Mistakes happen and plans change, especially in industries requiring a high level of detail and nuance like construction demands. Any miscalculations or errors in construction are addressed through rework. How big is this problem? According to PlanGrid, the construction industry as a whole spends $178 billion on rework to patch up errors on an annual basis.

While there will never be a bulletproof way to avoid rework entirely, there are strategies and steps you can take to minimize the likelihood it happens and the negative financial impact it has on your company. This is especially true today, thanks to advances in technology that make the process a whole lot easier. Here are 5 key ways to stay rework-free in 2020 across your organization.

While there will never be a bulletproof way to avoid rework entirely, there are strategies and steps you can take to minimize the likelihood it happens.

1. Invest in project management software.

Staying on task and being aware of how your project is progressing can be difficult, especially with bigger contracts that might take a long period of time to complete. That’s one of the reasons project management software has quickly become a $1.23 billion industry, according to AP News. By investing in this type of software, you’ll be able to take the guesswork out of project deadlines and schedules—replacing hunches with data.

As a quick, cautionary note, PM software usually doesn’t have deep functionality when it comes to employee time tracking relative to other workforce management solutions. Weigh the pros and cons of each prior to choosing one type of solution over another.

2. Take advantage of time tracking solutions.

Time tracking software is another key ingredient to avoiding rework. With its equipment and cost code tracking along with robust reporting, time tracking solutions like ExakTime can help you identify how long similar projects took your team in the past. Using this information, you can make more accurate projections and plans, decreasing the chances that your crew will be rushing and make a mistake that could cause rework. On top of that, with all of the time your managers will save by speeding up payroll and not chasing down paper time cards, they’ll be able to focus exclusively on the task at hand—ensuring all their attention is dedication to minimizing mistakes.

3. Leverage BIM software.

There are a number of high-quality BIM solutions on the market: Autodesk, Tekla BIMSight, Revit and more. BIM (Building Information Modeling) is a process that enables professionals in construction, engineering and architecture and to more effectively plan, design and construct various types of infrastructure. This software also uses 3D modeling to help crews better visualize the projects they’re tackling.

Subcontractors have the potential to make or break your project deadline times.

4. Hire the right subcontractors.

Subcontractors have the potential to make or break your project deadline times. Before partnering with a subcontractor, conduct research online to see what customers have to say about them. You can look through their case studies on their website, or choose vendors based on referrals from friends when possible. Doing your due diligence before picking a subcontractor siding with a solution will help lower the risk that something goes awry while doing business with them, so be as thorough as you can.

5. Make your contracts airtight.

If, for whatever reason you do need to perform rework on your job site, making sure your contracts are clear, concise and free from errors will save both parties time and money. For starters, prior to signing any contract, be sure to adhere to the following:

  • Your Scope of Work is clearly defined to avoid “scope creep”.
  • The specifics around change orders and/or variation claims is clear.
  • Avoid contracts that contain “first class”, “top quality” or “highest quality” verbiage in order to sidestep Standard of Care pitfalls.

6. Regularly host meetings with project managers.

Another simple but effective tactic to avoid rework is regularly meeting with project managers to make sure everyone is on task, and that your team is following the best possible strategy to finish a project on time while also avoiding potential injuries. In these meetings, you can brainstorm best practices to sidestep hiccups on your construction sites based on experience and on the real-time feedback from the ground level using your managers. This will provide you with an all-encompassing plan of attack for your projects.