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Can too many Construction Administration Clouds Create a Storm?

February 12, 2021

By Peg Landry

Can too many Construction Administration Clouds Create a Storm?

How the Construction Administration (CA) Ecosystem Can be Unified to Improve Productivity

TO EACH HIS OWN – DO WE ALL NEED OUR OWN CLOUD?

Successful construction projects require a collaborative effort by all stakeholders - the owner, design team, and contractor teams - to deliver high quality projects that are on time and on budget.

In order to accomplish these goals, all stakeholders require accurate and timely information. And although stakeholders must share information throughout the life of the project, it is common to find multiple CA “clouds”, with each team maintaining their own system.

The “cloud” promises increased productivity by improving collaboration, but many project teams still struggle with the sharing data across a host of different cloud environments.

Multiple clouds exist for a good reason – each stakeholder needs to be in control of their project data.

NOT ALWAYS A CHOICE – BUT’S WHO’S CHOICE IS IT?

Project teams often find themselves contractually bound to predefined CA processes, work procedures, and communications requirements. Specific construction administration software requirements may also be outlined in the contract.

This places the design and contractor team in a dilemma – abandon their current platform or enter data in two – or more - systems.

In addition to lost productivity with duplicate entry of information, many companies also struggle with the learning curve required to use other platforms. And although software training isn’t necessarily a bad thing, by the time the project is in construction administration phase, submittals and RFIs are already flying, leaving little time to get up to speed on a new CA platform.

DESIGN TEAM DILEMMA

From reviewing and approving submittals and change orders, answering RFIs, to site visits and generating site reports, the design team relies on the timely flow of information between engineers, consultants, and the contractor team. Having project details at their fingertips makes it easier for the design team to respond. But the information they are looking for may be spread across several platforms including BIM, CA, and Field Management.

Multiply the problem across numerous concurrent projects, and design teams may need to work across a dozen or so different CA platforms at any one time.

CONNECTING THE CLOUDS – START WITH THE WORKFLOW

By focusing on streamlining construction administration workflows, project teams can gain efficiencies and significantly improve productivity. If you examine your current workflow, you may find that a significant amount of time is spent just uploading and downloading information from one system to the next. Eliminating a few steps can not only save time but reduce errors.

Most submittal workflows using multiple systems require the following steps…

  1. Enter the submittal in system
  2. Download the submittal from system
  3. Email submittal to system 2 administrator
  4. System 2 Administrator enters data in System
  5. Review submittal in system 2
  6. Download reviewed submittal out of system
  7. Email reviewed submittal to System 1 Administrator
  8. System 1 Administrator enters reviewed submittal back to System 1 

If information could be moved seamlessly between systems, your workflow might look like this: 

  1. Enter submittal in system 1 – information is automatically uploaded to system 2
  2. Review is completed in system 2
  3. Reviewed information is automatically uploaded to system 1

What if you had a construction administration platform that could work across CA platforms and eliminate the need to upload and download information between systems?

This is Newforma’s vision. With one dashboard interface, construction administration information including submittals and RFIs can be unified across CA platforms, eliminating the need for duplicate data entry, additional software training, and time lost searching for critical information.

Whether your data resides on SharePoint Online, BIM 360, Procore, or Newforma’s ConstructEx, construction administration is streamlined and simplified through Newforma’s dashboard and Connectors. Submittal and RFI data can flow seamlessly between platforms, enabling team members to continue to use the software that they are already familiar with.

Multiple CA clouds may never go away – but connecting them can temper the storm.