Dave Sosnow is the SVP – General Manager of Latista. He spends his time writing for Next Gen Jobsite, immersing himself in construction quality and safety, and playing with his 9 and 11 year old children.
I hear it all the time, “I can do it just as fast the way I’ve always done it – with paper and pencil.” And it’s true – you can. You can walk the building and make a list of the deficiencies. You’ve done it a thousand times, and you’ve got your way – your method – of getting all the QA/QC issues or punch list items down on paper. You might even have pictures, likely on your digital camera. Man, that was fast. There’s only one problem: You’re not done.
The hard part is just beginning. You’ve got today’s 50 (or 500) issues written down on paper, and now you’ve got to get them out to your general contractors, subs, architects and anyone else who’s actually going to address those deficiencies.
No problem. That’s what scanning, spreadsheets and email were made for, right? Wrong! When you get back to the trailer, you upload the photos to a network drive. You type the issues into a spreadsheet, noting the responsible party for each. Precious minutes tick away on the clock as you wish you could wrap up the day. You sort and filter the issues and draft emails to each responsible party. Fortunately, you remember all the right people at each company to include on the email and you miraculously get all the right photos attached to the right emails. That wasn’t so bad – only an hour…or so.
After all the documenting, collating, downloading, uploading, attaching, and emailing, all that’s left are the daily reports, and then you can go home, only to do it all again tomorrow.
The Surprising Cost of Inefficiency
On a 12-month $15-20M job, if the PM spends just one hour a day managing communication around deficiencies, he spends 20 hours per month, or conservatively $24,000 over the 12 months. And that’s just the project manager. Every superintendent, project engineer and trade contractor involved in this process faces the same inefficiencies- outdated versions of spreadsheets, miscommunications and missed opportunities. And that’s without thinking about the cost of a missing document or photo when you need it.
There is a better way.
Technology Solutions That Save You Time & Money
Construction Field Management and Collaboration solutions eliminate the tedious, time-consuming and error-prone steps in the process and dramatically reduce administrative effort. Field professionals use tablet computers to quickly capture issues electronically, with any associated photographs, during the walk – not after it. Issues can easily be created on 2D drawings or 3D models so that the responsible party can quickly be informed of the issue, have a clear outline of what needs to be done, and communicate that the issue has been resolved. Deficiency list distribution is automated to drive rapid resolution – before schedule and cost are impacted. Corrections are documented as they are made – directly in the system, with photo evidence when necessary. When a correction is completed, the status of that item changes, so the creator of that deficiency has a clear view of what has been resolved and dependent tasks can move forward quickly. Project managers, now able to get out of the weeds of cutting, pasting and filing, are able to gain perspective on what’s going well and what’s not so that they can proactively manage project risks. Cloud-based collaboration technology establishes the one absolute version of truth that all parties can see and authorized parties can update.
Keeping Everyone on the Same Page
Project managers aren’t the only winners. Trade contractors can quickly see what needs to be resolved so that they can get paid and move their crew to the next task or job. Owners gain access to a single, consolidated punch list, making their time and work more productive.
Changing the way we work can be difficult. And why bother when your current process is efficient enough? But if your pencil is costing you $24,000 it might be time to consider a change. The right tool for the right job can make a big difference.
- Download our “What is Field Management” white paper
- Try our mobile field management solution by filling out the form at the top of the page