Cajun Industries is striving to erase division lines and become the preferred one-stop builder capable of catering to all client needs. A great example of this was the Baton Rouge Civil Business Unit reaching down in the trenches to help the Industrial Buildings Business Unit in a time of need. There were no different Cajun titles, only one Cajun family.
Industrial Buildings is structured differently than most business units within Cajun. Unlike others, Buildings follows a general contractor model. For instance, roughly 50 different scopes and 25 different subcontractors are being utilized to complete the three buildings at LACC, LLC in Lake Charles, Louisiana.
The major key to success is strong management that is highly focused on planning and coordination. An extreme challenge is having many scope types and subcontractors, and holding them all to Cajun’s expectations and culture. A great deal of effort is focused on managing subcontractors over self-performance. As Industrial Buildings grows, so will the self-performed scopes. This benefits Cajun across the board, allowing more control in safety, quality, growth, and finances.
In late 2016, Industrial Buildings was awarded the three buildings on the LACC project. The first building was a large two-story office with high-level finishes. The second building was a laboratory to be used in testing the chemical plant’s product. Although the laboratory is small in comparison to the entire plant, it is crucial, because no product can be introduced into the market until it has lab tested. The third building is a security building, which will be inspected and then turned over to Homeland Security.
Industrial Buildings mobilized and began construction at the LACC site on July 5, 2017. Engineering issues delayed the start, causing the schedule to become more critical. Industrial Buildings subcontracted out the majority of scopes, including the foundations. The subcontractor performing these foundations unexpectedly claimed bankruptcy. Nevertheless, the show must go on. Figuring out how to lessen the impact on an already strained schedule proved challenging. Phone calls were made and Cajun’s Civil Business Unit rallied to rectify the situation.
When in need, there were no visible business unit lines, just one big Cajun team. Supervision and manpower consisting of rodbusters, form carpenters, helpers, operators, and more were diverted to the LACC site to “right the ship.” The day of the call, the Sasol site began preparing employees with drug screens and orientations to meet the requirements of LACC access. After less than a week, the job began making progress. Cajun successfully installed approximately 37,000 square feet of concrete between the three buildings. The owner was aware of the unfortunate incident and pleased with Cajun’s recovery. The selfless aid to help the LACC project, no matter the business unit, is a testament to the advantages and growth of one Cajun.
Greg Schexnayder | Construction Manager, Industrial Buildings