Jerry Barlow: Q&A with Construction Site Manager on Quality
At Gray, our purpose is to make a difference in people’s lives by creating unforgettable customer experiences and great projects. At the heart of that mission is Safety and Quality. To accomplish these goals, we rely on all our team members, but when it comes to Safety and Quality, much of the weight is carried by our site managers. We spoke with Jerry Barlow, one of those site managers, about what Quality means to him and how Gray’s program stands out.
Can you tell us what your normal workday or “day in the life” is like?
On a typical day I will arrive early, grab a coffee, and listen as the team comes in to get a feel for the atmosphere of the team. Quality begins with attitude. Throughout the day, there will be customer meetings, PM meetings, subcontractor meetings, etc. Between these, I really like to walk the site–taking my time to see the so-called “forest” and focus on the “trees”. I often have team members or others come up to me to ask what I’m doing. My response is often “just looking”. Then, in conversation I’ll ask, “What do you think about that?” That often involves pointing something out that doesn’t quite fit or meet expectations.
I also like to walk with the team members one-on-one and learn from them. I like to hear what they see and thoughts on processes or installations as they progress. At the end of the day, I like to review the upcoming days and weeks with the team.
What does Quality mean to you?
Quality is the expectation of achieving the best. This applies to your work, attitude, and life. I often discuss with team members how Quality is a member of the big four in the construction world: safety, quality, schedule, and cost. Much like any championship team, it takes all four performing at their best to find success. If we as a team have succeeded in supporting these to a win, we know we have given our best.
How has Gray’s Quality program changed since your time at Gray?
Being relatively new to Gray, I have seen more support and conversation with our Quality team. This has bolstered my confidence in making the calls and expectations for work to be completed right the first time.
Explain the role of technology as it pertains to Quality.
The use of tablets in the field by Gray personnel as well as subcontractors has allowed drawings and information to be in hand at the point of use and review. I push for and support team members use of new technology and software.
What sets Gray’s Quality program apart from others in the industry?
I am most impressed by our Gray leadership. They are adamant that Gray will always do the right thing even when it is not necessarily our so-called “responsibility”.