Disagreements and disputes are major issues in construction projects and the overall construction industry. The disputes can be costly that they can eat away a company’s profit margins as they pile up. In 2017, Arcadis reported that construction disputes in continental Europe amounted to an average value of €26.3 million (US$29.5 million) – lower than the global average value (US$43.4 million) but work can still be done to further reduce this.
In its conclusions, Arcadis emphasised that despite professional involvement in dispute avoidance being a part of risk management strategies now, “key considerations for future projects will be to make sure the foundational elements of a contract are on solid footing and reviews serving as the key to disputes avoidance”. Additionally, reducing the duration of construction disputes remains a key challenge in the future as Continental Europe deals a lot with resolving disputes in an untimely manner.
This may seem like this disputed issue is a huge one to tackle however, it is also obvious to realise that it is feasible a goal just by recording daily construction activities and events at any given site. In this article, we will explain how an interactive site diary record system can protect you and your construction stakeholders from disputes while helping you out with your overall productivity.
When do conflicts or disputes arise?
Conflicts arise when stakeholders disagree on particular job completions. The meaning of “complete” is relative and the contractor might have a different idea than the project manager. The project manager’s responsibility is to protect himself and his construction firm against substandard work and poor project delivery. The contractor, on the other hand, must ensure that he and his team will get paid for all the labor they provide.
Conflicts can also happen when a party neglects their contractual obligations and run away from responsibilities and all accountability.
The devil is in the construction details
The idiomatic expression, “the devil is in the details”, refers to problems that result from unforeseen nature of unexamined details. It’s the catch hidden in the details rather than the truth in its abstract sense. Despite the cliche, this proves to be true in construction. That’s why keeping a construction site diary is important; the key is to include as much detail as possible, too.
Your picture paints a thousand words
Just as Bread sang it, pictures do paint a thousand words and are very valuable in record keeping. Pictures can capture and record a situation as is with no room for interpretation and alteration that is easy for supervisors and higher admin to assess and judge for whatever purpose.
Anyone with a smartphone can record photo evidence of a work situation and easily retrieve it when needed.
Location, location, location
Conflicts can also arise from location confusions. Huge building projects can have multiple rooms of identical dimensions. Accurate location records allow less confusion of this type. Workers can log on their daily reports which work they’ll be doing, where they’ll be doing it and if the work has been done.
Under the weather
An interactive site diary can add important information automatically. Because unfavorable weather conditions can lead to delays at any given day, having the ability to add this data automatically can help everyone understand why a specific task has been delayed.
Aside from the level of detailedness and the ease of updating, a daily site record should also be readable and easy to understand. The goal is to have a site diary that is easy to understand even by those not familiar with it. A digital site diary can have that significant level of detail that can be highlighted for better clarity.
It’s written in the cloud
With cloud storage and cloud technology, storing records are no longer limited to small spaces or small memories. Having a site diary that has cloud-based storage makes all your data easily accessible for retrieval. You can share updates instantly in real-time to people who immediately need the information to make better data-based decisions.
Want to learn more about what a site diary is? Discover our ultimate guide to construction site diary keeping.
The benefits of a digital interactive site diary
Traditional pen-and-paper site diaries and construction logs are very time-consuming in keeping them updated. Hard records are susceptible to physical damage and can get lost easily. Manual updating on the same piece of document can make your records confusing.
Excel, Word and PDF reports may be digital copies but can be also time-consuming as you have the same limited interaction with their content. Data processing and analysing take time because you still have to perform manual data manipulation.
Modern construction project management technology offers a better and mobile way. The right digital site diary solution for you allows your daily construction site records to be interoperable with an entire management system that integrates with other construction technology. This allows your daily site diary records to be stored indefinitely in one platform that can serve as the backbone of all your construction reporting.
You can access your daily construction logs from anywhere, maintain them easily and invest as little time as possible, This lessens your admin burden, giving you back your time to be more productive and focus on actual important site activities.
LetsBuild is exactly what you need as your partner in the field. It’s the ultimate easy-to-use construction management software with an elaborate construction site diary feature to help you document, monitor and control your daily site activities and consequential project progress in real-time. It also has site diary templates that you can customise so you can have full control over your building project’s quality, safety and daily progress with just a few clicks!
For example, contractors need to submit as-built documentation towards project completion. All data linked to the deviations and reworks made need to be compiled together. Having a solid document management system saves a lot of time and effort in retrieving the most minute of details.
All things considered
It is impossible to entirely eliminate conflicts and disputes but with construction technology, we are on our way. Equipping your construction business with detailed and accurate construction documentation of all that happens on-site gives you the upper hand to avoid disputes and steer clear of the high costs associated with them.