The (Costly) Shortcomings of Construction Spreadsheets for Subcontractors
While it may be tempting to track construction spreadsheets in an Excel, the shortcomings are likely costing you time and money and preventing the level of standardization needed to scale your subcontracting business.
For many construction subcontractors, using pen, paper and construction spreadsheets to track projects is the status quo. But with high error rates, little-to-no transparency, and limited automation and analytics capabilities, construction spreadsheets can do serious damage to your profitability – and this damage is easily hidden especially if your company is doing well overall.
Research shows that a staggering 88% of construction spreadsheets used in professional settings contain errors, and that’s not even accounting for work that wasn’t tracked – a high risk in a business where, if something isn’t tracked, it isn’t paid for.
Organization and tracking are key to profitability, and with complex schedules to manage, contracts to maintain, requests to respond to, and more, subcontractors will need a project management tool as robust and versatile as their job description.
A Long Way from Excel-lence
Despite their popularity, spreadsheets like Excel are not as simple, reliable, or easy as they look.
Most construction spreadsheets are stored as static files on a computer rather than in a cloud-based, dynamic project management platform. This lack of accessibility means that, instead of updating documents onsite, subcontractors must wait to update their spreadsheets at a later point, increasing the potential for errors.
One industry research report found U.S. construction industry losses of $178 billion annually, attributable to the labor costs of correcting mistakes, searching for project data, or performing rework caused by miscommunication or inaccurate and inaccessible data. Spreadsheets – and a lack of a collaborative platform – are often to blame for these costly errors.
While more collaborative, cloud-based spreadsheets are also prone to erroneous or duplicated data, mismatched or incorrect formulas, and a lack of transparency. To avoid the pitfalls of spreadsheets, trade contractors should utilize project management software designed for the construction industry.
The Cost of Doing Nothing
For subcontractors manually tracking documentation with spreadsheets, the cost of doing nothing far outweighs the cost of project management software.
From RFI revisions and change order tracking to submittal adjustments, construction paperwork is often laborious and time-consuming. Processing and tracking these forms manually or within a spreadsheet not only takes time away from more strategic tasks, but it also leaves trade contractors at risk for litigation, unpaid work, inefficiency, errors, and more.
Project management software offers automation, quality control, and accessibility to empower subcontractors (and their teams) to work smarter, not harder. Platforms such as eSUB create live channels of information and communication, providing team members with updated metrics on a project’s scope, status, and documentation.
Standardization is Key to Profitability
Sidestep “Excel Hell” with a cloud-based project management and document control platform that replaces – and outpaces – spreadsheets while seamlessly connecting the field and the office. Project management software like eSUB works to improve your day-to-day tasks, replacing tedious manual tracking with a searchable, dynamic platform accessible from your phone.
eSUB is designed for you to purchase only the capabilities and tools you require to get the job done. There is no need for an overpriced and overdesigned IT project. With decades of experience in the construction software industry, our specialists can help you identify the right tools for easy-to-use and cost-effective solutions. Contact us to learn more.
eSUB’s cloud-based project management solution was designed specifically for construction subcontractors, giving them a real-time view and account of their workers, enabling efficient work management within an easy-to-use platform.
If you would like to improve your management processes so you don’t experience construction labor shortages, schedule a demo to learn how eSUB can help.