Don’t Pay the Price of Outdated Drawings

Written by LetsBuild

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The price of outdated drawings. What’s that?” you may ask. Well, let’s have a look at the subject.

The worst instance of it that I have come across was when I had a freelance site manager’s contract for a new Distribution Depot for one of the Big 4 Supermarkets. I was told the job was in a right mess and running very late and that the existing site manager and contracts manager were the ones who had made it that way. I took the job but insisted that both those people be kept well away from the site.outdated_drawing.jpg
I opened up the site office and was shocked! The paperwork was stacked up high everywhere! Many envelopes hadn’t even been opened and drawings not even unfolded. Nothing had ever been acted upon and then filed away for future reference. Set to and sorted it out. My new Boss was quite upset at being asked for a drawing rack and some drawing clips!

From memory some of the things that had been done to out-dated drawings were a couple of hectares of storage racks put up in the wrong places; a mezzanine office floor constructed in the wrong place; a whole office area fitted out in the wrong building; … and so on! So the cost of putting all this right – in other words “the price of outdated drawings” – was going to be around the £5 million mark on what was only a £8 million contract in the first place! All because our sub-contractor’s people hadn’t looked at the drawings coming in and passed them on to their own sub-sub-contractors! Incidentally, I’ve never been able to understand how the job was allowed to get into this state by the Client’s people!

Now the Client had not only their Main Contractors people on site, but also their own in-house Project Manager who, unusually, was a construction professional. He saw that I was catching up on the work still outstanding and formed a good opinion of me. That allowed for private discussions. The result of that was, because of the time delay to re-work all that should have been reworked, the Client reverted to Plan A and decided to leave things as they were! But do be aware; that isn’t usually a possible option when you do work to out-dated drawings! Normally it is a case of undo what has been done and do it right this time! Fail and usually contracts are Determined! Bond not re-payed; no payment for work not already paid for; reputation in ruins; bankruptcy!

So how do you make sure that your people are never working to outdated drawings; that they always have the most up-to-date versions immediately they are issued? Well, in today’s IT-orientated world there is a simple and cheap answer to that; use GenieBelt!!

Immediately the Architects issue a revised drawing it appears on your office computer! It also appears on all the tablet or smart phone of every tradesmen involved in the project! That does away with all risks of working to out-dated drawings and the financial risks that involves! If someone is old-fashioned and likes working form paper drawings it only costs about £8 to get one. Some enlightened outfits even have a Plotter on site to run them off on!

Back to the above project I waffled on about – we were about a week off completion when the old site manager suddenly appeared back on site on the Wednesday. On the Friday the Boss appeared and fired me! The old site manager also got fired the following Tuesday! Then, about a year later, the Client’s PM phoned me; would I take a contract with the same outfit for another of their distribution Depots? I asked him why on earth they were using that contractor again! I got a one-word answer; “Price!”

“I must refuse, thank you very much” and I’ve no idea of the outcome of that job!