At the end of any day or shift for a contractor, there is a significant element of clerical work in collecting the labor & equipment hours, expenses and other costs to record the activities & progress for the day. Once complete, this summary of cost and hours information is formatted into a report that generally needs to be reviewed, approved and signed by the client. While this can sometimes be a relatively straightforward thing to do, most days it requires hunting down the client, or emailing a copy of the document to be signed at a later date. Over the many days and weeks on a project, this can create a big backlog of unsigned daily field reports. And when working on multiple concurrent jobs, this causes a massive headache in chasing down signatures, as those signed documents are critical for getting paid.
We refer to this as “Chasing Paper”.
It’s practically a full-time job to chase people around for signatures, and it gets worse for every day that goes by since memories fade, people move around and emails get buried in a pileup of history. It’s especially frustrating because these are key documents for accounts receivable to do their job of collecting revenue. It is a big black hole of unknowns for the contractor who’s managing a tight cash flow, slim margins and aggressive deadlines.
To address this – and other related challenges – we recommend moving to a “Paperless Jobsite” where all data, approvals, signatures and documents are electronic. By moving to digital, there is total visibility into the whereabouts and status of any document requiring attention. The system can even take on the duty of sending reminders for outstanding approvals. This not only eliminates the manual effort of chasing paper – and the full-time job that goes along with it – but it also expedites the process of getting things signed. It additionally streamlines the approval process for the client as they can simply either “click-approve” or digitally sign the documents to avoid the hassle of printing-signing-scanning-sending. The system can even give you visibility into when they opened the email.
On top of all that, the documents never actually leave the system. Even though it appears as though you’re sending documents to be signed, you’re actually not sending the physical document – the documents remain in your repository. In other words, they’re never out of your sight, they are constantly under your control.
Moving to a Paperless Jobsite has never been easier, and by eliminating the Chasing Paper fiasco, it has a clear return on the modest investment in making the move.