Every construction project has its fair share of changes. Materials are delayed, workers don’t show up, the client changes their mind…things happen. And when they do, you need a change order. These are essential documents—so it’s vital that teams improve change order process.
Most contractors need to reevaluate their processes, especially due to continued disruptions caused by the pandemic—and the change order process is a critical area for improvement. Ready to give yours an update? Here are 6 tips that can help.
How to Improve Change Order Process
1. Identify issues before you begin
Before project kick-off, carefully examine the plans and specifications to identify any ambiguities or conflicts. Be sure to present any change orders immediately. Doing so after work has begun increases the likelihood of budget overruns, delays, and friction. Putting in the extra time at the front end of a project to review the work, bid, drawings, and details can minimize change orders.
2. Be transparent with stakeholders
Stakeholders need to stay informed. If they feel like they’re being kept in the dark, they may develop doubts about your ability to adapt to changes, finish a project, and even lose trust in your company. Always communicate any project changes and updates to prevent misunderstandings and save time.
3. Verify how the change impacts the project
We all know that change order disputes can greatly impact a project, especially if the work is put on pause while the parties dispute the change order. If not resolved as soon as possible, change order disputes can increase project delays and escalate costs.
If project changes are clearly understood, everyone can adapt accordingly. Confirm the direct impact of the change as well as the possible impact on any areas throughout the project pipeline. This includes areas related to equipment and costs.
4. Track budget and costs in real time
Your construction change order process suffers when you cannot track budget and costs in real time. Continuing to use unreliable manual processes and spreadsheets is inefficient and error-prone, and can lead to cost discrepancies. Construction project management software gives subcontractors a birds-eye view by automating the change order process to accurately document work, easily track changes, and how the change order affects your total actual and projected costs.
5. Use an organized system
The easier a change order is for everyone involved, the higher the chance you have of seeing a positive return on your investment. With cloud-based construction project management software subcontractors have a centralized location for organizing and tracking change orders. You can track order status and get quotas by category. You can also make changes to the system with the click of a button so everyone immediately has access to that data. This also helps to minimize change order disputes.
6. Use a construction management mobile app
Collaboration and staying connected are crucial for project team members and stakeholders. One of the major issues that businesses face regarding change orders is figuring out how to manage them when people are working remotely. It can be difficult to stay on top of all the moving pieces.
eSUB‘s Field Works mobile application, for example, connects the field and office so team members can document and update project data from anywhere in the field. This saves time, streamlines communication and collaboration, and improves productivity.
Project teams can use the construction project management app on their mobile phones to:
- Take photos, share with others in the field or office, and attach to change orders
- Ensure your documentation and change orders are detailed and current
- Review change order updates in real time
- Record the date, time, duration, and money spent on tasks
- Reference meeting notes and conversations
- And upload this information to one central hub in the cloud
The right tools can be a big help
Subcontractors are turning to construction management software to simplify document management, improve change order process, and upgrade the collaboration between the field and office—thereby improving productivity and saving costs.
eSUB’s cloud-based project management solution was designed specifically for construction subcontractors, giving them a real-time view and account of their documents and processes, and enabling them to manage it all within an easy-to-use platform. Our mobile app allows you to gather information, fill out a report, digitally sign it, and immediately share it right from the field to improve change order process.
If you would like to improve your change order process and maximize the benefits of an innovative construction management software, schedule a demo to learn how eSUB can help.
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