Integrated Project Services
- Written by: Integrated Project Services
- Produced by: Integrated Project Services
- Estimated reading time: 5 mins
Integrated Project Services (IPS) brings together a complete array of technical consulting, engineering, procurement, construction management, and commissioning and qualification services to help clients meet their business objectives by successfully implementing capital projects to improve operations. The company, headquartered in Lafayette Hill, Pa., started out in 1989 as a traditional architectural and engineering firm. In recent years, however, the company has carved itself a path for growth by focusing on helping optimize operations and maintain quality and compliance for companies within high-tech, biotechnology and pharmaceutical markets.
“Five or six years ago we had a strategy session to assess where the company was and where we wanted to see it go,” expands John Gilroy, PE, senior vice president and principal of IPS. “We decided ultimately to take on some additional risk by hiring a number of specialized industry professionals who would allow us to gain additional market share in the high-tech markets.”
IPS refers to this particular group of professionals as “subject matter experts,” and they serve as experienced industry liaisons that collaborate with the entire IPS team to develop cost-effective, efficiency-improving, technology-based business solutions that directly address the specific risks of enhancing technologies in highly complex facilities. IPS’ turnkey services incorporate a project’s architectural, MEP (mechanical, electrical and plumbing), and process, civil and structural needs.
IPS’ presence as a premier provider of integrated consulting, concept development and schematic design, project delivery and related compliance services has only grown, and the company now has 700 employees spread throughout offices in Indiana, Massachusetts, New Jersey and North Carolina, along with four offices in India and two in China to help clients establish efficiencies and consistency across multiple locations. IPS clients generally stem from highly regulated industries with high overhead costs and hefty research and development programs, so IPS subject matter experts and the company’s incorporation of Lean methodologies allows IPS to analyze a project’s entire life cycle to minimize waste and maximize value.
Leading with Lean
IPS stresses a holistic integrated approach that tailors each solution to a client’s needs. The company’s in-house staff is multilingual, and maintains global reach partnerships and alliances to assure a thorough understanding of and compliance to any and all regulations and guidelines. Including the client in the process, thanks in part to technologies like building information modeling (BIM), IPS establishes a time line that reflects any and all concerns and considerations. “We want our clients to see our team as an extension of their own staff,” reflects Gilroy.
One of the key elements IPS monitors is how to integrate energy-saving, efficiency-boosting technologies, both within a facility and within the process. IPS has been a leader of Lean project delivery since the company’s inception over 20 years ago. Gilroy himself is one of many Lean-certified professionals at IPS who focus on cost, quality, waste, redundancy and continuity to reduce project construction costs, project soft costs and shorten project time lines.
And the IPS team understands that every improvement adds up. The company developed a process dubbed “inceptioneering” that helps clients develop a visualized solution at an appropriate budget that still meets the client’s business drivers, quality and capital expenditure objectives. The process is part of the preliminary project formation stage that helps the IPS team jump start the process solution development phase and regulatory compliance initiatives, saving the client time and money.
“We have always focused on the small- to mid-sized projects and leveraging the resources we have to help manage capital expenditure,” adds Gilroy. In many cases, IPS will establish a core team of professionals on-site to facilitate any design, engineering, construction, commissioning and qualification endeavors in the long run, further reinforcing the team-minded approach.
This is imperative as IPS sees what it provides as a continually developing, multidiscipline service, not a single project. Technology continues to advance as client operations shift, what IPS can bring to a facility over time changes as well. For example, Gilroy notes that IPS currently has one client for whom the company currently has 85 active projects on site and for whom IPS has executed over 200 projects in the past two years. The projects have ranged in size from $50,000 to over $45 million across multiple buildings at the client’s campus.
In another case IPS was brought on to provide engineering, procurement, construction management and validation (EPCMV) services to expand a particle reduction processing facility by 50 percent. The new building provides over 85,000 square feet of space and eight mills of varied sizes to handle additional potent compounds that will be used for the high-energy milling of bulk active pharmaceutical ingredients and incipient materials. IPS improved the building’s layout to increase efficiency and facilitate Lean manufacturing processes.
IPS also delivered a strategic master plan to facilitate the site’s future developments, providing a design that would be flexible enough to account for increasing levels of containment. The project required IPS to coordinate with over 30 subcontractors and vendors in order to orchestrate a phased building occupancy and fluently execute the building’s start-up with intensive system training and turnover services.
Of course, to successfully operate as an extension of the client’s staff, IPS needs to maintain a sterling safety rating at every location and the company continually works to develop a corporate culture with robust quality and safety programs. The company was honored with the 2010 Best Region Safety Award for its work by a large, global pharmaceutical client, achieving an A-rating in safety conformance per ISNetworld, a global leader in conformance verification. In addition, IPS has garnered four Facility of the Year awards for project execution, equipment innovation, facility integration and operational excellence.
But IPS has never been the kind of company to rest on its laurels and Gilroy and the IPS team are already looking for additional tools that help clients and the IPS team work together to shave costs. Gilroy notes that the company has seen an increase in the use of Internet-based software systems that provide the IPS team with real-time data at its project sites to help the IPS team fine tune its seamless project delivery system.
IPS has designed and executed projects incorporating a modular construction approach. One of the cornerstones of Lean project delivery is optimization and eliminating waste. Modularization optimizes the fragmented capital project supply chain by reducing the number of interfaces and leveraging the skills of the marketplace. IPS has successfully delivered hybrid projects incorporating modular and “stick-built” components into technically complex pharmaceutical and biotechnology facilities; this approach realizes a reduction in the overall project schedule with minimum disruption to ongoing site operations, without sacrificing safety or quality, and all while providing significant cost benefits.
IPS will also focus on expanding its market focus to ancillary high-tech markets while continuing to refine its approach for emerging markets. The company is poised to continue developing its specialties in highly technical areas like single-use technology for biopharmaceutical production with the help of its subject matter experts. By working closely with clients and continually refining the company’s Lean methodologies, the experienced, committed leadership at Integrated Projects Services has positioned the company as a global leader in innovative, results-oriented business solutions in highly regulated industries.
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