Markets refers to the marketability, viability and feasibility of construction and related projects. The markets factor in choosing a dream home must have social and economic considerations, otherwise we end up with “white elephants” in most country sides. The same markets factor is considered when constructing a road according to social and economic needs and the existing prioritizing. In both examples above, typical questions such as what are the returns on the investment arise before investing in the marketable venture. At 8M Construction Digest, we group property and real estate dealers such as Knight Frank, Jomaji, Arkwright, etc under this category.
The methods factor refers to the sound and professional technical methods or ways of planning, design, construction maintenance and many times intentional destruction of projects. Consider for example a marketable hospital: The architect, engineers, and quantity surveyors will carry out designing and produce plans, drawings and bills of quantities that will provide a basis for visualizing a value for money construction object. The hospital, built on paper then will indicate the scope of work to be done, effectiveness, quality and cost estimate of the buildings, and the time it may take to complete the structures. Clear maintenance strategies will be derived. After its life span, say of 200 years, methods of destroying the building without drastically affecting the environment will be applied. These methods vary and are learnt by the respective professionals. It’s never by chance, for example, that a reinforcement column supporting ten floors above it has a certain diameter. No; forces, moments, effects of bending and torsion are considered by the structural engineer to make sure that the column size he or she designs provides the required strength, safety and economy. At 8M Construction Digest, we group professional bodies and consultants such as the Uganda Institution of Professional Engineers, Uganda Society of Architects, consultancy firms such as MultiKonsults, Buildcost, Habitat Consultants, etc. under this category.
The management factor considers techniques of corporate planning of the mission and goals of the business, coordination of all activities, staffing, control management and staff to achieve the set marketable objectives using the technical methods. I can state without prejudice, that it may not necessarily be a technical professional to lead a construction project, but rather a seasoned manager. I equally believe that where there is a technical professional versed with management techniques, he or she will be best suited to leading a technically oriented business or project. At 8M Construction Digest, we group government corporations, parastatals and a number of NGOs such as National Water and Sewerage Corporation, Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited, Uganda National Roads Authority, Kampala Capital City Authority, Ministry of Works and Transport, etc. under this category.
The Money factor deals funding all activities associated with establishing and managing business profitably. There is a need to look for funds to start the business. Equally important is to manage available funds to be used cost effectively and achieve good return on investment. Frugal financial management and instituting control mechanisms is key to profitability. At 8M Construction Digest, we group bankers and financial institutions such as Housing Finance Bank, NSSF, Stanbic Bank, etc. under this category.
Every business or project needs materials to make marketable products and services using the identified methods and management techniques and money. Essential here are procurement, storing and utilization of appropriate materials. Very often, research and development to identify suitable materials may be done by businesses. Materials on a building can constitute soils, cements, stones and aggregates, timbers, metal products, electrical appliances, paints and decorations and many others. At 8M Construction Digest, we group manufacturers and dealers in various construction materials such as Uganda Clays Ltd, Crestanks Ltd, Larfarge Hima Cement, Multiple Industries Ltd, etc. under this category.
The manpower factor deals with the men and women, who are taught to construct/manufacture/produce the marketable products using technical methods while being directed and controlled by management and utilizing money to achieve the goals of the business. Key here is identifying the right people, and training, motivating and controlling them to make the specified products and services. In the case of a contractor on a road project, manpower includes skilled and unskilled men dealing as surveyors, foremen, masons, machine/plant operators, storekeepers, security, health and safety personnel, drivers, porters and many others. At 8M Construction Digest, we group contractors and providers of construction services such as Pearl Engineering Limited, ROKO Construction, National Housing and Construction Company Limited, etc. under this category.
The machinery factor considers all tools, equipment and machines that are used to do work more efficiently and faster. Under such category and for any construction project are construction plant and equipment such as graders, bulldozers, motor vehicles, office equipment such as computers, printers, telephones; site equipment such as hammers, generators; building services machinery such as lifts and others. Important considerations here are procurement, utilization and maintenance of appropriate machinery. At 8M Construction Digest, we group manufacturers and dealers in various machinery such as Davis and Shirtliff, Draco Uganda Ltd, Eagle Aviation U Ltd. , etc. under this category.
The Mindset factor considers the much needed aspect of the mind to appreciate and seek markets to conquer by applying appropriate methods and management techniques, using any available money, materials, manpower and machinery. Many people still cry, “Gavumenti etuyambe” or “Let Government help us” in spite of having other 7M factors. I knew a gentleman (RIP out of poverty) who had 165 acres of land about 100 km from Kampala, with a creek passing through the land. He had a tractor that was missing one wheel. He nevertheless opted to be employed and get peanuts in Kampala. Many people lack that mindset, to create a management change of the mind and utilize any resources around profitably. What is Needed is proper guidance of information within the 7Ms, so that the mind can easily open up to the abundant opportunities around Uganda due to the wonderful climate, good soils and environment. At 8M Construction Digest, we consider organizations such as National Agricultural Advisory Services under this category.