Q&A: Director of Construction Mario Miranda Discusses Keys to Success & Exceeding Expectations

As a 30-year veteran in the construction industry, Mario Miranda – ETI’s Director of Construction – is equipped with a deep knowledge of how to efficiently complete projects of all types. Having worked in a variety of roles, he combines on-site expertise and strategic project oversight to execute construction solutions aimed at exceeding client expectations.

We sat down with Mario recently to discuss the steps ETI takes to successfully manage projects, from start to finish, while closely adhering to client expectations.

How does ETI prepare for the commencement of a new project?
The initial communication stage is critical to the success of any project – that’s when discovery questions are asked and the client’s overarching project goals are set. Before we begin any project, we need an intimate understanding of the scope as it relates to the client’s intended project outcomes. So, we do that by asking the right questions regarding the client’s budget, timeline, and of course, their final vision.

When it comes to customer expectations, what steps does ETI take to ensure the company goes above and beyond?
We emphasize having a thorough understanding of both the client’s most critical needs and how the client visualizes the final product. We then take that vision and assemble a detailed roadmap for how to get there. The devil is truly in the details, and a lot of those details can be made clearer by asking:

  • What are the goals of the project?
  • What are the constraints?
  • How can we help you overcome those constraints to achieve those goals?

Understanding those answers from the outset and establishing open lines of communication between ourselves and the client is vital to the success of any project we undertake.

Are there any specific projects you can reference that exemplify that kind of success?
My favorite projects are those that use the client’s expectations and final vision as the key guidelines for creating the project roadmap, and then using our expertise to navigate that roadmap and deliver a quality solution to the client. Nothing is more satisfying than using client collaboration to establish a game plan on paper, and then seeing that game plan come to fruition in reality.

There are a variety of projects that fall under that criteria. One example is a multi-family renovation project we completed in Justice, IL. Another is a single-family condo renovation in the Fulton Market neighborhood. In both instances, the client and ETI worked as a team to communicate effectively, establish attainable project goals, and see those goals achieved, on-time and on-budget.

How do you overcome the current market challenges facing general contractors and construction firms today?
Overcoming challenges like rising costs, labor shortages, and material delivery delays is difficult – but by no means impossible! We’ve overcome it by being more diligent and proactive. This also means increased communications with clients and vendors through our portal, setting realistic expectations about ETAs, being conscious of how these challenges affect timelines, and factoring those timeline changes into our project schedule and agenda.