05 Aug 3 Ways Forward-Thinking Construction Firms are Stepping Up to Meet New Owner Demands in 2020
The construction industry accounts for a significant portion of Puerto Rico’s economic activity and is a vital part of the financial resurgence to be had locally. The COVID-19 pandemic, however, has sparked incredibly complex challenges, from nervous lenders to on-site safety measures to liability. Documentation has become an absolutely vital tool for the protection and preservation of resources in this uncertain environment. How are innovative firms such as DDD reacting locally?
Owners are increasingly concerned
Construction firms have long been expected to hand over a documentation package to site owners at the completion of a project, including specific information like certificates of occupancy, city, and state inspection reports, structural, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing reports, structural testing reports, and architectural drawings. Still, in the midst of these uncertain times, owners are becoming increasingly worrisome. To ensure projects are going according to plan, owners require visual evidence that jobs are moving forward. This means general contractors are expected to share pictures throughout the project in a manner that demonstrates a structure’s clear development. And because job sites are not as accessible as we’re used to, owners also want virtual access to job sites so that they can see for themselves exactly how a project is shaping up. Additionally, they want more insight into the cause of delays. Whether it’s material shipments not arriving according to schedule or sick workers, owners want to know how a contractor will rectify these issues to keep projects on schedule. On top of this, they want all of this documentation housed in one centrally located, easy-to-access location rather than in piecemeal documents, forms, and emails. Understandably, they want more data to reduce the risk they are taking on projects, and they feel especially grateful for the builders they partner with that give them visual access and a well-documented job site.
This means that unprepared contractors have found themselves in a precarious position. In addition to protecting themselves against the typical things like warranty issues, incorrect charges, trade damage, and broken materials, they are also dealing with an increase in site vandalism, theft, and squatting thanks to fewer workers on the premises or temporary suspensions of projects due to COVID-19. All of these issues impact their ability to get a job completed on time and on budget, yet in many cases, contracts fail to specify if they are legally responsible for delays or cost overruns, pandemic or not. As a result, contractors are now relying extensively on documentation at every stage of a project to protect themselves in the event of future litigation and to ensure they are charged and paid out accordingly. What are forward-thing firms doing to ease the anxiety of project owners?
Policies and procedures for distancing
To guard against potential future lawsuits from workers or owners, DDD Group has been at the forefront of workplace safety, as dictated by the Puerto Rico Department of Labor and the Association of General Contractors. Our sites have our policies and procedures for safety clearly in these portals or apps, ensuring that adherence to CDC guidelines is well documented. This helps owners feel at ease by relaying our urgency for compliance.
More transparency in scheduling
COVID-19 has forced general contractors to entirely rethink how we schedule jobs and deploy workers. Many have turned to their portals and apps to ensure that there is a clear schedule of who is working where on what. This makes it simple to see that appropriate distancing practices are followed and thus facilitates contact tracing in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak. By posting and updating schedules accordingly, any impact of a high percentage of sick workers on a job’s progress can be seen and analyzed. Further, by providing training and support to employees, DDD Group has set a high bar in personnel communication and efficient project and personnel scheduling with tools that were in use way before the pandemic ever emerged.
Improving project management
The correct software tool makes it simple to track pricing and delivery. Any substantial price increases or shipping delays due to COVID-19 can be shared with owners or lenders to negotiate (or renegotiate) contract terms as needed, providing some cover for general contractors who could be hit hard by changing conditions. Are you familiar with the software solutions and advantages of your design-build firm? Partnering with a firm such as DDD can significantly improve your experience, as we have the technical know-how to leverage the latest technologies to our clients’ advantage.
At DDD Group, it has always been our priority to instill resilience not only in our projects but also in our firm, maintaining processes in their optimum operational standard. To learn more about how we can manage your project, contact us.