If you’ve been in the industry for some time, chances are good you already know how to win construction bids. You also know that bidding for big jobs is highly competitive. Any advantage you can gain over the competition may be worth looking into.
Today, technology is changing the way general contractors do their job in every way, both on-site and off. Many smart contractors are showcasing their new construction site technology to stand out from the crowd during the bidding process.
And it makes sense, seeing as how the bigger the project, the more significant the money at stake. According to research by McKinsey, large projects across asset classes “typically take 20 percent longer to finish than scheduled and are up to 80 percent over budget.” Developers are looking for a general contractor who can efficiently communicate and stay on schedule (and under budget!)
Visual documentation services offer a prime example of a technological solution that can help you win the bid. As this memo from the Little Blue Valley Sewer District in Independence, Missouri illustrates:
“The (visual documentation) service will provide for improved communication of project status to all parties during the construction, with the anticipated benefit of identifying and correcting errors earlier. It will provide a clear and accurate historical record which will be beneficial in addressing any claims that arise, but also in utilizing the building going forward.”
Let’s look at three major reasons why, as suggested here:
Being able to precisely monitor progress across teams of subcontractors greatly enhances your ability to manage deadlines and schedule teams efficiently. It also aids in providing on-the-go progress reports to investors and municipalities.
Ongoing documentation is extremely valuable for communicating between teams, especially for working around covered sewer, electrical, and HVAC systems. Miscommunication when digging around underground utilities can result in costly repairs, long delays, and dangerous conditions.
Keeping delays small and localized helps general contractors remain within the scope of the original project. For infrastructure projects like roads and sewers, smaller delays mean fewer people upset by inconveniences that come with traffic delays and utility shutdowns. That translates to both happy clients and a better bottom line at the end of the day.
Mitigated Risk Of Litigation
A detailed record of work performed protects both you and your project stakeholders from lawsuits. Photo and video used to capture conditions on your work site can be used to show the quality and as-built status of properties, which can be very valuable down the road.
One example: photo documentation is especially valuable for recording the condition and location of in-slab utilities during the critical period between inspection and cover-up. If installed poorly, repairs on these vital systems can lead to costly renovations, up to and including the removal and re-pouring of a concrete slab. Worse, poorly installed electrical systems can be dangerous, leading to a failed inspection or dangerous living conditions.
Also, visual documentation services help mitigate the risk of litigation by documenting the complete as-built condition of your project after critical inspection milestones. In the event your client decides to sue for unsatisfactory work or defects, you now have a record of the completed project on hand to bring with you to court – or better yet, use it to avoid court all together.
Documentation for Facilities Teams
When the job is finished, you have a detailed location and date searchable record of the work performed, ready to turn over to the facilities team. This document is a great value-add that can make the transition from build to occupancy or operation much smoother for your clients. Everything you did is right there, ready to be referred to if and when the time comes.
In many instances, the as-built condition will not precisely match the architectural plans. That can create a big problem when significant repairs, maintenance, or future renovations are needed. Marking up site plans to match as-built conditions helps, but having an easily-accessible, undeniable visual record makes things crystal clear.
For your potential clients, strong visual documentation can help prevent knowledge loss due to a turnover on their facilities team. If your facilities management staff retires or moves on, visual documentation helps their replacements get up to speed faster. Knowing the original condition in a building or public works project saves considerable time and effort, whether it’s standardizing an appliance or fixture or doing extensive underground utilities work.
Technology, such as visual documentation software, is helping contractors run their project sites more efficiently. When it comes to winning bids, these same techniques offer an advantage over competitors who aren’t up to speed on their construction site management software.