A day in the life of a Contracts Manager

What does a typical workday look like for a construction Contracts Manager at a manufacturing firm? We spoke to Russell Wilson, Contracts Manager at Smartroof, about what his role entails on a daily basis.

What is a Contracts Manager?

A construction Contracts Manager helps to win building contracts. They also help control costs and keep construction projects on track. Upon receipt of a commercial handover of a contract or new order, a Contracts Manager for Smartroof is responsible for the operational programming of both design and production, as well as the onsite installation of the Smartroof to comply with client build programmes. This includes all onsite health and safety and quality assurance to deliver the end product to the satisfaction of the client.

What is a typical day like for you?

4am: I have a meeting with an architect and builder about a self-build project in Fareham. The one-way journey is 184 miles, travelling on some busy major roads. The journey is 3hrs 20 mins on a good day with no congestion. I always allow for an additional hour on the journey time for traffic, leaving home at 4am to arrive onsite at 8.45am.

9am: An inspection of formation takes place with the client and builder.

10am: I debriefed both the client and the builder on scaffolding requirements, erection sequence, health and safety measures (including the temporary bracing of a free-standing masonry gable wall) and the agreed installation date.

10:30am: Vehicular access arrangements are then organised. As access to the site is restricted, the client is instructed to inform neighbours via letter about the work that will be taking place.

11am: I then have a follow up meeting with Southern Cranes to:

  • Size cranes: As there is restricted access with a small working area, we are recommended a 35 tonne city crane or a 40 tonne at half-rigged.
  • View overhead obstructions: A BT cable in the crane lifting zone is identified. Instructions are made for this to be removed by the builder prior to roof installation.
  • Buried services: The crane is to be positioned offset to the site drive to clear all buried services. Buried services include all the incoming water, electric and gas mains running down the main drive.
  • Ground conditions: All ground is made up with a hard core base that has not been CBR (California Bearing Ratio) plate tested to ensure that the ground can take the weight of the crane without destabilisation. The alternative to CBR testing is to provide large crane EKKI mats to reduce the outrigger loadings, reducing the overall ground bearing pressure.
  • Site access: As access is restricted with low-level branches from an oak tree, the builder is also instructed to cut back branches that are up to 3 metres.

12pm: I perform a daily weather check on XC Weather for the next day’s deliveries. The Smartroof product comprises of large solid panels and spandrels that act as a sail board in high winds, potentially making the installation a high risk activity, especially on windy days.

Deliveries are strictly controlled to fully comply with health and safety measures. The installation will only occur if the average wind speed is 15 mph (9.80 m/sec) or under. Should the wind speed be too high, the installation is postponed until the wind speeds have dropped to a safe working level.

High winds were identified on two of Friday’s deliveries, so these deliveries are rescheduled with the client, factory, haulier and installation teams and the cranes are cancelled and re-booked.

4pm: The road network is not as bad on the return trip, so I arrive home at approximately 4pm.

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