If you have ever ran or watched a relay race, you know that the baton handoff is critical. A smooth handoff can successfully set up your teammates to maintain pace and win the race. On the other hand, a baton drop can cause delay and possibly lose the race. The same analogy depicts the construction workflow. There are multiple handoffs in the construction workflow. A poor handoff (such as a slowness in receiving approval or information bottleneck) cause significant delays in a project.
Improving the construction workflow ensures a smooth handoff between all stakeholders to move a project forward in a timely manner. Construction software seamlessly shares information for less risk that important items will be missed, which can be quite costly.
Workflow between field and the office
A critical handoff in construction is between the field and the office. At the jobsite, the foreman has a notepad or clipboard constantly at his side to document information. Handwritten notes about issues in the field or items to include in daily reports. Time cards collected from the crew. Daily reports. The Foreman gathers all of this paperwork once a week and drives paperwork to the office. Occasionally, the Project Manager drives to the jobsite to see for himself how the project is progressing and to drop off updated drawings. Without real-time access to the most updated drawings, the foreman may be working off outdated plans, which can cause significant errors or need rework.
Manual processes and the disconnect between the field and the office can cause an extreme bottleneck in the project. Leveraging mobile devices and construction project management software, companies can drastically improve the construction workflow. From an iPad, the construction foreman can enter crew’s time, capture photos and annotate from the field, complete daily reports. Foreman can share this critical information in real-time with the office. Similarly, the office uploads project files such as plans, specs, approved RFIs, and change orders, and shares them with the field so that they know exactly what work needs to be completed.
Workflow between project manager and accounting
Bridging the gap between the field and the office is the first step in improving the construction workflow. Silos still exist within the office between project management and accounting. Project information such as time cards is manually re-entered into the accounting system. This redundancy can be a source of frustration for employees or runs the risk that someone entered information incorrectly. When Project Managers want to determine project costs, they have to go to Accounting and gather that information from them to enter manually into their project spreadsheets.
Integrating accounting and construction project management systems easily brings the office team together. Accounting can use their own system to process time cards, expenses, and receivables, and the information can sync to the project management software. With real-time access to financial information, project managers have the most updated information for job costing data and determine how to improve project efficiency. No one needs to wait on the other for information and the handoff of information is seamless and accurate.
Workflow between Subcontractor to GC
Waiting on approvals from the general contractors—such as unanswered RFIs or unapproved change orders—stalls the work of the subcontractor. How long are you waiting for approvals? Is it hard to find all the documentation? How much are delays costing your business?
Construction management software that tracks and manages all project correspondence prevents items from slipping through the cracks. A centralized database stores all correspondence and documentation. A complete record of correspondence between the general contractor provides irrefutable support to resolve conflicts. Thorough documentation with timely reminders creates a smooth hand off between a subcontractor and general contractor to keep a project moving forward.
Software to automate the workflow
Cloud-based construction management software automates the workflow between project stakeholders to foster better collaboration and communication. A centralized repository of information eliminates the silos between the field and the office, project management, and accounting, and the general contractor and subcontractor to improve the construction workflow. Smooth handoff in construction allows the team to reach the finish line of a project completed on time and within budget.