Creative Problem Solving Tips for Industrial Contracting Projects

After 35 years as industrial contractors specializing in heavy equipment, we at Lee Contracting have experienced our share of complex challenges – and how to solve them. Customers often come to us with an end result in mind, but aren’t always sure how to get there. That’s where we come in. Our team excels at creative problem-solving to help customers achieve their goals.

Typical Problems Customers Face

It’s not uncommon for customers to ask for a specific outcome without knowing the steps to achieve it. Or in other cases, they assume they know what’s needed when the job could be completed more efficiently than they originally thought.

For example, one of our customers knew they needed a substantial foundation but wasn’t sure of the best size and configuration. The customer believed they needed a 10-12 feet foundation around their machine, but after our assessment, our experts determined an 8-foot foundation would suffice, saving the customer a significant amount of money.

Another typical problem we encounter in industrial contracting projects involves space constraints. A large automotive manufacturer had to install several large machines in their plant but had limited floor space. Instead of expanding the square footage, our team proposed creating a mezzanine platform for the equipment, which doubled their usable floor space. This industrial contracting solution was so successful we replicated it for 13 other setups.

First Steps in Problem-Solving

When tackling a new problem, you must have a plan. The first thing we do is to thoroughly assess and understand our customer’s end goal. Then we work backwards from there to determine the best way to achieve the desired outcome.

Once the end goal is understood, we evaluate the facility’s infrastructure. This might include checking power availability, cooling systems, ceiling height, drainage, or numerous other factors that may affect the project or the result. This is important because water bodies could affect structural integrity or require specific measures to ensure compliance and sustainability.

Next, we tap into our brain trust. Lee Contracting has the unique benefit of employing 13 industrial contracting trades plus the tools, equipment and an in-house fabrication shop , so we’re able to look at the problem from all perspectives. We gather all our teams for a creative brainstorming session to explore every opportunity and potential obstacle. Lee Contracting hires the smartest, most experienced minds in the business, who bring creative problem-solving skills and a history of successful outcomes. Our processes combined with our expertise contributes to the development of highly efficient, innovative industrial contracting solutions.

The In-House Advantage 

Our comprehensive, in-house expertise across 13 trades is our secret to creative problem solving and execution. By offering a one-stop solution, we eliminate the need for multiple subcontractors, which leads to seamless project communication, scheduling and implementation.

A great case in point is when a leading environmental services provider approached us to build and install large, hazardous vault tanks in the ground. They had rebuilt the tanks in years prior, but the company they hired shut down the facility for 24 weeks while they fabricated the tanks in place. To reduce the downtime, our team got together to come up with a more efficient plan and timeframe. By leveraging our in-house industrial contracting capabilities, we were able to condense the fabrication time from 24 weeks to just three weeks, building the tanks at our facility and transporting them using custom trailers and escorted loads.

Another notable project involved managing the installation of a one-million-pound, 200-piece helicopter dyno in a room that was only six inches larger than the machine. This required meticulous planning and execution from our rigging crew, who drafted strategic lift plans that ensured each component was maneuvered precisely and safely into place, despite the significant spatial constraints.

Tips for Effective Problem-Solving

When problem-solving difficult industrial contracting issues, having the right team is a must. Here are a few more tips that can help you tackle tough challenges more effectively:

  • Know Your Resources: Identify who the experts are on your team. While most of our team members are cross-trained, there’s always an expert with specialized knowledge available to assist in any given area.
  • Utilize Historical Data: Review case studies and historical data from similar projects. This information can provide valuable insights into how to approach the task at hand.
  • Build Strong Relationships: Maintaining good relationships with customers is essential. Transparency and collaboration build trusts and aids in resolving issues quickly.

Have a tough industrial or heavy equipment challenge you need solved? Contact our experts, who can devise a solid solution to your most complex project needs.