Proactive Precon: How Top Contractors Master Preconstruction
May 16, 2019
Clients of Pype AutoSpecs have always stunned us with their ingenuity and problem solving when using our platform. From searching for long lead and sole source items in product data, to alerting the design team of potential gaps and inconsistencies early in the process, these clients found tremendous value using AutoSpecs in preconstruction and estimating.
Like every general contractor, PCL Construction was looking for a leg-up in the bidding process, and found it in AutoSpecs. Using the platform to drill down into project requirements, like sole-source products, their estimating department provided more accurate and detailed project bids. “It gives us greater confidence in our cost estimates,” says Larry Andreychuk, a Quality Management Business Systems Analyst at PCL. This benefit also followed them when putting bids out to subcontractors. Using the closeout requirements AutoSpecs pulled from the specs with the rest of the submittals, PCL could enter into more detailed contracts with trade partners, and trades could request necessary documents from manufacturers while ordering products. PC Carmen Thirsk concluded, “Considering the extremely large specification documents on our project, we’d still be in the process of identifying submittals if we had to do the old method.”
Kris Lengieza, Vice President of Operational Excellence at Stiles Construction, and his team ran into similar delays when creating their submittal logs. After getting their hands on AutoSpecs, PMs at Stiles could extract information relevant to individual trades, including product data, QA/QC requirements, and sole-source items, and export it in an excel sheet to send to bidding subcontractors in about five minutes. They were even able to include closeout requirements like attic stock, O&M manuals, and special warranties in the export, making sure trade partner bids reflected their entire scope of work. As for the design team, Stiles was also able to easily identify inconsistencies between the plans and the specs and could notify the design team well in advance of the build phase.
McCarthy Building Companies
At McCarthy Building Companies, project executives and project engineers alike were growing frustrated with their outdated submittal review process eating up time that should have been spent on understanding the project and other tasks.
“AutoSpecs allowed the project teams to dig more deeply into what is there, and what may be missing,” said David Burns, Director of Innovation and Field Application, “Now, the team is having conversations with the design team and subcontractors into the what and why, as opposed to using that time for a search and copy- paste process.” And when new spec revisions came in, they were no longer tethered to the same, tedious process. “AutoSpecs is more concise and efficient than the manual extraction of information. It’s a better use of people’s time and performs functions, like comparison of specification revisions, that are not usually done in such great detail.” said Senior PM David Heyde.
Robins & Morton
Robins & Morton typically deals with large-scale construction projects, with an average spec book reaching more than 2,000 pages long. Not only did they experience a 90% time reduction in their log creation and review process using AutoSpecs, they were also able to create trade-specific logs to send out to trade partners. “This helps us dive in and coordinate better,” said Project Manager Jon DeHondt, adding that they were also able to identify and remove irrelevant submittals and requirements, but also keep track of easily forgotten aspects of the project. Overall, DeHondt and his team found that “AutoSpecs allows us to be more proactive with the process instead of reactive like we have in the past. We’re able to do everything up front and know exactly what we need. Our projects flow a lot better.”
Texas based firm Rogers O’Brien Construction would routinely run into delays as a result of their manual submittal log creation process. When Todd Wynne, Director of Applied Technologies, found AutoSpecs, he thought “the level of technology Pype offered was more like science fiction, and we were shocked it existed.” Not only were their logs more accurate, which saved time and improved quality during the build phase, but the time they took to create and review them dropped by 80% during preconstruction. Superintendent Johnathon Grammer concluded “The more we used Pype, and the data it created in the provided dashboards, we were able to visually see our accuracy on projects, and it’s nice to know your metrics from that kind of data.”
Okland Construction is one of Pype AutoSpecs’ earliest clients, having relied on the platform for many years. “Pype AutoSpecs has helped us standardize our submittal management process faster than we ever thought possible. What took weeks, now takes minutes.” Said Brad Wagner, Process Improvement Manager at Okland. His company has seen a 400% return on time investment from using AutoSpecs, and the ROI from company wide consistency is immeasurable. “As an enterprise client, we benefit from using AutoSpecs from Precon to Closeout to quickly digest and consistently execute on all project requirements.”
Warfel Construction Company
Phil Weaver, Warfel’s Senior Director of IT, noticed “a lot of grumbling from the FEs and PEs about the amount of energy going into creating a submittal log. They could easily spend 120 hours creating just one.” Even using a PDF viewing software, manually searching through the spec book and transferring submittals to an Excel sheet was slow going and prone to errors. It was a no-brainer for us to move forward with AutoSpecs,” says Weaver. “Half the organization knew we were doing this, so we had people calling us, asking when they can use it on their projects. Since it was cloud-based, we said, ‘You can use it now. Here’s how you do it.’”