Securing Tiffany’s Jewels
The security industry is one that’s comprised of various elements coming together. There is generally a Security Vendor who quarterbacks selling and planning the job, then sub-contracts installation, often to more than one trade, and then outsources monitoring contracts for ongoing security services. These parent companies can be quite large, so the channels of communication and detail management can be extremely challenging to handle, and confusion abounds. There’s also a hefty detachment between the vendor and the ground level of the build, resulting in less attention to quality than normal oversight generally lends. Particularly for larger scale projects that involve a plethora of subsystems coming together, details abound and there needs to be an install/programming partner on the ground who’s tapped in on a detail level, works well with the general contractor and other trades on site, and can solve highly technical problems on the fly.
Xprt is all about detail management. Integrated subsystems often don’t talk with each other without a good deal of care and attention, and general contractors are presented with a similar challenge managing trades on a job site. Projects with remote management, and many trades are not uncommon, but retail store openings can add another layer of complexity and pressure. Retail is an hour to hour commercial exercise, where just an hour lost to failed point of sales systems can cost thousands in revenue, and customers to boot. Weeks spent on constructing a new store are incredibly costly. Malls also don’t like shrouding covering their units, so they strongly encourage fast build cycles. That ‘in and out’ pace that results in the build places ample pressure on GC’s and their trades. Pressure creates fraying nerves, and the operators on site easily fall prey to conflict.
As an experienced systems integrator, Xprt’s skill set is ideal for this challenge role. Alongside other integrated services, Xprt offers security install, programming and integration services. By acing as the sole provider for all low voltage (digital and electronic) work on a site, continuity, detail management, and integration with flanking systems are all vastly eased.
Cooperation between trades is not only one of the dimensions that affect a build. Clear and detailed documentation, properly shared amongst the various stakeholders, goes an incredibly long way to predicting problems, aligning physical positioning, and creating fluidity for the GC’s project.
Shared goal alignment, and the sacrifice of time and effort that comes with truly sharing wider project goals is another factor in promoting a cooperative approach to success. Project goals as described by the architect would seem lofty to any one trade in isolation – they invariably require contribution from many parties in concert. When trades operate in silos and focus on their own bottom lines, that might satisfy their company’s bookkeeper in keeping costs down, but it’s a disservice to the client. Xprt is a partner who believes firmly in growing our business by leaving a trail of great success behind us that we can point to to earn new work. By consistently going out of our way to appreciate and cooperatively work towards the overall project goals, we make ourselves a highly-valuable build partner, and win repeat business as a result. Winning over as many stakeholders on a project at the same time is our goal.
The approach being described above is Integrated Project Delivery. It’s a facet of design-build management that Xprt is a champion of, because it makes sense on every level. We want to be aligned with highly successful projects and clients alike, and going out of our way to make the project successful is not hollow rhetoric – it’s a way of doing business, and a pattern for our own processes. As a systems integrator, Xprt’s effort to refine detailed shop drawings that communicate our install plans extremely clearly are a key example of extra effort that few competitors offer.
This specific Tiffany & Co. store is a boutique built within a Holt Renfrew department store in Pacific Centre (Vancouver, BC). Xprt’s efforts were interleaved within many builds taking place in tandem, and the Tiffany’s build was completed ahead of schedule. Xprt’s installers were one of the few crews to meet the tight, initially-supplied deadlines of the project, often working with extenuated circumstances, even ahead of actual construction dependancies. This makes sense for us to do, as we try to work efficiently by attending with few, well planned visits. We come in organized to hit many areas of a project in a visit. In this project we even managed to accomplish pre-work that made it easier for the GC to align our and other trades specific efforts. Calling out areas of need with signage, and even spools of cable fastened and labelled before running their final leg, help a GC to envision and call out impending installation, easing scheduling and avoiding misses.
Xprt’s installers are used to working on high end interiors, like multi-million dollar homes. We come ready to provide a high degree of finish, meeting and frequently exceeding expectation for finished quality. Finished quality also requires a service strategy that will allow access to, and service of components without damage. Our installers are well-versed, and well equipped with the right fasteners to get the job done professionally. This Tiffany’s store features 3/4” thick marble floors, and several sensors needed to be installed in the floors, requiring due care and attention to the material. Another example of a nonstandard install circumstances that were handled adeptly were in and on the store’s safe. Safes require obvious care in security, and definitely require the right tools and equipment to avoiding damaging the workings of the safe itself.
Once install and programming are complete, we need to confirm that the systems are working. The worst case for a retailer is to incur a business interruption due to inadequate testing, so it’s a key aspect of success. We run through an extensive test procedure that exhaustively hits all the bases. A test procedure cannot be easily made both effectively exhaustive and standardized to all jobs though. We look carefully at the overall project, and script a procedure that efficiently runs through all the operations, and catches all the possible areas of failure we can brainstorm. Only then is a retailer truly ready to open shop with confidence and continuity.
Tiffany’s is one of the best-secured retailers in Pacific Centre, enjoying a high-end system, deployed on schedule, with effectively zero problems occurring after handover. In the stereotypically chaotic world of retail, that level of care and detail are necessary, but rarely carried off as adeptly as on this project.
Thanks To Our Partners
Xprt’s efforts at Tiffany’s would not have been possible without the diligent work of our partners, including Govan Brown Construction Managers, who were accommodating and detail-oriented. Their cooperation in allowing Xprt’s team to accomplish pre-emptive work to ensure we stayed on timeline both helped us remain on target, and allowed the Tiffany’s space to be completed well ahead of any others in the department store.