On any given project, there are countless factors that lie outside the direct control of the remodeler that can make or break a job: weather, finicky clients, unpredictable subs, and suppliers are just a few.
“Our jobs are only as successful as the people we’re working with,” observes Michael Bruno, owner of Stone Creek Builders, in Shrewsbury, N.J., who uses Co-Construct construction management software in an effort to neutralize as many of these factors as possible.
Co-Construct, for which Bruno has recently become a sales consultant, has recently released a new version of the Web-based software that includes a scheduling module that sends automatic alerts to subs to keep them up to date on upcoming work and scheduling changes.
The new version also allows trade contractors to log directly in to Co-Construct (the previous version facilitated client-remodeler communications only) to access the master project schedule and view client selections relevant to their tasks.
“Before I started using this system, I’d leave a message with a sub about a schedule change, and when they didn’t show they’d say they never got the message,” Bruno says. Using Co-Construct, any schedule change is automatically e-mailed to the affected trade contractors for them to approve or decline. If future tasks are affected by the change, then those trades are also notified.
Bruno requires all of his subs to have an active e-mail account that they check daily, and he writes the use of Co-Construct into his subcontracts.
By giving trades direct access to (and only to) the pertinent job folders and product selections, the program also ensures against miscommunication on product specs. “The old-fashioned way of hauling around binders and folders [of product selections] was extremely inefficient,” Bruno says. His company once had a full-time employee who handled selections. Now that process is managed entirely through Co-Construct.