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How to Overcome Challenges to Creating Submittal Schedules

Did you know that AIA contracts stipulate that project teams create and submit submittal schedules within 14 days after contract award? Building your submittal schedule is a key step to ensuring that your project proceeds as planned, and that your team maintains contract compliance. Adhering to that schedule is how your architect approves submittals at a steady pace, making sure you’re not wasting days or overloading the design team (which can lead to costly mistakes and even more costly litigation). 

Yet, with all the other tasks and responsibilities project teams have to bear during precon, it’s not surprising that these submittal schedules are hastily compiled, rarely meet basic requirements, and are chock full of incomplete information thrown in just to meet deadlines. After all, the majority of teams run into at least one of the following common roadblocks when creating submittal schedules: 

  • It’s too time-consuming.
    • Just building your submittal log takes weeks of your team’s time, and it’s often still incomplete. Building a submittal schedule off of an incomplete submittal log would expose the project to delays associated with submittals.
  • We don’t have enough resources.
    • Your project isn’t fully staffed yet, and your team has to balance immediate, project-critical tasks with things that “can be done tomorrow,” perpetually putting it off until suddenly it has to be done today.
  • Our client probably won’t ask for it.
    • This isn’t your first project with this client, and they’ve never worried about having a submittal schedule before. So, why bother with one now when they might not miss it?
  • We don’t have enough information.
    • The information you need to complete the submittal schedule just isn’t there. Submittal schedules are tightly linked with project schedules, and maybe the project doesn’t have a detailed project schedule. Maybe you haven’t bought out your trades, or the Issued for Construction (IFC) specs are still on the way, so there’s no use putting together half now, half later.

Team members are using their valuable time creating half-baked submittal schedules just so they can move on to more pressing tasks. And, as more and more owners compress project budgets and schedules, getting things right the first time matters. With automation platforms like Pype AutoSpecs, your team can build submittal schedules they can trust and share with architects in a fraction of the time. 

  • AutoSpecs creates your draft submittal log automatically and reformats the information into an editable submittal schedule, allowing your team to assign responsible trades and target dates.
  • The high accuracy of the platform cuts down the time needed to review your draft submittal log before using it to create your submittal schedules. AutoSpecs makes this review easy with SpecView, presenting submittals side by side with the spec book and highlighting where each submittal was found. Team members can review the draft log and read the specs at the same time, and come away with an even deeper understanding of project requirements.
  • The draft log can be filtered by spec section, submittal type, and division, allowing your team to bulk assign responsible trades and target dates before AutoSpecs formats the log into a schedule. The platform helps your team compile the schedule, divide it by trade partner, and proactively send them out to the specialty contractors as well as your client before they even think to ask for it.
  • AutoSpecs’ versioning feature allows you to update your log with every new spec edition released, giving you an up-to-date submittal log within minutes. This means that as you receive your bid set, your construction document (CD) sets, and eventually your IFC set, your team can quickly create submittal schedules from each issued spec version. 

Submittal delays can lead to rework, schedule slippage, and be a deciding factor of a project’s profitability. Making or losing money shouldn’t come down to mistakes, especially ones that could have been prevented. During the project planning phase, the submittal schedule is one of the most important tools a GC (General Contractor) has to circumvent those mistakes, maintain contract compliance, and avoid litigation.  

Request a demo to learn how AutoSpecs can help start your next project strong with an accurate submittal log and submittal schedules. 

Satyam Verma

Satyam Verma is a sales veteran with a penchant for startups who received his economics degree from George Mason University. He serves as Pype’s Partnership Development Manager by building valuable business collaborations and also serves as the product expert for the sales department at Pype.

Connect with Satyam on LinkedIn.

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