In this day and age, the hottest buzzword in preconstruction is without a doubt technology. Successful general contractors who are winning more work and earning more loyalty from project owners are doing so because they’re committed to using innovative, ground-breaking technologies, like construction estimating software. One aspect of technology that is often overlooked, though, is how it can enable you to focus on high-value activities that you may not have been able to focus on before.
You might be asking: what defines a high-value activity? Typically, these are activities that bring significant reward to both the industry as a whole as well as individuals working on a project. Some of these high-value activities include data analysis and data modeling, which can lead to developing and reinforcing industry standards, making preconstruction a more uniform and streamlined process across the board.
Additionally, high-value activities also help underscore the importance of preconstruction to the project lifecycle. While every task within preconstruction is necessary for the success of a project, the truth is that some tasks are more burdensome or tedious than others. For example, churning out a bunch of numbers is relatively easy. Organizing those numbers can also be easy, but very menial. Analyzing those numbers, on the other hand, can be incredibly exciting and also bring the company a host of rewards, like making better predictions faster and creating estimate templates.
Another key high-value activity that brings a host of benefits to everyone involved? Pursuing new projects. Especially for small-to-midsize contractors, it’s grueling to try and chase after additional projects when you’re still rushing to meet deadlines for existing ones. At the same time, it’s essential to the success of any general contractor that they add more projects to their docket. It quickly turns into a catch-22: you need more projects to succeed, but you also don’t want to overwhelm your team and start producing poor work or missing deadlines.
So How Can You Maintain Quality AND Pursue New Projects?
In order to protect your brand and add projects to your resume at the same time, it’s critical to have tools in place that allow you to streamline time-consuming activities so that you can turn your attention to catching more fish in the sea. However, even if you have the technology to do so, there are still three important things to remember if you want to hone in on project pursuit.
- Develop project templates
- Solidify standards for project selection
- Consider negotiated bid work over hard bids when possible
Develop Project Templates
According to Robbie Gronbach, Director of Preconstruction at Willis Smith, one of the biggest advantages of adopting a software like DESTINI Estimator is that “if we can streamline the workflow for a single project, that means we can add more projects to the roster, and in this time that we’re in right now, that’s essential.”
By developing estimate templates for projects, you can cut back on a lot of the time spent building out reports and bring more work in without having to compromise on quality.
Solidify Standards for Project Selection
Part of what makes certain activities high-value is that you can be selective when performing them. In the case of project pursuit, it’s absolutely essential that you don’t accept all potential customers; instead, it’s important to vet them and make sure that their vision aligns with yours.
Additionally, even with the help of technology, you also want to ensure that you aren’t putting too much on your plate; part of maintaining quality means that you’ll allow you and your team the time to work through projects accurately, rather than rushing.
Consider Negotiated Bid Work Over Hard Bids
In keeping with the importance of valuing product over time, you may also want to consider pursuing projects in a negotiated bid environment rather than those that require hard bids. Negotiated bids usually bring the best results for both the client and the general contractor: because you’re not competing against anyone else for the project, deadlines aren’t as tight and you can seek out your own subcontractors that you know have a proven track record. Hard bids are much more stressful and often end up being more expensive by the time the project is actually complete.
High-Value Activities Don’t Stop at Project Pursuit
If you’re wondering how you can start focusing more of your time on high-value preconstruction activities, you’ll need to start by seeing if your current toolkit allows you to pursue this kind of focus. Project pursuit is just one of the many high-value activities you can turn your attention toward once you onboard a construction estimating software like DESTINI Estimator. You can also expect to have more time to explore activities like benchmarking, which is the process of analyzing the estimated costs of a project in comparison to similar projects.