Construction Submittal Process
April 04, 2021
It’s impressive to pass by a construction site over the course of its build, watching the physical work come together. Like a carefully directed performance, there are many processes that go on behind the scenes to make it all happen. One of the most important of these is the submittal process.
Over the years, software has brought the predominantly manual submittal process into the digital age. But today’s cloud-based documentation software brings advanced functionalities that introduce much-needed efficiencies to this traditionally labor-intensive task. Here are a few of the many benefits you stand to gain.
- Centralized submittal management in a single repository. Think of the large volume of required documentation you have to assemble for each project. You’re responsible for gathering and organizing thousands of items for review, each with its own set of essential details such as model numbers, dimensions, quantities, colors, manufacturer information and so on. On top of that, there are the drawings, equipment specifications, proposed schedules and pre-construction meeting notes. It can all seem a bit unwieldy and overwhelming. With cloud-based documentation software, however, all that information can be stored and managed virtually within a single source of truth. Without hard copy files and submittal logs to gather and store, there’s no risk of damage or theft. And with everything housed in one place, there are no more head-scratching searches for missing, lost or misplaced documents or disconnected pieces of data. Imagine what that means for improving efficiencies in your submittal process for infrastructure or capital projects. Even better, if you work with BIM, you can connect to models for a more detail-rich package.
- Universal accessibility. Now that you have a place for all those documents to call home, do you have a wireless connection? That’s all anyone, from any office, needs to make that virtual repository accessible so they can view and share what they need, when they need it, in real time. Subcontractors and vendors are able to upload their respective documents to it for the contractor to assess and approve. Architects and design teams can access the entire submittal package for evaluation. No need for anyone to have a particular computer program installed to view and comment on files. No more spending the equivalent of a small forest to make copies of submittals for distribution to multiple reviewers. Plus, there’s none of the associated costs of prep time, printing and delivery. This accessibility grows exponentially when adding a mobile app to the mix so documents can be reviewed and routed via smartphone or tablet.
- Improved collaboration and communication. Your expanded access doesn’t stop with submittal paperwork. That’s because cloud-based documentation software isn’t just about documents; it also opens up communication channels so the design and contractor teams can reach out to each other for real-time collaboration. In other words, they gain access to each other — with the software acting as a communication hub. That hub can really make a noticeable difference on large capital projects or commercial builds that involve a much larger number of subcontractors, craftspeople and vendors to manage and communicate with. Software provides a highly efficient means through which to send out RFQs, ask questions, request clarification and disseminate updates to submittal details to the right parties. And that can lead to a smoother review and approval process. Not only that, collective decisions among teams are possible when everyone is able to refer to the same information on which to make them. Collaboration at this stage ultimately becomes more productive, better informed, more efficient.
- More efficient workflow processes. What do you get when you combine virtual storage, remote access and integrated communication? A smoother workflow. And this isn’t all some cloud-based document management solutions can do to make that workflow as seamless as possible. For example, you may find solutions that offer real-time markups and approvals directly within it, so you avoid the time-sapping drag on the process from continuously downloading and uploading item-after-item. That reduces review time to a fraction of what it would normally take when done manually. An automatic notification feature alerts team members when submittal materials are ready for the next step in the process. It can mean a lot less last-minute scrambling — and some much-needed breathing room — when making those submission deadlines. Sifting through files becomes easier with search functionality, saving you time when you need to reference something at a moment’s notice. Again, all do their part to make the traditionally effort- and time-intensive submittal process that much more streamlined and less frustrating.
Keeping such large volumes of documents and data moving seamlessly among scores of people becomes less daunting and more achievable with the right software — which can help set the tone for the rest of the project. InEight Document, created specifically for the construction industry, is a tool many companies are using successfully for infrastructure and capital projects to gain control over their document management, including their submittals. Schedule a demo to see how your company can benefit from the advanced efficiencies InEight Document offers.