Piedroba Consulting Group (PCG), a leading provider of technical consultancy services throughout the Americas, has had an exceptional 2014, filled with lots of activities and great accomplishments.
Dredging Today caught up with Piedroba partners Jelle Prins and Luis Prieto y Munoz to discuss their 2014 business year, the company’s experiences as well as new developments that have marked the year.
DT: How has 2014 been for Piedroba Consulting Group?
PCG: This year has been outstanding for both our company and the dredging industry as a whole. We added new clients to our portfolio, and have been working for Ports, the Federal Government, Contractors, and Cruise Lines.
There have been some positive developments in our industry. Both the passing of WRRDA (Water Resource Reform Development Act), as well as the exploration of attracting more private investment in water infrastructure in the U.S by means of WIFIA (Water Infrastructure Finance Innovation Act) are creating opportunities.
DT: Did Piedroba Consulting Group offer any new services this year?
PCG: Our efforts remain geared towards mitigating any project risk factors and liabilities, and protecting the interests of the contract owner. We have experienced that this service is of great value to our clients, and we are continuing to prefect and deepen our portfolio of service programs to better serve their needs.
Rather than offering new services, we are focused on improving what has been successful, through investing more heavily in our internal research. For example, we have studied previously completed capital dredging projects by analyzing the different problem areas. This allowed us to identify where and when different risks had a potential to materialize. This data has helped us to optimize our risk mitigation strategies, and develop new concepts that offer more value to clients.
DT: Why is Risk Management important on Dredging Projects?
PCG: Certain risks are inherent in all construction projects, and marine operations specifically tend to entail a high degree of uncertainty and are highly dependent on the quality and presentation of the site data obtained. Dredging projects, where adverse physical conditions or differing site conditions are not uncommon, are no exception given the high level of unforeseeabillity.
As a result, we have found that generally, the maximum risk exposure to dredging project owners is significantly higher then other construction trades; a project with an initial budget of $100 million can potentially become a $300 million project if all risks materialize. Many of these risks are manageable, especially when addressed and mitigated during the initial project phases.
DT: Can you tell us more about the Risk Management concept developed by Piedroba Consulting Group?
PCG: Our concept is broken down into five cardinal project phases: concept development, design, procurement, construction, and post-construction. Each phase is then extrapolated into a Multivariable Total Project Risk Management Model & Weighted for Cost and Risk. Dredging projects are unique, and each presents different risk factors exposing the stakeholders. Our model achieves to identify, asses, and offer mitigation programs for each of those risk factors.
DT: What makes this approach successful?
PCG: The willingness and understanding of our clients to anticipate rather than react. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of solutions. Risk Management strategies will be effective, especially when implemented during the initial phases of dredging projects. Roughly 85 percent of all the inherent risks are in the pre-construction phases.
Most of our clients realize that by developing a successful risk mitigation strategy and by focusing on certain risky aspects of the project, they have been able to preemptively limit their exposure to unnecessary liability. Our approach has been more successful because our clients are willing to invest in doing the proper site investigations, welcome early contractor involvement, and hire the right professionals; they understand how it makes their venture much more profitable in the end.
Dredging Today Staff