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By Chris Bachler
April 6, 2016
One subcontractor walked off the job, another claims he never got the email that contained the newest drawings with associated changes, resulting in needed rework on the HVAC system. And because of a scheduling mixup, you are looking at delays in key installations leading to potential overtime and pushing your budget further than expected. It’s been a heck of a week.
There are many things that can go wrong on a construction job site. You know that all too well. But time, money, and management issues are three frustrations that you shouldn’t have to grapple with (well, at least not as much as you currently are).
You don’t have time to waste. Waiting for someone to answer your RFI, logging notes on a legal pad in the field only to have to transfer them later, or manually sending email reminders to every person on a project—these actions waste precious hours that add up to you being late for your daughter’s soccer game. Incorporating a software solution that collects real time data, encourages collaboration through unlimited user access, and sends out automated reminders, is a step toward freeing up your valuable time.
In today’s tech environment, many construction software solutions are turning towards the cloud, hosting applications in a way that enables users to access real time data wherever they are. Construction companies looking for project management solutions that are built for their unique needs are pleasantly surprised to find that the project management software environment is growing rapidly. But you’ll want to be careful when choosing the right solution from the many available. The proper software approach will measurably enhance your project management efficiencies.
When it comes to the budget, owners want one of two things: to come in under budget or right on budget. Costs can have a way of slowly getting out of control if projects aren’t scoped out correctly in the beginning, because change order costs grow quickly. Delays, overtime, rework, materials availability or change orders all factor into a project budget that requires tight oversight between yourself, your CFO or accountant, and the owner. Yes, these changes are bound to happen on every project, but being able to attach your RFIs, change order requests, track communication, and speed up approvals would help make the process less frustrating and more efficient.
In addition, key personnel should all have an eye on the bottom line. Sometimes awareness not only helps speed up decision making, it can help prompt individuals to make smarter decisions. Choosing the right software solution can help you do all of the above. Finding the right solution means looking for a platform that is as specifically suited to your business as possible. Your entire project team should be able to communicate in real time, approve, change or adjust budgets as needed, and generally feel empowered by their ability to gather all information needed to make the right decisions.
You’ve got an unmotivated sub, a greenhorn, and an old schooler who just can’t seem to do a job together without finding their way into an argument. Your general contractor can help dissuade subcontractor personality disputes, but what you don’t want are arguments happening over unanswered RFI requests, rework due to poor version control, or confusion based on a lack of communication with key players on the project. This is where the properly suited software solution can make all the difference.
Communication tracking and archiving is also important since finger pointing abounds on a job site. While it may not be your job to stand in-between heated subs when a mistake happens, it is your job to make the project run as smoothly as possible. With the right solution, you should be able to log every action and every communication that happens between every player on the project. Tracking users at the granular level––for example, being able to see if a sub even opened an email or downloaded a request––will help you make sure all players are up-to-date in order to limit confusion from miscommunication. Not to mention, tracking will help you point a finger in the right direction, assigning blame where blame should be, and go a long way in reducing time with your legal department.
It is key to find a project management software solution that understands your unique industry needs, addresses the issues you deal with every day to get your job done, and can be accessed from anywhere. This will go a long way toward reducing your three biggest challenges: managing your time, your money and your people!
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