Trade contractors build the world around us. They possess the technical expertise and years of experience in their trade to serve as the constructability experts. Trade contractors have teams toiling in the field performing the labor on massive construction projects and teams in the office coordinating activities with customers, general contractors, and suppliers. However, with over 2400+ (and growing) technology solutions, how can you determine which is the right solution for managing your construction operations?
General Contractor software vs. Trade Contractor software
Because the trade contractors perform the work and the General Contractors manage the work of various trades, it’s obvious that their roles and workflows in managing the project are drastically different which is why there is a distinct difference in a General Contractor-based project management system. A GC-based cloud project management collaborates with many of the different stakeholders in the project including the owner, engineer, designers, and subcontractors. The GC system is meant to collect documentation and routes them to different parties. The General Contractor is responsible for the overall collective costs of the project spread out across the different trades. Contrast that with the way a trade contractor must manage costs through labor and material costs at a more specific level.
Using Your General Contractor’s System
It is the general contractor’s best interest to establish a project management system to bring together all stakeholders, including trade contractors, which is why many GC-based systems have unlimited user licenses. It delivers a centralized repository to view, enter, respond to, collection information project for the General Contractor. Opening up access to the general contractor’s project management system improves collaboration with the subcontractors, designer, engineer, and, most importantly, the owner.
Unfortunately, this does little to benefit the subcontractors. It is not their system, they are an invited collaborator. Because it is not their own system, the trade contractor cannot manage the project internally within their team. The trade contractor cannot track the labor of its individual workers on the project. The subcontractors cannot manage their own budget on the project because the budget tracked in the Financials section is for the entire project.
Mitigate Risk with a Trade Contractor System of Record
It becomes an easy excuse for trade contractors to use their GC’s system, but it is a very risky practice. The argument many trade contractors use is that they don’t want to create a daily report in their system and create one in their GCs system. Unfortunately, that is a poor excuse that puts your team at risk.
Trade contractors must be diligent in their documentation as it serves as the prime evidence in any construction dispute. Because of its in construction consulting, eSUB Construction Software is purpose-built for trade contractor in transforming the reactive claims and dispute process to a proactive documentation workflow.
Purpose-Built Solution for Trade Contractors
When trade contractor’s use their GC’s project management system and not one of their own, there is no way for them to track and manage their projects at a holistic level. Contractors work with on multiple projects simultaneously with multiple different general contractors. Thus they are entering information into multiple different systems. Many times, the only centralized system they are using to collectively track project information are spreadsheets and their accounting system. Unfortunately, relying on one’s accounting system to manage projects and provides financial information at least 2-4 weeks late. This is too late. Project Managers need project information regarding issues, labor costs, materials installed in real-time. With real-time information, project managers can proactively manage projects and make adjustments and corrective actions to keep a project on track. Relying on outdated information may be too late to make any adjustments. Mitigating the risk of labor and understanding project costs are the highest priorities for trade contractors and can quickly erode profits if not detected, documented and formally submitted promptly
Because trade contractors perform the majority of labor on projects, labor is their biggest risk on a project. Contractors need a project management system to track labor productivity and project deliverables in real time.
Learn More in our Webinar Trade Contractors Unite: Conquering App-Ageddon!