One definition of collaboration describes it as “the action of working with someone to produce or create something.” That definition certainly applies to the construction industry, where many different companies and people are required to complete a project. From a technology standpoint, however, collaboration can also be defined as “the sharing and reusing of data throughout the project life cycle.”
Inefficient data sharing is an age-old problem in construction. Every time information has to be reentered or passed by paper between architect, engineer, estimator, construction manager, subcontractor, and owner there is a drop in efficiency and a loss of money.
Here at Sage, we continually work to make the exchange of data as smooth as possible. Our most recent efforts—Sage Bid Management and Sage Construction Project Center—are two examples. These on-line collaboration hubs help members of the building team more efficiently share and pass along information from preconstruction through close-out. Here’s how:
Preconstruction: Data sharing is especially important when you are interacting with subs to make sure you have the bid coverage you need. Sage Bid Management helps you quickly provide subcontractors with the most up-to-date drawings, specifications, and other bid package information. An architect, for example, can post an addendum that can be easily disseminated to all subs.
Construction: Once you move into construction, all the data and documents collected during the bid process are automatically moved into Sage Construction Project Center and are available when needed. Data collection and sharing continues throughout the construction phase, keeping everyone in sync with the latest information and providing greater visibility into shop drawings, change orders, RFIs, submittals and other documents and processes.
Close-out: By the very end of the project, all the data accumulated from different project partners throughout the project is ready to hand over to the owner. This speeds up the close-out process and provides valuable “as-built” information that can be used by the owner to more cost effectively maintain their buildings over time.
Back to preconstruction: Once work is completed, Sage Construction Project Center also allows your operations team to grade subcontractors based on predefined criteria—from work quality in the field to timely delivery of warranties. The evaluations are then automatically made available to bid managers and estimators in Sage Bid Management to assure the best subs are selected on the next project. That’s because all the information is contained in one collaboration system that, by the way, also has full integration to Sage construction accounting software.
When you consider the amount of data involved in the building process, it’s easy to understand why data plays such a central role in collaboration. If data isn’t shared efficiently, team members run the risk of operating under old information, mistakes take place, costly rework occurs, and delays are inevitable. Today’s collaboration technology guards against this.
About the Author
Dennis Stejskal has over 30 years of experience developing, supporting and selling software and technology to construction and real estate companies. His comprehensive product knowledge and understanding of customer and market needs propelled him into his current role as Vice President of strategy and customer success for Sage Construction and Real Estate. Dennis has been a member and co-chair on the CFMA Technology Committee and often speaks at industry events, including CFMA, AGC and NAHB meetings and conferences.