Look Who’s Talking: Connecting Preconstruction and Construction Solutions

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The construction life cycle requires gathering data and resources in phases to ensure organization and project success. There is an order to the stages, from initial conception to project completion, that needs to be completed in a fluid, efficient process. In theory, preconstruction and construction teams should be highly collaborative, but there can be a disconnect between the two phases that causes disruptions to the project in the office and on the jobsite. 

It is critical that preconstruction and construction teams use solutions that integrate to ensure all data in the construction lifecycle is accessible, secure, and shareable. There is so much valuable information produced and analyzed during the preconstruction phase that gets lost in the transition to the build, causing rework, errors, and wasted time. Time is one of the scarcest resources we have in construction, and saving time is our most valued asset. The data we want to connect gives us the ability to quickly collaborate and access documents – from change orders to original budgets – and will put that precious asset of time (and money) back in your pocket. 

When the System Is Broken, Your Business Suffers

Running your business today without connecting systems of process in preconstruction and construction is like operating in the prehistoric era. Poor collaboration, inefficient workflows, and errors in data reentry cause wasted time and money, putting you at risk of joining the two-thirds of contractors who fail within five years of starting their business. 

No one analyzes documents at the level the preconstruction team does, and often that knowledge goes out the window when transitioning to the construction phase. That means your team must create data from scratch if they don’t know where the original data exists. Data reentry is a recipe for mistakes and incorrect mapping. The risk of errors is high, and loss of time is even higher. 

On the other end of the life cycle, construction teams have access to actuals (the actual amount of labor, materials, etc) which is invaluable to future estimates and bidding. But with disconnected systems, data either isn’t properly tracked or downright isn’t utilized – a major miss in improving your business practices for profitability. Estimates will never increase in accuracy without analyzing actuals.

Like Links on a Tow Chain, Connect Your Data

There are four important features to keep in mind when connecting your systems from preconstruction to construction to increase business performance.

1. Moving documents from preconstruction to construction

The valuable data in preconstruction – from markups and measurements to comments – should be accessible while in construction. The GC has the latest versions of every document, but what if that version has a design change from the architect that your precon team never bid? STACK’s field productivity tools give you access to the complete history of revisions, comparing the current version of a plan to any previous one. Having access to original bid documents and plans connected with them helps mitigate risk. 

2. Populating the budget for accounting & finance

With the creation of the estimate in preconstruction, you’ve already developed your best guess as to materials the project will require, the amount of labor needed to complete the job, and any additional resources necessary for the work. Using a connection between platforms (like STACK’s API), you can easily push your estimate data into your accounting system to create your initial project budget without reperforming estimating steps. Keeping a strong connection between project estimates, budgets, and costs leads to higher levels of accuracy in projections 

3. Moving documents from construction back to preconstruction

A change order is work that is added (or removed) from the original scope of work due to unforeseen factors. It is produced during the construction phase because of a design issue or owner’s decision change. The construction team sends change orders back to the preconstruction team to produce a mini estimate or cost change bid. Essentially, estimating teams are recalculating what new work needs to be done. 

STACK gives you the ability to compare original plans with change orders to speed up the turnaround time on estimating. A quick bid on a change order means staying on schedule, within budget, and maintaining a great reputation with the GC. 

4. Reviewing actuals

Measuring and analyzing performance against past projects is essential for improving business. That’s why it’s so important to take the actuals – actual amount of work/labor/materials used – on a project  back to review in the preconstruction phase. The precon team will be able to use that information to estimate the next job, benchmarking data based on previous data collected. 

The more actuals you collect and use, the smarter your data library becomes. You’ll be able to analyze what estimating projects NOT to take because of low likelihood of succeeding or improve accuracy on future estimates and better calculate your cost per square footage (or cubic yard, etc). 

Time to Get Your Precious Time Back!

Don’t get stuck with siloed data and disconnected teams. You’ll never lose your data with STACK! Our all-in-one platform saves you time, integrates with other systems, improves collaboration, and increases business efficiency. Try it for free today!

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