Change Orders: A Subcontractors Biggest Challenge

Francine HarrisOctober 26, 2018 • 2 min read

Change orders can wreak havoc on even the most seasoned construction team.  But change orders don’t happen in a vacuum. Consider that most large construction projects typically involve numerous subcontractors. On average, they can account for up to 18% of the final job costs. For many, the percentages can be far greater, upwards of 25%. Therefore, a change order can have a significant ripple effect.

No doubt that your construction project moves quickly so you know that work is often required in the field prior to the formal change orders and client approvals. Subcontractors frequently perform work outside their contracted scope on the basis that approvals and change orders will follow. Unfortunately, when change orders aren’t properly managed, it can quickly derail the success of a project. Ballooning project costs, project delays, interruption of workflow are by far the biggest headaches.

Being able to effectively manage change orders doesn’t have to be difficult. Digital field-based change orders enables a subcontractor to efficiently identify the need for change orders and manage them as they arise on a project. If not, they’re facing a multitude of challenges.

Project Communication
Phone calls, sticky notes, and smoke signals are not the ideal methods of communicating project changes. For subcontractors, communication is the backbone of all efficient operations. And without it, say goodbye to streamlined operations and improved accuracy. Adopting a mobile and cloud-based software, such as Rhumbix, empowers subcontractors to improve communication between the field, office, and the general contractors. This ensures real-time communication between everyone involved. Project managers and supervisors are better able to keep track of jobsite progress to ensure that milestones and deadlines are met on time and on/under budget.

Project Efficiency
Record-keeping and file maintenance can be an administrative burden for any business.  Subcontractors that do so with manual and paper-based records are especially burdened and are far more prone to errors and missteps. Fortunately, mobile and cloud-based system for record keeping and change orders, enables any subcontractor to easily access all notes, documents, and photos from anywhere. Rhumbix helps subcontractors quickly track the most up to date versions of any change order, preventing stoppage or rework.

Project Payment
Accurate record keeping equals accurate invoicing and payment. Inaccurate or incomplete records (i.e., manual change orders, time and labor) yields spotty payments and a poor bank balance. Subcontractors must leverage an automated tool to help organize their records in a single place that can be easily accessed from the field, updated and sent out at any time.

Fortunately, Rhumbix T&M Tracking provides a cloud-based paperless solution for reporting, tracking, and approving T&M tags. It’s about providing subcontractors with near real-time visibility to all open and historical T&M tags submitted to general contractors. It’s fast, accurate and the best solution to a subcontractor’s biggest challenges.

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