Construction management issues and challenges – The general contractor’s perspective
Solving Construction Management Issues with BUILDFitters – The General Contractor’s Perspective
In the construction industry, a general contractor’s role is one of the most important for the success of construction project. From acquiring a project to finishing it off efficiently, the general contractor is involved in every crucial step. Being such an essential part of the process also means facing challenges because general contractors are the ones who face most of the construction management challenges and issues.
The construction industry is one of the least digitized industries and therefore is prone to many construction management issues. Issues like budget management,` project acquisition, equipment procurement, resource tracking, managing documents, obtaining submittals and RFIs and RFPs (Request for Proposal), vendor selection, time tracking and project estimation are the most predominant challenges in the construction industry that a general contract faces in any project.
AlphaBOLD has produced the best solution for these issues to help general contractors; BUILDFitters. With BUILDFitters, architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) companies can automate all processes, thus reducing the ratio of human error and saving time and costs. BUILDFitters is designed in such a way that it helps all the resources involved in the construction project and not just general contractors. However, it is a lifesaver for general contractors as it helps them combat construction management issues by successfully managing all the micro-tasks involved!
Let’s first look at the different responsibilities of a general contractor:
1. Estimation and Pre-Construction Phase:
- Sending bids
- Tracking bids
- Sending proposals
- Obtaining Submittals and Approvals
- Equipment procurement
- Vendor Selection
- Project estimation
- Get approval on designs
2. Project Management:
- Hiring subcontractors
- Managing equipment/ materials
- Submit bills
- Manage time schedule
- Manage work quality
- Manage resources
- Manage Safety policy
Additionally, numerous additional duties are assigned to a general contractor, such as overall task management and project tracking, making sure everything is on budget, etc. With such tasks in the construction industry, challenges are inevitable. BUILDFitters promises to resolve the major construction management issues general contractors face, so let’s dive deep into all the features it has to offer.
1. One-stop Solution:
BUILDFitters is one software that diminishes the need of many others. No need to manually handle data, switch through different task scheduling software or content management solutions to find the information you are looking for! You will have all your project’s information in one place. BUILDFitters saves general contractor’s time from managing different apps and looking for data across different software.
2. Automated Processes:
Challenges of the construction industry always include time and cost limitations. Automating your processes helps in overcoming this obstacle easily. Reducing manual work diminishes the human error ratio resulting in the project being completed efficiently.
3. Managing Bids & Proposals:
BUILDFitters offers a 360-degree view dashboard that offers insights into the whole process of bidding and proposal generation. The opportunity manager helps a general contractor find better opportunities to bid on and eventually helps them close the best one.The following figure shows a snapshot of the dashboard:
In the dashboard, the user can easily see the site, service type, the scope of work etc., in the details tab. This can help make an informed decision about the bid. It also highlights what the customer problems are and how to give them a proper solution.
4. Equipment / Material Tracking:
Managing equipment and material throughout the construction process is a tedious task. Sometimes estimated material is not enough, sometimes the cost varies or at times there are changes in the initial scope. . The contractor must ensure that the suitable material is used and no wastage is produced in the construction phase. . BUILDFitters equipment management resolves this issue by giving general contractors all the necessary information in one place. The following snapshot gives a clear view of the used materials, and it also gives a detailed infographic when the mouse hovers over the chart.
5. Integration with other software:
Using other software during a project might be inevitable for many general contractors; therefore, BUILDFitters has an easy integration process. The general contractor needs to have the same updated data across different software and platforms but doing it manually sometimes results in errors and inaccurate data. BUILDFitters helps in integrating your entire data into different software simply with one click.
As seen in the figures below, you can easily integrate your project with Microsoft Teams, Wrike and Project Online.
BUILDFitters can also be easily integrated with your existing tools, giving you an easy, user- friendly, and connected solution that has all your project information in a safe, secure location.
6. Vendor Selection:
Choosing the right equipment or material is not enough for the project; selecting the vendor providing it is also one of the main construction industry challenges. Finding a suitable vendor, developing trust and building working relationship is essential for project success.
A general contractor needs to maintain this relationship so any equipment for the project can be acquired easily from a list of preferred vendors. BUILDFitters provides a list of preferred and previously selected vendors, which helps maintain a list of all the vendors for the general contractor to choose from.
The pictures below shows fields and the table of vendors and materials that they are offering.
7. Document Management:
One of the top construction management issues is document management. Construction firms that lack document management tend to experience many issues as files go missing, they do not get updated regularly, it takes a lot of time to find specific data and so on. BUILDFitters has a perfect solution for this problem. It helps in document management by making automated document folders. Documents such as submittals, approvals, RFPs, purchase orders, designs, plans, etc., are automatically created in the folder as soon as they are generated.
- Request for Proposals
Whenever equipment, material or services are required from a vendor, the general contractor sends out a request for proposal to all the vendors. BUILDFitters provides a template and makes it easy to send the proposal to many vendors simultaneously with one click. The following picture is a sample request for a proposal sent to a vendor to acquire services.
- Purchase Orders
As soon as the general contractor places an order, the purchase order is generated automatically. The following snapshot shows the summary of a purchase order.
- Document Folders
BUILDFitters has a 360-view dashboard, which gives a compact view of all the document folders. Under the document tab, all the folders for submittals, plans, purchase orders etc., are automatically generated, and the relevant documents can be easily found in them.
It is always a better choice to have all the apps run on your work laptop and on your mobile to give you the comfort of working from home. The general contractor’s duty is tough as they have teams that usually need to be on-site to check on everything. BUILDFitters presents a simple solution by making all its app’s device-agnostic. Every individual app can run on mobile and tablets and can be easily accessed from anywhere. This gives flexibility to the general contractors by having a quick look even when they are off-site.
9. Tracking Timelines and schedules:
BUILDFitters provides the general contractor with a single compact view of the whole project timeline. It helps them see which tasks are overdue, which are completed and which are upcoming. This results in better management of resources and equipment. The following two figures show two different views of the project timeline schedule.
10. Tracking Resources:
Hiring and choosing the right people for a project is one of the biggest challenges of the construction industry. The staff should be trained and hardworking, and this responsibility falls on the general contractor. With BUILDFitters analytics, the general contractor can quickly investigate the performance of all workers and subcontractors. It also helps in tracking resources that have the least or the most amount of work. The following picture shows the performance graph of a subcontractor.
These are just some of the issues that general contractors face which BUILDFitters tries to resolve. The general contractor’s role is central in the construction project, and BUILDFitters makes their life easier by providing the solution. As the AEC industry grows, it needs digitized solutions like BUILDFitters to become more efficient and successful. BUILDFitters offers many other features to help everyone involved in a construction project, an architect, a project owner, or even a foreman.