Why a Digital Change Order Process is a MUST for General Contractors

RhumbixOctober 31, 2018 • 2 min read

The goal of any successful General Contractor is to complete a building project on time and under budget. Of course, the process itself can be fraught with setbacks and challenges preventing any project beginning and ending exactly as defined. Think back to any major construction projects, perhaps the scope doubled in size, your city/state issued changes in codes and regulations or you’ve experienced unforeseen site conditions due to inclement weather. Moreover, even the best planning can’t account for out of scope work, fortunately there is a better way to deal with ad hoc changes than trying to keep track of it all on paper.

Inaccurate Project Scope/Design Changes
Design changes, reflected in incomplete or vague drawings, are the most common on design-build projects and often lead to work stoppages and cost overruns. These changes can have a significant impact on the project budget.

Inaccurate Specs
Project specifications outline the materials and workmanship required for development. A problem occurs when the design and drawing do not equate to the correct and actual specifications.

Material Substitutions
It’s not uncommon for a contractor to modify or substitute materials or equipment.  Sometimes the materials ordered don’t meet your expectations or your preferred materials are simply unavailable.  Whatever the reason for the substitution, you’ll need a change order (an official request for additional time and funds to complete revised contractual obligations). Unfortunately, most firms still process their change orders (T&M tickets) manually – a painful and error-prone exercise.

Paper Tickets are handwritten in the field and must include detailed information about what/why/who as well as the resources. It requires review and verification at the field-level and is then routed to the general contractor and any subcontractors for confirmation. Then they are priced, approved and documented (think logs and spreadsheets). This manual change order process is inefficient (think lost/damaged tickets) and wasteful (duplicate efforts), often resulting in a greater cost exposure.

The bottom line is that change orders are inevitable. And since they have a direct impact on the project’s profitability, it’s critical to establish an effective change order process.

Rhumbix T&M Tracking provides a cloud-based paperless solution for reporting, tracking, and approving T&M tags. It’s about providing General Contractors with near real-time visibility to all open and historical T&M tags submitted by subcontractors. It’s fast and accurate since you’re getting data from the field directly and in real time. More importantly, it’s simple to use, which means that change orders will get done in a timely manner.