We are an industry where machine and computer power enhance the work of the person, in many cases, making the very jobs we undertake possible. Modeling wouldn’t be feasible if not for the computing power of today’s equipment, from Robotic Total Stations (RTS) units to laptops and cranes.
Time, quality, cost. Small words with large implications on a construction project. Risk arising from them sends chills up the spine of every project manager out there. Since risk is one thing on a construction project that cannot be completely controlled, some companies accede to a certain amount of risk as the price they pay to keep the project on schedule. But they’re selling themselves short, because risk can be managed for minimal impact throughout the course of a project with the right construction software solutions. As related in the September, 2019 Construction Productivity Blog, “Top 6 Construction Risks – And How to Reduce Them,” the top risks that you can manage for by using the right construction software include:
- Labor: Risk is inherent in anything where human beings are involved. They (we) can be unpredictable, more productive some days than others, motivated or not, love or hate the job. Add to that the fact that fewer people entering the job market are skilled at or interested in the “dirty” jobs of construction, and you’ve got exposure to a whole lot of risk. You can’t manage for all of those variables. But you can enlist software that evens the playing field between unpredictable human nature and transparency in job performance. Autodesk Revit and the Autodesk BIM 360 family of products enable workflows that can track just about any activity on the job. They keep people accountable. In addition technology is an enticement to the new tech-savvy workforce.
- Safety: Even when everyone is trying their best to be safety conscious, poor communication can foul things up. Hearsay doesn’t hold up in court, and in the long run it doesn’t hold up on the construction site either. Every person on the job needs to stay updated as the project comes together so they can avoid being in the wrong place at the wrong time. BIM 360 Build, for instance, has safety and quality checklists.
- Design: As crazy as it seems, tight schedules can motivate teams to take a gamble and work from a design that’s not finished to keep the project on track. Trouble is, as Murphy’s Law implies, where that “advance” work is taking place might be the very place the drawings change, requiring rework. Even when someone isn’t trying to cut corners, they can still end up working from outdated drawings if they’re not looped in on revisions, or if the updated set is under the seat in someone’s pickup truck. And that leads to the next source of risk.
- Documentation: When there’s an issue on the jobsite, the solution needs to be communicated to the right people clearly so they can solve it quickly. Manually directing that process using paper drawings not only wastes time, it’s prone to human error. Field-friendly software, like BIM 360 Docs, enables onsite documenting of issues in real-time and tracking of corrections.
- Reporting: Filling out reports is a drag. For that reason among others, reports can be delayed and contain bad information in a paper-based workflow. They are subject to human error if issues are not memorialized on the jobsite in real-time. A mobile app will streamline reporting, and filling out a report template on a smartphone or tablet is quick and easy.
- Disputes: The historical problem with CYA management on a job is that invariably someone’s A doesn’t get covered. It may be a break with tradition, but when everyone collaborates on a BIM model, errors and omissions can be minimal or even nonexistent. Since errors are often caused by a lack of correct documentation, the BIM process solves that problem. When everyone – from the architect to the trades – is collaborating on the way the project will come together, they can see the end from the beginning. The result is less CYA and more SotB (slap on the back).
From Revit in the BIM process, to the desktop and mobile apps in the BIM 360 family, to checklists and reporting software, owners, GCs and the trades – more and more of whom are using eVolve MEP to reduce project risk and cost – are finding ways to manage multiple risks on the job from the very first designs to handover at the end. For more information or a demo of eVolve MEP, schedule a quick discovery call. And if you’d like to talk to an industry expert about the right combination of construction software tools to help minimize your firm’s risk on construction projects, contact Applied Software today.
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Making the investment in Building Information Modeling (BIM) systems can transform construction operations from the start of any project, leading to more efficient use of time and materials in all phases of the build, including long after the active construction project is completed. Through BIM, savings can be realized for the stakeholders in the project–from the building owner to subcontractors–and the operator of the structure benefits far into the future.
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