Antonio Garibay
Director General of Ingeniería en Administración de Contratos (IAC)

Guided Empowerment for a New Workforce In Project Management

Mon, 11/05/2018 - 18:19

In an industry constantly trying to boost performance, optimize resources and maximize benefits, innovation is crucial. According to Antonio Garibay, Founder of Ingeniería en Administración de Contratos (IAC), the best way to disrupt old processes is to empower the new workforce. “We need to grant a degree of confidence to our new collaborators through guided empowerment,” he says. “Education and training are the keys to achieve high performance and diversification, while learning from previous mistakes, especially in construction and management of infrastructure projects.”
IAC has built a multidisciplinary team of engineers, financial analysts and lawyers, among other disciplines, to provide all the in-house knowledge to structure and develop an infrastructure project in the most efficient way. “We add most value in the economic, financial, technical and legal optimization of the life cycle of infrastructure projects,” he says. “We are not a single-focus consultancy. We work across the borders of different areas to build a tailored solution for each development, regardless of whether it is in power generation, oil and gas, water, transport or manufacturing.”
In linking the different threads of a project to maximize its output, Garibay says education is key. “IAC stands out from other firms due to the amount that we have invested in theoretical and practical training for our people,” he explains. “But education does not end by studying a degree and carrying out an internship; it is crucial to have the ability to be multidisciplinary and to understand the different aspects of a whole project.” For example, IAC lawyers spend time on construction sites, enabling them to really understand what is going on in the project and learn about its technical and economical particularities on a daily basis.
When making the transition to a new workforce and empowering the existing one, it is also fundamental to allow existing employees to eventually be able to enjoy retirement. Since their expertise is most valuable at this stage, Garibay highlights their value as advisors and guides for the new people coming in, also giving them space to build their path and climb up the ladder. “We must not let existing employees become a bottleneck for the people behind,” he says. “We should not be afraid to empower the new workforce knowing that they will make mistakes but also learn in the process.”
But the new workforce is not entering the industry empty handed. According to Garibay, it has much to offer, such as the easy adaptation to new technologies, command of several languages and computing and social media skills. These are becoming ever more important in the context of Industry 4.0, IoT and IIoT. “New technologies for infrastructure developments are extremely useful for reducing risks of error and thus the possibilities of extra expenses and deadline modifications,” he says. “IT tools are disrupting the way project management is carried out. All these mediums and software facilitate the interfaces between suppliers and customers.”
For example, Building Information Modelling (BIM) is a technology improving project viability. “BIM is a medium to develop the whole life cycle of an infrastructure project, from its conception to its programming, execution, operation and maintenance,” he explains.
He says the new Mexico City Airport (NAIM) constitutes a great example of a development benefiting from innovative technological platforms, such as ACONEX. “This is a very friendly database that allows joint management of all database and supplier interfaces while enabling a global administration of information,” he says. IAC is taking part in the development of NAIM’s passenger terminal building and the third runway. “We have a well-established relationship with many of the participating companies, such as Carso and ICA so we were invited to help them with the contractual administration of their project scope,” says Garibay.