An Interview with Matt Gaskin, Assistant General Manager of SurePods West
Since 2005, SurePods has led the way in prefabricated bathroom pod manufacturing. With the ability to deliver better quality, faster build times and easier project management throughout the entire design-build process, pods are increasingly replacing traditional bathroom construction across North America. To meet this growing demand, we recently opened the doors to our new SurePods West facility, which is centrally located in Phoenix, Arizona.
To understand more about the facility’s benefits, we sat down with Matt Gaskin, Assistant General Manager at SurePods West.
SurePods: How do you think opening a new SurePods prefabricated bathroom pod facility in the greater Arizona area will impact the industry?
Gaskin: “The West Coast is a huge market within the construction industry. We’ve always been able to service the area, but we’re now local to the market and a part of the community. This means we’re able to employ people with regional insight and experience and utilize their skills to build bathrooms that meet local challenges like seismic codes and the laydown constraints of tight metro sites.
Our facility’s central location also makes it possible to simplify bathroom pod shipping, which is huge when you consider the exorbitant cost to transport goods of any kind across the country right now. For example, instead of shipping pods over 2,500 miles from Florida to California, we only need to move the pods 350 or so miles. When you consider how close Arizona is to high-volume commercial build areas, it becomes a real time and cost saver.”
SurePods: Is there any difference in the problems SurePods is solving on the West Coast vs. East Coast?
Gaskin: “The challenges in the construction industry remain largely the same across the county. Customers nationwide are facing high-cost labor markets, complex jobsite challenges, skilled labor shortages and ongoing market disruptions. All of this means it’s never been more important to accelerate construction schedules and enable building teams to do more with less. That’s where ease of access to prefab bathrooms come into play.
Our SurePods West facility makes it possible for us to now come alongside customers west of the Rockies and streamline the prefab process from start to finish. With quick access to the facility and modular units, team members can easily collaborate in the pre-con phase, check on the pods and better coordinate quick, just-in-time delivery. This helps eliminate days of onsite labor and schedule compression toward the end of projects.
And with this new facility, we’ll be able to maintain the same quality and accuracy that SurePods is known for all while increasing our production as a whole by about 33%.”
SurePods: Can you speak to why you believe in increasing access to modular bathrooms?
Gaskin: “Though it’s still gaining acceptance within the construction industry, we can’t ignore the possibilities of modular building any longer. It’s solving immediate construction challenges. We’re seeing this firsthand at SurePods. We aren’t building basic bathrooms anymore. We’re working hand-in-hand with design teams to fabricate and build bathrooms that require a great deal of creativity all while consolidating more than 10 construction trades into one product. Modular bathrooms are simplifying one of the most headache inducing parts of the commercial construction process. This helps keep projects moving when skilled local labor is unavailable and also simplifies jobsite sequencing. It’s not an alternative construction method, it’s a progressive construction method.
With nearly 20 years of experience, we’ve also learned how to refine what we do and do it with the goal of providing the highest quality achievable. We’re now looking ahead at how we can combine what we’ve learned with other prefab systems and create even more turn-key solutions—the sky’s truly the limit.”
SurePods: What advice do you have for those on the West Coast thinking of using prefab methods for an upcoming project?
Gaskin: “With any prefab project, it’s important to get involved as early as possible. This makes it possible to identify and adjust improvable design aspects, build-in efficiencies, lock material pricing and accelerate scheduling. In many ways, the sooner you get involved, the sooner you’re going to see returns.”
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