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Wies Drywall and Construction, provides a broad array of services from light guage panelization to traditional drywall framing and install. The company believes in treating people well and providing customers with an exceptionally high quality product and service that helps keep customer’s competitive.
They have a strong ethos: “Honor The Past, Change With The Times”.
Hence, it’s no surprise that Wies Drywall and Construction has launched a completely separate Offsite Construction focused business, Wies Offsite. In this Spotlight we sit down with Offsight customer, Dan Wies, President of Wies Offsite and Wies Drywall and Construction to discuss his company’s push to Offsite Construction and how they’re preparing for the future of construction.
Q: Dan: What prompted the leadership team at Wies to invest in Offsite Construction now? What are the competitive advantages of doing so?
We decided to launch a separate business Wies Offsite, with a primary focus on prefabrication and modular construction. Our goal is to produce high quality prefabricated steel panels and components for our projects and scale our product offerings from there, potentially adding steel volumetric at a later point. We know that investing in offsite construction now will pay huge dividends in the future. The industry is moving in this direction and at Wies our goal is to be ahead of the curve.
This will become especially crucial as more owners and contractors continue to move construction work offsite for long term cost savings and faster project delivery.
Q: Dan: We’ve heard about how many owners and general contractors are turning to offsite construction on their new projects, especially as we emerge from the pandemic. What do you see as some of the major drivers that are convincing owners and general contractors that this is the future of construction?
I think one major factor is the limited supply of onsite labor compared to project schedules. Today, we see the cost of traditional construction growing exponentially. Sometimes to the point where owners are left recouping costs on commercial and residential projects for several years. The materials costs have also risen substantially due to the pandemic and this compounded with the labor shortages has resulted in enormous pressure on owners to seek more efficient methods of construction. As a result, we’re seeing a pretty rapid rise in interest in offsite construction. We see owners exploring offsite and prefab options on many new projects and factories being built to cater to their needs in the coming years. At Wies, we view the transition to offsite as a far more efficient and essentially the long term solution to a lot of construction’s woes. We see our production needs and capacity growing rapidly over the coming years.
Q: Dan: What role do you feel technology plays in helping set up Wies Offsite for success and long term growth/scale? How have you used technology to drive your transition to Offsite?
Technology like Offsight plays a crucial role in setting ourselves up for success. As work moves to the factory, we realize that we’re building and scaling a new business process around factory production. This is operationally new for construction companies and having a technology solution in place that can manage some key elements of this new process (e.g. quality reporting, conformance and assembly checks, production tracking) is huge. Also, the ability to share the production progress and status on new offsite projects with our stakeholders adds a tremendous amount of confidence when it comes to moving projects offsite. In fact, we view this as an added sales advantage when it comes to bidding on future projects.
Also, one key benefit Offsight offers in particular is their ability to scale with our business. Over the coming years we expect our factory output to grow substantially and we will need to manage multiple projects over many production lines with various product types. Offsight’s internal tools allow us to easily adapt and continue to build out our production workflow as we scale. This is very important in our decision to adopt technology early on.