Six Ways Paperwork Costs Specialty Contractors Money

Six Ways Paperwork Costs Specialty Contractors Money

According to this recent article in Construction Dive, workers cost companies "large chunks of time and money" searching for information across multiple systems. Dig into the report and you'll find that "70% of employees spend as much as 20 hours a week chasing information across different technologies instead of doing their job." Imagine adding to this "paperwork" and that's what we'll talk about here.

The amount of paperwork and reliance on email to facilitate activity including reviews, approvals, deliveries, etc. probably deserve much of the contempt by specialty contractors. It's been the standard way contractors have done things to build projects for decades. This is also because it's tedious, time-consuming, and quickly disrupts organizations from the lack of controls. In this blog, we are going to focus on how paperwork costs specialty contractors money.

All that said, paperwork is how you get paid, so you can't afford NOT to do it. From hefty contracts, submittals, RFIs, drawings, schedules, invoices, change orders, bills of materials, and more, construction is about documenting performed work and is rooted in inefficiencies.

And while software options are ubiquitous, it's not always easy to give up the documentation processes you're familiar with for material purchasing and management; however, the status quo can seem tolerable in a landscape with so many software options, them carrying a significant investment of money, time, and implementation headaches. Many of them also are not purpose-built for managing materials and are accessible for all the stakeholders in the supply chain.

Many realize the pain of searching for correct documents (requests, invoices, bills), but it's time to wake up to how much paperwork impacts your profit margins.

Recognizing Paper Silos and Poor Handoffs (Workflow)

Below are five examples of how specialty contractor (subcontractor) employees waste time searching for information on paper documents. Remember that you're not alone if you see yourself in these scenarios. Many subcontractors overlook inefficiencies until a crisis is at hand. An overlooked invoice is lost or overpaid. Minor problems cause profits to dwindle when these small issues related to paper and poorly managed processes occur on every project.

Subcontractors don't get paid for the work done; they get paid for the work documented.

Many times overlooked invoices and paperwork occur because you're busy. However, when you place a price tag on these types of hidden costs, you can see a steady flow of money draining from every project. These are not absorbed costs. They are quantifiable diminishing returns.

1. Spending Too Much Time Searching for Docs is Costly

Finding the paper you need on a file network in the back office rather than contacting other departments to obtain copies is frustrating and time-consuming. In addition, tracking the status of spreadsheets or inventory on a spreadsheet then losing the current version of that Excel file also causes headaches and time from employees performing more productive tasks.

2. Overlooking Small Tasks Impact The Job Cost

A job in the green and ahead of schedule on the first floor can potentially cost you money on the 10th floor. With StructShare Material Management software integrated into your Procore Project Management, real-time material tracking and costs are available to view what is going on at the worksite and help identify errors and overlooked costs that can compound. Identify material management issues before they turn into big problems. In addition, integrating project management software to automate and streamline your processes offers real-time insights to keep projects on schedule and within budget.

3. Admin Costs and Material Delays Cause Free Work

Subcontractors don't get paid for the work done; they get paid for the work documented. The same applies to managing materials. Replacing manual workflows and paper with digital materials management software connects the back office, the field, warehouse, suppliers, GCs - the entire supply chain ecosystem of stakeholders. The implementation costs are negligible and can be activated in a day or two. Make it easy for your teams to manage materials more efficiently and eliminate the free work.

4. You lack documentation when litigation threatens.

Actual and threatened disputes are typical worksite and materials miscommunication and errors. When you focus on adopting the correct software, you eliminate discrepancies quickly. Manual workflows and documentation are replaced with digital tracking and an easily accessed in a single-source truth database combining activity and cost data.

Whatever the situation, real-time materials management combined with labor tracking ensures your team has the clarity to avoid and resolve disputes early in the process before the costly paper starts flying.

5. You Lose Opportunities to Grow Your Business $$$$$

Using paper, Excel, and other manual processes create inefficiencies that can cost you, customers, profits, and the ability to grow your business. That's the highest cost of all. It's made of all the smaller costs you can't recoup and the opportunities that don't make a second appearance. So don't let the fear of a switch keep your contracting business on the slow track, with profits leaking from poorly executed material management workflows.

The right material management software doesn't have to be expensive, complicated, or disruptive to rollout. At StructShare, we make it easy to digitize your current material purchasing and management workflows with affordable, easy use, and easily integrate with other software you may already have. And, of course, easy to scale to as many projects as needed.

You can switch to materials management software today. It's that easy and affordable.

It's time to switch. StructShare is one of the most affordable and easy to get started material purchasing and management software on the market. Get started today with the cloud-based platform and mobile app that seamlessly connects the field to the office. Purpose-built software for subcontractors keeps you on top of the real-time status of your projects, your workforce, and your documents.

What the increase in Material Prices means to you

What the increase in Material Prices means to you

Although the year started with cautious optimism that costs would continue to go down, the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show an increase in construction input prices. Specifically, "construction materials prices increased 0.4% in...

Green Building Success: Sustainable Strategies for Construction

Green Building Success: Sustainable Strategies for Construction

In the modern construction landscape, sustainability isn't just a buzzword—it's a necessity. As the industry struggles with environmental challenges, adopting green building practices becomes necessary for long-term success. We delve into actionable...

7 Reasons Technology Drives Successful Projects

7 Reasons Technology Drives Successful Projects

Specialty trade contractors face unique challenges in purchasing and material management that often go beyond the capabilities of basic tools like email, text, and spreadsheets. Learn why embracing more advanced tools is essential for successful projects and...