires minimal management oversight by your company. Project management costs associated with RFI’s, material take-offs, scheduling and material requisitions are virtually eliminated. One purchase order is issued for the entire manufactured wiring solution. This eliminates the issuance of multiple purchase orders for support brackets, junction boxes, plaster rings, fittings, wire, cable, wire connectors and miscellaneous hardware. Overhead costs associated with purchasing and accounting is significantly reduced.

Less Material Handling Costs: Since a manufactured branch wiring system results in fewer purchase orders there are less jobsite deliveries. Unloading trucks, storing delivered materials or distributing materials at the jobsite consumes significant man-hours. A manufactured branch wiring system arrives packaged with all accessory items required to complete the installation.

Elimination of Spot Buying: Electricians in the field routinely purchase commodities such as boxes, brackets, clamps, and other fittings in large quantities without actually knowing what is specifically required for the installation

  • Even the most experienced foreman can only give a best guess to the exact quantities and materials required for branch installations. Due to scheduling concerns and other factors that minimize planning, orders are often last-minute and rushed.
  • Rushed orders often prevent a contractor from shopping for the best price or validating that the material ordered is legitimately required in the field.
  • Quantities of commodities are often purchased in excess. Due to time constraints and the demands on a busy foreman, on-site inventory is often not fully considered. The resulting “material piles” are often scattered at multiple locations throughout a project site (i.e. in trailers, on parking decks, in an electrical room, etc.).
  • After a project is complete, it is not uncommon for a large stockpile of commodities to remain. Usually these items cannot be returned for credit; if they can be returned, the labor and management to do so is costly as well as a distracting nuisance. Returning these items to a contractor’s shop is also costly as it must be transported, sorted, and stored.

Man calculating somethingCable & Wire Purchases: Manufactured wiring reduces the quantity of cable and wire that must be stored on-site by over 90 percent. With copper prices exceeding $3.50 per pound, job-site theft has become commonplace. Just-in-time delivery of a manufactured wiring system ensures that cable and wire are installed only when framing is complete.

Reduction of Scrap: Because required lengths of cable are pre-engineered and do not need to be stored and cut on site, the quantity of scrap that results from branch wiring installations is reduced significantly.

Elimination of Material Stockpiles: Prefab branch wiring systems are shipped with all boxes, brackets, cables and fittings required for a complete installation. Crews will no longer have to search job site material stockpiles for oddball fittings, clips, wire connectors, etc. The elimination of this common job site activity increases efficiency and results in lower labor costs.

Other Considerations & Advantages

Cash Flow: Industry Schedule of Value (SOV) requirements dictate that branch wiring can only be billed after installation. Larger portions of the project are completed sooner, such as trim work, than with traditional methods of installation. Therefore larger amounts may be included on the SOV resulting in improved cash flow.

A hand holding out moneyReduction of Field-Generated Requests for Information (RFI): Layout engineers designing manufactured wiring systems will often encounter problems that require clarification well in advance of installations. RFI’s will be generated and answers obtained before production of the manufactured wiring system. Last minute, field-generated RFI’s will be greatly reduced due to the necessity of obtaining accurate information prior to production of systems. This means that field crews do not simply stop when they encounter a problem related to wall types, mounting heights, etc.

Adherence to Project Specifications: Our engineers will review and ensure adherence to project specifications prior to production. Specifications such as junction box sizes, device grade and color, wire size and type, and more will be incorporated into the manufactured wiring system. A thorough engineering review and oversight prevents costly re-work and delays.

Scheduling Compliance: Since installation labor is greatly reduced, compliance with scheduling requirements is more readily achieved. GC’s will be pleased with the electrical contractor who can meet or beat scheduling expectations; past performance is often times more important to a GC than simply price. Meeting schedules will eliminate any potential claims for back-charges and liquidated damages.