Construction Workflow Woes: Why Customization Matters

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How often do you think about your RFI or submittals process? For most contractors, workflows just are what they are – get the tasks done on time and move on, even if the software you’re using is tedious. But what if there was a better way? Imagine how much more smoothly project management and document control would go for your team if your construction software worked for you rather than against you. 

With STACK, that is the reality, not a pipe dream! Let us show you how. 

Why Your Traditional Software Is Falling Short

Every trade is different. Every project is different. Every workflow for RFIs, submittals, punch lists, closeouts, and more are all different – at least they should be. The problem many contractors run into is that their construction management software treats it all the same. 

You may need to change the status of a document, but your software makes it too complex. Or you need to track submittals moving among subcontractors, architects, and engineering consultants for very specific HVAC or electrical specs, but your software is too limited.  

When there’s a single way to create workflows, whether simple or advanced, your team struggles and productivity suffers. Information might get lost without a complex way to track it, or what could have been a quick update becomes convoluted if you have to go through multiple unnecessary steps. 

What you need is the flexibility to do each workflow your way. 

Flexible Workflow Solutions Customized for Your Team

What makes STACK’s construction solutions unique is your ability to create simple or advanced workflows, in the quantities needed based on the types of workflows and work you do. When you’re not forced to follow someone else’s rigid idea of what your workflows should look like, you can get more creative and follow processes that make the most sense for the way your team works in individual situations. 

Simple vs. Advanced Workflows

A simple workflow is really nothing more than a status change. Simple workflows can be viewed as a list or on a Kanban board for easy visualization and project management. You might create a set of statuses for aspects of a project such as: 

  –  Documents 

  –  RFIs 

  –  Submittals 

  –  Queries 

  –  Equipment 

  –  Issues 

Your simple workflow allows you to fluidly change the status of any of these items, including bypassing some statuses or reverting back to a previous status without needing to go through each chronologically. In a simple workflow, you’ll set which team member is responsible for the next step in the workflow, making it clear and easy when you’re working with a smaller team. 

The beauty of the simple workflow is that for a straightforward process, your team is not forced to use a convoluted workflow just to change a status. For example, if you get a piece of equipment in, all you really need to do is accept it and install it – a two-step workflow in this case. No need for an advanced workflow with extra steps. 

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An advanced workflow records every step of a process, assigns stakeholders, tracks statuses and deadlines, and designates weighted importance to tasks. This type of software workflow can directly mimic your actual project process to keep you on track. In an advanced workflow, you’ll define: 

  –  Type of workflow (RFI, submittal, etc.) 

  –  Tasks and who is responsible for each 

  –  Duration, or how much time is allotted for the task 

  –  Weight, or heaviness of importance in the overall project 

  –  Available actions for stakeholders to take 

  –  Dependencies based upon stakeholder actions 

This detailed process helps you to see immediately where any holdups are and gain clarity on the progress of the workflow. Stakeholders must complete their assigned actions before the work can move on to the next task, so nothing is left behind. Responsible assignees are assigned in advance (by name or role), ensuring that the next person is automatically assigned and notified, making the process smooth for larger teams spread across people from different companies.

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Workflow Customization

A key feature of STACK’s workflows is that once you create either simple or advanced versions, you aren’t tied to using that workflow for each similar process moving forward. Depending on the type of work, maybe you have two or more submittal workflows you use, or you have a simple or advanced option for RFIs. 

You might differentiate by trade: maybe you need one type of workflow for concrete RFIs or submittals and another for electrical trades. The possibilities are endless, and you and your team can make the decisions on what works best for all the kinds of work you do.

Seeing the Difference with STACK

You can use the rigid workflows available in traditional construction software tools and still get the job done. You probably already do! But when you see what can be accomplished with custom workflows, why would you ever want to go back?  

Once you’ve set up your STACK workflows, your superintendents and foremen can kick off processes for issues in seconds, saving valuable time and keeping them out on the jobsite where they’re needed most, not stuck on the computer. 

If you have a workflow – say submittals – that’s working well for one part of your organization, but you need something else for another trade or type of work, you can create it. You aren’t forced to use the same one that is not optimized for every process. 

When your construction workflow software works for you, not against you, you’ll find that your team is more adept and more informed on the status of important tasks. Increased efficiency in your workflows leads to quicker response times from stakeholders and improved clarity across all projects.  

See how it works for yourself – schedule a demo of STACK’s construction management solutions today! 

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