How Cloud Technology Can Improve Collaboration and Reduce Risk in the Preconstruction Phase

With larger, more lucrative projects come more risk factors in the preconstruction phase. Without a doubt, inaccurate measurements, outdated documents, and poor time management in precon can create big problems down the line. But one other major factor that is often overlooked – and often a root cause of other risks that crop up – is poor team collaboration.

Communication Problems and Breakdowns Leading to Increased Construction Risks

If you don’t lay the groundwork for solid communication practices as your preconstruction team grows, you open yourself up to risk.

  –  Lack of clarity in workflows regarding who is responsible for which tasks can lead to steps getting overlooked. If there’s no process for how an estimator is assigned to bid a job, that particular project might slip through the cracks when your team all assumes someone else is working on it.

  –  Poor communication regarding roles can waste time and cause duplicate work. Without transparency among your team, you could have estimators performing the same work as others, including even sending out bids for the same project, making your company appear unorganized and unprofessional.

  –  Without a way to clearly communicate updates or changes to projects, your team might do takeoffs on outdated plans or create estimates based on old specs or pricing. Not only does this create rework in the precon phase, but it can carry over to the job site with delays, higher costs and profit loss

It’s Not Just About Talking: What Good Collaboration in Precon Looks Like

While being able to talk openly with colleagues is conducive to a healthy and productive work environment, there’s a lot more to preconstruction communication than just water cooler chatting. Your team needs to be able to work effectively together from a variety of locations and on multiple machines. The right construction technology will empower them to collaborate in ways that will drive success and mitigate risk.

  –  Version control for project documents and plans. Nothing upends communication like never knowing if you’re working off the current version of a file. With a cloud-based document management system, your team is aligned and always working from the same plan set.

  –  Real-time access to those project plans and documents. A successful preconstruction team needs access to collaborate with each other from separate devices, often separate locations, and sometimes simultaneously. You can spread the workload by sharing plans, with no limits to your team’s access.

  –  Share plans with external stakeholders. For others outside your team, you can grant access to plans in view-only mode, so that partners or vendors can view the same plan set without the ability to make changes.

  –  Address key details using callout and markup tools. With a cloud-based tool, senior team members can call attention to specifics for junior staff, and estimators working on the same project can leave comments and other information for each other or ask questions directly within the plans.

  –  Assign projects and manage your team’s workload at a glance. A strong cloud collaboration platform will allow you to assign projects to your team, view their status on a bid calendar, and even monitor which team members are working on what projects at any given time for full visibility.

When your team is fully connected by the cloud, your risk of losing bids or profits due to team inefficiencies and miscommunication drops dramatically. Collaboration is a vital part of maintaining a top preconstruction team and winning more profitable work! Don’t wait – create a free STACK account today to see the business impact for yourself!

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