What Systems and Processes do we use in our Construction Company to ensure project’s run smoothly?
When choosing a builder for your new build or extension/renovation there are so many factors that can go into your decision making. I have spoken about many of these factors in my previous blogs but one critical element that is always overlooked is, ensuring your builder has set systems and processes in place from the very beginning of a project right through to completion.
If you’ve contacted a builder and they don’t reply to you for a week, run a mile. If you ask a builder how they deal with Variations during construction and they can’t give you a direct answer, run a mile. If your builder doesn’t use some sort of Project Management Scheduling tool, run a mile.
As most of you already know, I am very vocal on the importance of open and honest communication between the builder and the owners so don’t be embarrassed or shy about asking these important questions from the very beginning. If you’re not happy with their response…… again, run a mile
These are the Systems and Processes we use every day in our business to ensure we continually communicate, stay organised and ahead of the game. These processes benefit us and the owner allowing us to communicate effectively and ultimately run a smooth flowing project.
Within 24hours of a new enquiry we respond to you via email. We address your concerns or questions and direct you to complete a New Client Questionnaire via Google Forms. The purpose of this form is to gather as much information as possible about your project and to make sure we are the right fit for your project. After this questionnaire is completed we will then either ring you to discuss further and/or organize a meeting.
If we are quoting or tendering your project we will let you know of the progress and contact you with any questions we may have or if we feel there is a mismatch with your intended budget we will also be up front and discuss this with you. We use an estimating system called *Buildxact https://www.buildxact.com.au/ (you might see me in their advertising campaign) to help the accuracy and pace of the quoting process. This system allows us to scale plans by uploading them into the program and allocating accurate Prime Cost Items and Provisional Sum Allowances.
This is where all of your hard work in the contract and specifications preparation can unravel if there is no set project scheduling in place. I am still surprised how builders can organize trades and supplies without an effective schedule. We use a program called BuilderTrend https://buildertrend.com/ and it has been a game changer in our business. Our Clients download the app on their phone and it gives them access to the monthly planner. They can see what is happening on site everyday, what is coming up, the date of when they need to confirm certain items ie paint colour choice, they can view all of your Invoices, contracts and photos of the progress on site. Our trades also have access to the project schedule so we never have issues with trades not turning up on site when they’re booked in.
Variations during Construction.
We are a Custom Builder so it’s inevitable that Variations will occur during construction. Whether it’s because the clients have changed their minds on a certain element or we’ve come across something that is different from the plans or reports, the process is the same.
Our administration team will work out the price difference (either increase or decrease), write these items up in a document, stating what the original allowance was and the revised price. This document is sent to the clients and if they agree on the changes then both parties need to sign this document through DocuSign. Docusign has been another game changer in our streamlining process. This an electronic way of signing important documents and sending the signed documents to everyone involved. Variations will not progress unless this document has been signed.
Leading up to Handover we have numerous site visits to go through any small issues on site and work out ways to combat these problems. Once the Certification of Occupation or Final Inspection report has been issued then the final Invoices are sent to the owner’s for payment to be made. We then have a final site inspection together and record small defects ie painting. This record is sent to the owners and both parties to sign. We allow 3months after this period to rectify these small defects.
This is only a snippet of the processes we use every day in our construction business. These processes benefit us and the owner, allowing us to communicate effectively and ultimately run a smooth flowing project.
If you want your project to run like this contact us today!