Project directors oversee the development of a facility from start to finish and are the main points of contact between Haskell and its clients.

July 14, 2021

Longtime Project Director Stresses Need for Great Client Relationships

Drawing on Haskell's industry-leading Quality program and broad-based expertise, these veteran leaders ensure that each project exceeds expectations.

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Haskell has more than 1,600 Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) professionals dedicated to the core values of Team, Excellence, Service and Trust. To many clients, all of that expertise and each of those high standards is embodied in the person of the project director.

Project directors oversee the development of a facility from start to finish and are the main points of contact between Haskell and its clients. Trust is the essential component of the position, because clients rely on those men and women to organize and lead the team tasked with delivering the best possible solutions.

Charles Bateh

“From the client’s perspective, project directors are the face of The Haskell Company,” said Charles Bateh, Director of Project Development in Haskell’s Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) Group. “Project directors essentially streamline communication between the client and the rest of the Haskell team working on the project.”

Bateh knows from long experience the critical role that project directors play. He started at Haskell in 1982, left the company in the mid-1990s, and returned in 2006. With almost 40 years of experience, Bateh has seen first-hand Haskell’s growth from a small local firm to an expansive international enterprise.

Often, he said, it has been the project director’s performance creates the bond with long-term clients.

“Building and maintaining client relationships are imperatives for a successful project director,” Bateh said. “Much of Haskell’s business comes from repeat customers, so it’s vital for project directors to provide the outstanding Architecture/Engineering/Construction (AEC) solutions clients have come to expect.

Haskell has about 60 SMEs with knowledge and proficiency across virtually the design and construction disciplines in-house and available to Project Directors for consultation about project development and planning.

“In short, our job is to sell Haskell’s methodology, design-build, to potential and existing clients, and we’re able to do that because of our dedication to the project and the impressive number of services Haskell provides in-house.”

Haskell’s Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) and Quality department set it apart in the AEC industry, he said.

With a relentless focus on delivering work that exceeds client expectations, Haskell has a team of 28 dedicated Quality specialists who ensure the consistent application of processes and achievement of project requirements across all projects, clarifying responsibilities, incorporating continuous improvement and limiting rework. Its newly released Quality Performance Rating (QPR) system is a groundbreaking business intelligence dashboard that tracks and illustrates relevant data in real time.

“A Quality department in an AEC firm like Haskell is almost unheard of,” Bateh said. “The resources they provide to our teams are invaluable. Having an entire team of Quality experts in-house gives Haskell a significant edge over its competitors. Project directors can rely on the Quality department to ensure that every aspect of a project meets both the client’s and Haskell’s standards. The Quality team’s expertise has saved us a lot of time and money over the years, because they’ve been able to catch design or construction errors well before those mistakes become irreversible problems down the line.”

Further, Haskell has about 60 in-house SMEs with knowledge and proficiency across virtually all design and construction disciplines and available to Project Directors for consultation about project development and planning.

“Haskell’s SMEs are excellent sources of information for project directors,” Bateh said. “Take, for example, a geotechnical report. In the past, I’ve received geotechnical reports from clients that seem suspect. Therefore, I send it over to one of our geotechnical engineering SMEs who’s able to double check it and ensure its accuracy. Our team has caught and corrected quite a few mistakes similar to this example, and that wouldn’t be possible without Haskell’s SMEs.”

As veteran leaders, Haskell’s project directors’ rich industry experience gives them a keen eye for design flaws in the field that the engineers or architects might have missed, he said. They are adept at finding efficient and effective solutions for design and construction problems.

Recently, Haskell handled preconstruction on a project involving renovation of a production facility. The firm that drafted the design planned for the chilled water piping to be installed on the roof of the factory and above the production lines. Installing the piping above active production lines would have been costly, as supporting columns would have needed reinforcement and productions lines would have likely been temporarily shut down.

“Instead, our team worked out a plan to reroute the piping outside the building and around the facility,” he said. “As a result, the project was completed faster, without disrupting production.”

Haskell’s architects and engineers design most of what the company constructs, and the presence of experts from across the disciplines furnishes project directors additional problem-solving capabilities.

“Having access to an in-house design team has been critical to project directors’ success,” Bateh said. “Consulting with Haskell’s designers allows project directors to deliver the best possible AEC solutions to clients. Even if Haskell isn’t hired for the design part of a project, project directors and project managers can confer with Haskell’s designers to guarantee the project’s design won’t cause any significant construction issues.”

It’s collaboration with clients and project owners that makes the greatest impact, and Bateh said that as Haskell continues to expand, it is important for it to keep its “small company” approach to those relationships.

“Clients choose Haskell for its superior design-build strategies and its superb record of customer satisfaction,” Bateh said. “Haskell and its project directors have always prided themselves on communicating clearly and frequently with all clients. Therefore, Haskell should continue to maintain close, personable relations with its clients, even as it grows.”

Haskell delivers more than $1 billion annually in Architecture, Engineering, Construction (AEC) and Consulting solutions to assure certainty of outcome for complex capital projects worldwide. Haskell is a global, fully integrated, single-source design-build and EPC firm with over 1,800 highly specialized, in-house design, construction and administrative professionals across industrial and commercial markets. With 20+ office locations around the globe, Haskell is a trusted partner for global and emerging clients.

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