In an industry where cover your own A$$ is often the motto, it is difficult to believe that there is someone out there looking out for you. At least I hope your detailers are looking out for you. If they aren’t, you will realize it very soon and this will probably not be a nice surprise.

If you are one of the lucky few who do have detailers that have your back, be careful not to take their concerns for granted. Often the extra mile some detailers are willing to walk is seen as irritating, unnecessary and time consuming. Yes, you are behind on the program and yes, that is the fourth email to the engineer with queries for the day and no, your detailer isn’t trying to delay the project on purpose.

Now imagine that project where your detailer just didn’t care, simply pushing drawings out so you can pay them and they can move on (to their next victim). You will still run into those queries but only once the steelwork is on site whereas by then you will have even less time to fix, change or replace steel. Maybe that detailer wasn’t asking unnecessary questions. What’s that old saying? Measure twice, cut once?

For many detailers and their clients, the drawings exchanged to fabricate and erect a project is seen as the product. This is what the detailers supply, and their clients pay for.

In my opinion this is absolute rubbish.

Detailing is not a drawing or even a fancy 3D Tekla Structures model, detailing is a service, a detailer is a proactive perfectionist with loads of pride in everything they commit to. But let us forget about detailing as a service for now as that topic deserves a blog of its own and will follow soon.

The ideal detailer is:

  • Experienced
    • Just remember experience comes from making mistakes.
  • Systemized
    • Systems are the proof that you do learn from your mistakes.
  • Organized
    • Detailing without planning is a recipe for disaster.
  • Perfectionist
    • Consistency is king.
  • Proactive
    • They should solve your problems before you know you have them.
  • Proud
    • Everything done with pride is better.
  • Considerate
    • The clients’ preferences should (as far as possible) be a priority.

The list can go on and on but ask yourself this question: Is your detailer a persistent serial email psycho? If so… appreciate them. Because in an industry where you mostly have to cover your own A$$, there is someone trying their best to cover yours…

Any thoughts on the characteristics of the ideal detailer?

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