The pace of construction continues to increase. Developers and owners want their projects constructed and delivered faster than ever. At the same time, the industry has new challenges. There’s new tech, modeling, fabrication – all these complications have the potential to slow the process down, but that’s not an option.

Foremen need to learn how to implement innovation on the jobsite, because it’s not going away. They need to make critical decisions about the job earlier in the construction process. Fewer and fewer decisions are being made in the field at a late stage of the project. They’re now being made ahead of construction in the model.

Collaboration is another challenge. Teams have to build trust in order to collaborate effectively. That’s easier said than done. But it’s important for all the stakeholders to sign off on the project model, because, as prices escalate, rework due to changes gets more and more costly all the time. As a result, technology around building modeling can be challenging to foremen who have been around for a couple of decades and are accustomed to the “way we used to do it.” It may be difficult for them to embrace technology.

On the jobsite, it’s important for trades contractors to also embrace that same technology. If they don’t, it can literally set the project back instead of keeping it moving forward.

The reality is that everyone is working toward a common goal – to finish the project on time. It just makes sense for teams to help each other be more efficient. Collaboration is not the place for big egos.

Tools for collaboration are getting better, but collaboration is still just a buzzword to a lot of people. Making it real isn’t a slam dunk. For some companies, the jobsite is still disconnected from the office physically and sometimes conceptually. There’s a gap there that still needs to be bridged.

One way things could be improved is by having a single bill of materials (BOM) for the project – accurate, actionable and real-time information. And even if it couldn’t be reduced down to one, progress could be made to minimize the number of BOMs on a job. As it happens now, each team might have a different BOM – design, finance, field, and even vendors. The BOMs may even be in different formats. Document management and duplication of efforts are big challenges on a project. Putting something as basic as a BOM on a platform where all the teams can access it when they need it can be a big win for the project as a whole. There could be less time spent creating triplicate forms and chasing down materials deliveries. This kind of standardization (and transparency) can save a lot of time.

On episode 64 of the Bridging the Gap podcast, I spoke with Steve King about the new product eVolve Foresite, which was developed for the very purpose of standardizing procurement. It starts at the design level, capturing the design-build materials and tracking them all the way through to delivery at the jobsite. Listen to the podcast today and learn how standard practices and workflows are being added to the procurement process.


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