Make Job Handoff a Breeze to Stay On Time & Budget
You have the winning bid and landed the project, congrats on bringing in new business for your growing contracting business. Now comes a critically important yet often overlooked step before the project kicks off – a properly coordinated job handoff to the field team. Without that, you can anticipate a collection of costly problems.
If you’re experiencing any of the following issues, then you may be suffering from poor job handoff:
- Miscommunication over the scope of work, budget, and installation methods resulting in rework and cost overruns.
- Coordinating labor and material to be on the jobsite at the right times to keep everyone productive.
- Project management and field managers do not understand project sequencing and hold up other adjacent trades putting the schedule at risk.
- Billing milestones are not clear resulting in untimely payments against the billing schedule.
Any of those sound familiar? These problems will cost you – and the amount of money lost or delayed increases by the size of company and number of people working within the flawed system.
It’s clear that poor job handoff meetings (or lack of them altogether) will impact your ability to perform jobs profitably. But what is broken and how do you fix it?
Are You Doing it Wrong?
If you’re not having job handoff meetings and a documented process this is a mistake and it’s costing you. If your handoff from estimator to project manager simply consists of dumping a dusty set of plans on their desk, then you’re actively failing at job handoff. This handoff step requires more than merely transferring information from the ‘win-the-work’ sales team to the ‘build-that-thing’ production team. In short, if you lack collaboration, you’re doing it wrong.
Granted, you’re not doing it wrong because you want to lose money. For many construction companies, this step-skipping is usually due to the admirable qualities related to acting fast to keep clients happy and staying on schedule to complete the work on time. However, it is wise here to slow down to speed up. Do not overlook the time it takes to prepare for a project that you want to perform with quality and profitability in focus.
The Right Way
A coordinated project kickoff meeting to transfer the project from estimating to project management team prior to any project starting is essential for a successful project outcome. Yes, it will take time upfront, but will save ample time and frustration as the project progresses.
Doing handoff the right way involves planning, preparing a package, and lots of communication. Sharing knowledge about every detail and following a systemized process will help ensure you produce consistent outcomes that deliver customer satisfaction, a quality project, and profitable results.
As you create your package and prepare your meeting discussion items, consider the following list of items to address:
- Scope Review
- Project Schedule – Outline phases and any important milestones (including billing)
- Outline project team – determine pecking order onsite, internally and externally (who can make decisions and who you should call)
- Labor and material budgets – make sure stakeholders understand and agree with estimated budgets
- Staffing – who will be onsite, who’s in charge, working times and safety
- Billing processes – discuss milestones again and due dates for payment applications and coordinate work to coincide with the schedule of values.
- Change Order Process – make sure the team knows the process and follows it. No work without written approval by the right person.
If the estimating doesn’t handover the right information at the onset, you’re in for problems that will eat into your profits. And of course each one of those topics may require pages and pages of information, which begs a series of questions. Do you have any process established for the handoff and can it be easily done.
Before you give in to feelings of overwhelm and drowning in a sea of paper, know that a truly successful handoff will include technology to facilitate communication and limit confusion. That’s a vital component of streamlining this important step while ensuring accuracy, accountability, and workflow.
Turn to Technology
The right software can make job handoff a breeze. Instead of a pile of papers being handed off from one person to the next, use construction software to connect authorized users instantly to the information they need to do their jobs. The right software will allow seamless workflow from the estimate providing the details to perform tasks such as creating purchase orders, buying out the job, and creating a plan for execution of the project. You can also use technology to tie the estimate to the project budget, automatically create a job budget and billing schedules, automate purchasing processes based on estimating details. Plus, share drawings from the estimating process so the project manager can quickly and accurately create schedules, check lists, and more. Furthermore, choosing a cloud-based will allow access and progress anytime and anywhere.
Technology can establish and support your process so you can appreciate easy implementation and management when you define your reliable system for job handoff and beyond. Not only can you use construction estimating software to quickly produce accurate estimates, but also include detailed specifications and cost data to easily prepare a professional proposal, and then also swiftly transfer into project management phase. The big takeaway here? Everyone is using current, correct information.
So not only are you able to cut down or eliminate monotonous and mistake-prone duplicate data entry, but also host information in a single accessible location, which reduces the need for multiple job folders or project binders. Save time by enabling all parties to access information and see changes in real time.
As a technology leader, Esticom provides construction estimating software that’s trusted by contractors for better profitability, collaboration, and streamlined processes. So of course we’re ready to help you make job handoff a breeze! Don’t let handoff be a slippery slope to disaster. Let us show you how to take that step with a proven system today.