General contractors are often considered the heart of a construction project. In a single project, they are responsible for bidding on contracts, confirming subcontractors, applying for building permits, hiring personnel, securing property, providing temporary utilities on-site, and providing site surveying, just to name a few. Often, general contractors are simultaneously juggling multiple projects at different phases of construction, which can potentially result in schedule delays and capital loss.
Considering that many general contractors are concurrently managing various aspects of construction projects, Applied Technology Group (ATG) USA recently hosted a webinar entitled “Autodesk Construction Cloud: Why General Contractors Need It.” The webinar highlighted the benefits of utilizing Autodesk Construction Cloud, which is a digital solutions platform used to streamline the many intricate processes that general contractors manage daily. ATG USA Senior Construction Solution Specialist, Kyle Lee, and Autodesk Partner Solutions, Partner Marketing Manager, Lisa Stine, offered participants a detailed walkthrough of how to leverage tools from the Autodesk Construction Cloud portfolio.
Why do general contractors need Autodesk Construction Cloud?
When considering a cloud platform, firms want a solution that helps organize their services to run their businesses more effectively. Autodesk Construction Cloud not only encompasses the general functions of a digital solutions platform, but it’s specifically designed for general contractors to connect their construction office and field teams. Autodesk Construction Cloud streamlines and connects workflows, teams, and data at every stage of construction to reduce risk, maximize efficiency, and increase profits. There are two primary value drivers that general contractors should focus on when considering Autodesk Construction Cloud.
The first is Building Connected Pro. This solution allows general contractors to build and scope out their projects and locate the essential resources and tools for a project. Features include:
- Segment Tasks Out – This feature offers the capability to segment tasks out through tabs. Active projects can be viewed, however there is an option to silo those out to make the projects that you are actively engaged in, visible.
- Recycle Bid Forms – This solution enables general contractors to maintain consistency with project-specific bid forms by recycling forms developed by colleagues that are aligned with their bid.
- No Deletion– This tool relocates closed projects to a closed folder as opposed to deleting them, allowing them to be leveraged in the future.
- Template Options – This system can build out templates for more consistent and efficient work.
- Create Project Packages – This tool allows general contractors to create project packages then distribute them through a builders’ network to solicit subcontractors to bid on the project.
- Track Bid Proposals – This system enables general contractors to review proposals as they are submitted and send reminders to subcontractors to complete.
- Award Contractors – This solution has an option to create a soft awarded file to distinguish tentative awardees and communicate conditions and requirements for the project.
Once contractors are awarded through Building Connected Pro, it’s now time to manage the project. The second value driver that general contractors should focus on when considering Autodesk Construction Cloud is managing projects with Autodesk Build. The management features of Autodesk Build include:
- Streamlined Document Management
This feature facilitates:
- Document Control
- Document Approvals
- Document Versioning
Through streamlined document management, general contractors can create whatever level of folder structure is necessary to manage projects by regulating permissions, requesting approval, and ensuring everyone are up to date on the most accurate information by working on the same version.
- Configurable Project ManagementThis service tracks:
- Meeting Minutes
- Daily Reports
- Quality Planning
- Issue Management
Through configurable project management, general contractors can manage workflows in one area to meet their team’s needs and keep the project on track.
- Proactive Quality ManagementThis service ensures:
- Quality Planning
- Quality Assurance / Quality Control
- Issue Management
Through proactive quality management, general contractors can manage the quality of their project from anywhere and on any device, which offers them the ability to maintain the highest level of quality on the project.
- Robust Safety ManagementThis service engages everyone in site safety by offering:
- Safety Planning
- Safety Training
- Safety Observance
- Safety Inspection
Through robust safety management, general contractors can plan appropriate onsite safety checks and training to ensure the site is adequately secure for safety inspections.
- Connected Cost ManagementThis service offers access to:
- Budget Creation and Contract Administration
- Change Orders
- Cost Forecasting
- Payment Application
Through connected cost management, the general contractor can centralize and manage construction costs on one platform to maintain the financial health of the project and quickly understand the impacts of cost performance.
- Unified Data
This service collects:
- Cost Items
By having access to unified data, the general contractor will have the entire lifecycle of project data on one platform, which will offer a concise understanding of how they’re performing on their project.
The Autodesk Construction Cloud is a platform that can be leveraged from the onset of project design and can be utilized through the handover and completion of the project to your owner. By having the ability to streamline bids and manage a project remotely, general contractors can effectively perform at the highest level.
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