Illustration by Rae Scarfó
Scope and contract review, like the other workflows we’ve profiled recently, is a central phase of any construction project. It’s when the general contractor, after going through a rigorous bidding process, selects and finalises large, multi-page contracts with each subcontractor set to work on the project.
This workflow may differ across general contractors. For Amanda Wieting, a Bluebeam senior technical account manager and a former project manager at The Whiting-Turner Contracting Co., the process typically entailed an in-person meeting with the three lowest bids for each subcontract to review every fine detail of a presented scope of work.
“In that meeting, we would go through the scope and contract, we’d review everything and we’d have them initial each page,” Wieting said. “When we were ready to award the contract, we would have them sign it, and the executed contract was ready to go.”
There are ways to streamline the workflow using Studio in Revu, Bluebeam’s cloud-based portal for document management and collaboration.
For starters, like many construction workflows, this process traditionally requires a lot of paper.
Every subcontractor scope and contract is a large set of paper documents. And as Wieting described, each in-person scope and contract review meeting included making a series of agreed-upon revisions and alterations to the paperwork, often by manually annotating pages with a pen.
Then, after incorporating the revisions and finalising the contract, multiple paper copies of the contract were made before being signed by all parties.
Here are three ways Studio in Revu can be used to make scope and contract reviews more efficient.
Use Studio Projects for document management with subcontractors
For general contractors accepting bids for construction projects, there is potentially a lot of different contracts and scope paperwork that needs to be reviewed and organised with the different subcontractors before the formal review with each subcontractor takes place.
These documents, which may include a lot of boilerplate exhibits as well as contractor-specific scopes, could be stored and organised in a Studio Project. This allows all the different stakeholders on the project, including the general contractor and the various subcontractors, a centralised place within the Revu ecosystem that would also allow them to engage in a Session for document collaboration or to annotate them before preparing them for the final scope and contract review.
“Being able to post that information in a Studio Project would be really nice,” Wieting said.
Moreover, in addition to using Studio to organise within internal teams the standard template and exhibits, Studio Sessions , in particular, could be used among team members for internal scope reviews before sharing and coordinating with the subcontractors.
After all, different project team members need to agree on the different scopes of work before the subcontractors are brought in for the formal review. Using Studio Projects and Sessions is a great way to do that.
Use Studio Sessions to revise and finalise contracts
In-person meetings may not always be optimal for scope and contract review. Coordinating different meetings with several subcontractors can be difficult, so why not take the review and revision process online by using the document collaboration and annotation capability of Studio Sessions?
Although Wieting said her experience with this phase of scope and contract review mostly took place via in-person meetings, she said migrating the review and revisions into a Studio Session is a viable option to save time while managing several different subcontractor reviews at once.
And because the documents are already managed and stored in a Studio Project, it’s easy for them to be uploaded into a Session, at which point subcontractors are digitally invited to chat, annotate and respond to questions or comments. What’s more, all annotations are digitally tracked in each Session, so if anyone has a question regarding a particular annotation, it’s easy to see when and who inserted it for follow-up.
“Being able to clarify the scope in a Session where it’s tracked so it shows a record and history behind every annotation — that would be pretty useful,” Wieting said.
Sign contracts digitally with Studio Projects
In addition to being able to review and make revisions to different subcontractor scopes and contracts in Studio in Revu through a Session, contracts can be finalised and, ultimately, signed using the digital signature capabilities available in a Studio Project.
However, digitally signing any official documents should be done in a Studio Project and not a Session, Wieting said, because it’s only in a Project that users can make document-level changes.
“They could digitally sign with an actual digital signature,” Wieting said, referring to the different project subcontractors. “This is nice for a contract because then you know that it prevents people from changing it.”
Making a change
Overall, Studio in Revu allows construction industry professionals the ability to digitalise and streamline a variety of project workflows, cutting down on physical paper clutter and providing all stakeholders with a clean and clear way of processing and approving vital information.
With scope and contract review, Studio provides general contractors with the ability to eliminate paper and bolster document management for multiple project subcontractors, while also providing subcontractors with a convenient contract review-and-finalise experience that saves them time and gives them peace of mind.