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November 13, 2020

Every commercial construction project is a significant undertaking that requires owners, designers, labourers, project managers, and financial overseers to be fully aligned on construction progress. Companies that embrace design build construction strategies enable more collaborative teamwork between the […]various stakeholders to ensure the project is completed on time, on budget, and that it meets the anticipated demands of the intended clients.

One of the most important functions of any commercial construction project is the commercial management part of the job. Along with each of the various stakeholders, the commercial management team tracks the progress of the construction to ensure the project remains financially viable. This allows the entire team to adjust the strategy if costs appear to be more expensive than initially forecast.

You might ask yourself what exactly is a commercial manager, and how does that team impact commercial construction? That’s what we’ll analyze in this article.

What does commercial management mean?

Commercial management is defined in similar terms throughout the western world. Today’s commercial business thought leaders define commercial management as “the identification and development of business opportunities and the profitable management of projects and contracts, from inception to completion.

What is commercial management in construction

In the construction industry, commercial managers are responsible for analyzing the fixed and variable costs of the entire project. They compare those costs to the anticipated income from tenants and business activity within the completed building to ensure the project remains feasible and profitable for the owners.

In any business, the goal is to maximize profitability and identify business opportunities that will generate greater revenue for the organization. A commercial construction project is no different. The project must be completed in a fiscally prudent manner to ensure that strategic decisions in regards to the progress of the construction are made using real quantifiable numbers to justify those ideas.

The commercial management team is invaluable to commercial construction. Since they handle the business operations, it’s their job to consult with architects on the feasibility of their designs. Commercial managers oversee costs forecast by site supervisors to ensure any excess costs for materials or labour are offset by savings in other areas of the project. The commercial managers keep the project moving forward and ensure budgets remain realistic and achievable.

There’s a great book entitled Commercial Management of Projects: Defining the Discipline that goes into greater detail about the role, the skills, and the expertise of commercial managers that you can consult for additional information.

What does a commercial manager do in construction

In the ideal scenario, the commercial manager is hired onto a commercial construction project as early as possible. It benefits the entire team involved in the construction to have a trained commercial manager participate in the tender process to ensure any risks in hiring specific contractors are factored into the financial calculations for the entire project.

Additionally, once a contract is agreed upon and put into practice, the commercial manager should have a role in overseeing the terms of that agreement. In particular, should the contractor submit a price range for particular services or materials involved in the construction, a commercial manager will understand how to legally apply a fixed time window to finalize the costs. This ensures that the project manager doesn’t overpay for skills or labour.

The commercial manager is also responsible for reporting on the financial aspects of the ongoing project to the owner and project manager. These reports allow the commercial manager to present new business ideas that can expand future income for the owner once the building is complete. By presenting all of these ideas in the context of fiscal updates, the commercial manager allows the owner to easily review the proposals and consider their potential with appropriate facts.

How do I become a successful commercial manager

A successful commercial manager learns to manage finances and negotiate with both co-workers and contractors with the utmost professionalism. These skills enable new commercial managers to build long and sustainable careers with expanded opportunities as time goes on.

Financial planning and analysis

This is one of the key talents of a good commercial manager. Financial forecasting allows the entire team to calculate a realistic budget for the entire commercial project, and enables all members of the team to do their part to keep costs in line with the planned finances.

Negotiations

A good commercial manager also has a strong sales acumen that can be put to good use in the art of negotiation. Every commercial construction project has multiple contracts with various parties that all need to be negotiated to the best possible deal for the building owner. A good commercial manager has the skills and know-how to arrange for the best possible deals.

Risk management

Some of the contracts negotiated during the project will carry inherent risks for the owner or the construction crew involved with the work. The commercial manager mitigates the potential risks to ensure all parties are protected and the integrity of the work continues without legal complications.

Project management

While the project manager is primarily responsible for overseeing the project, the commercial manager should have project management skills to enable a business-oriented outlook on how the project is proceeding. This will enable the commercial manager to recommend new business ideas or to propose a shift in strategy if there are financial overruns that were not anticipated at the outset of the project.

Final thoughts

Hiring a competent commercial manager keeps the entire commercial construction project on a smooth path towards the intended completion date. The commercial manager brings a stabilizing perspective and business acumen to the entire process, and ensures the owner receives the completed building they expect.

If your next project is in need of a skilled commercial manager, BUILD IT has access to an entire network of commercial professionals who are ready, willing, and able to guide your next construction project from ideation to completion. We’ll help you find a commercial manager whose skills perfectly align with the needs of your next project.

Looking for a construction partner for a turn-key solution? We can handle it from start to finish so you can focus on the growth of the brand. Get in touch with the experts at (905) 696-0486 or email [email protected] for more details.