All posts in Architectural Projects

With a Labour Shortage, Increased Productivity is Paramount

Project management in today’s climate is tough. We’re dealing with supply chain issues that result in ridiculous hold-ups. Record-high job vacancy levels are hitting our sector hard. Add the fact that there’s such high demand for construction projects that we could truly be making hay while the sun shines—if only we had the materials and skilled labour on hand to allow us to. Delays impact our bottom line and cause huge issues for the clients relying on us to get them into a new home, office, hospital building etc. Many of us are having to say no to new projects because we simply don’t have the resources to take them on.

Where did everybody go?

Putting supply chain issues aside, clients and laypeople people can’t help but wonder: where did all the skilled labourers go? Many of us in the construction industry have seen the current skilled worker labour shortage looming on the horizon for decades. We knew that plenty of skilled tradespeople were edging closer to retirement. We also saw that there weren’t enough young people stepping up to replace them. According to Employment and Social Development Canada, this problem isn’t going away anytime soon. By 2028 an estimated 700,000 skilled trades workers are set to retire. 

However, foresight doesn’t make dealing with this thorny issue any easier. When the construction industry bounced back with a vengeance after the initial pandemic slowdown, those people that were still wanting to work were snapped up fast. Ultimately we still need to get the job done, whether we have enough people on our teams or not. 

So what can we do to mitigate this? Streamline our systems to make every action count on each and every project. And, when we are lucky enough to make new hires, we need to get those team members up to speed fast. That’s where project management software becomes crucial. It’s time to ditch spreadsheets and inconsistent communications. You need to implement systems that make project management more effective and efficient. 

Better systems bring better outcomes

When you use a cloud-based project management software, you ensure that all stakeholders on a project have access to the same information, the second that decisions are made and any documents are updated. With RForm, onboarding new (and existing) team members is fast and simple. When you invite team members, the invite includes a quick start video that outlines the basics of the software in just five minutes. Employees learn just how easy RFrom is to use and buy-in is generated from the get-go. As team members use the software, helper videos throughout are on hand to go over each section (though we find many users are able to jump right in with very little support needed). 

In this superheated market, we no longer have time to just keep doing things in the same way that we always have and hope for the best. It’s time to move workflows onto systems that free up more time to actually do the work. Who has the time to deal with communication breakdowns and errors caused by someone using an old document? Or because somebody missed the email with the new one, or forgot to update the spreadsheet? Contract administration software can help with productivity and efficiencies.

Innovation as a new-employee attractor

Using a cloud-based system may actually help you attract more skilled workers to your company. Having a central repository for all project data gives better control over projects, and the ability to see how workflow can improve as you move forward. Automating and expediting some of the paperwork especially submittals on projects appeals to potential hires who would much rather be doing the jobs that they trained for than staying on top of documents. New hires are actively looking to work for companies that encourage innovation. It’s time for everyone in the construction industry to work more effectively using the tech tools available to them.

RForm is free for 30 days. Sign up now or schedule a 20 min webinar to learn more.

Cash allowance or contingency?

Cash Allowance for patio garden

You are designing a new condominium building, and you’re not a landscape architect, however the development company your client has requested that the the landscaping for the building be included in the construction contract. You are behind schedule, the tender deadline is nearing, and there is no time to hire a landscape architect. What do you do? Postpone the tender? This is a case where a Cash Allowance may come to your rescue. Read More…

Bonding or insurance?

des office

An addition to an existing school valued at around $1M was out to tender. This was Robert’s first major project after starting his own firm, and as a newly registered architect he was still feeling his way around the world of tendering and contract administration. This was also the first time he had written specifications by himself.  

Everything was going pretty well with the tender, until Robert received a call from one of the bidders on the morning before the closing. The bidder asked if  instead of providing a bid bond and the other bonds listed, could he just include a copy of his builder’s risk insurance policy?

It was a pretty good policy, he was paying a lot of money for it, so what was the use of doubling up on the insurance with bonding? The contractor explained that the contract security (bid bonds, performance bonds and labour and material bonds) were just different forms of insurance and that he could save the owner a lot of money by not having to provide them. “Trust me,” he said, “insurance was all that was needed.” Robert started to question himself and the spec he had written. What should he do? Read More…

Shop drawing review – contractor essential

Florida Polytechnic ConstructionSometimes there is a bit of anxiety on the part of consultants on how far to go in the review of a shop drawing. This anxiety can be reduced by understanding a little bit of the purpose and intent of shop drawings along with the responsibilities of the contractor in the process. Read More…