The Plumber
The Plumber

6 Ways Plumbing Subcontractors Can Use Software in Their Work


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Plumbing subcontracting works are very in demand in the construction field. No house or building project starts without the involvement of a plumbing professional. Though this sounds like a favorable situation for plumbing companies, it really isn’t. With so many projects served on their plate, handling crew schedule and activities can get out of hand.  For some others, their worry is on their lack of resources like the right technology, tools, or crew members.

For these reasons, many plumbing companies are turning down projects.

This scenario may seem like a good problem to have, but when it continues, there will be pressing problems in both the plumbing and construction industries. That said, plumbing subcontractors are now being pressured to improve their efficiency so they can accommodate more projects.

Embracing technology should help streamline processes in a plumbing company and somehow boost their crew’s productivity. This won’t only help the construction industry fulfill their needs for quality plumbing but will also help plumbing subcontractors run their business smoother.

That is with the use of a subcontractor scheduling software like Pro Crew Schedule.

Construction project management software is the ultimate tool for ensuring productivity at the site. The main advantage of using this digital technology in construction and its trade industries is that it streamlines documentation and data distribution. Hence, members of the project team get easy access to essential information needed in their work. This then ensures that errors are minimized.

The fact that modern subcontractor scheduling software are now accessible on mobile devices enables seamless collaboration between the office and the field. So, as a plumbing subcontractor can’t always be at the site to work on other projects, he can feel relieved and confident that he’ll be able to manage his team to work on successfully delivering their project. 

And today, we’re going to look into the different ways software can be used in the daily construction work-life of plumbing subcontractors and their teams.

Leveraging Software in the Plumbing Trade Industry

Software has become a highly valuable asset to have by construction and trade companies. This simple technology has been transforming work in the field by making communication and collaboration automatic, hence boosting productivity. But this isn’t the only way that subcontractor scheduling software can revolutionize the trades industry. In plumbing, the software can be used for:

  1. Saving Time in the Field

Unlike construction project managers whose work is divided between the office and the field, plumbing subcontractors may only be needed at the site during the pre-project inspection and the closing of the project. That said, most plumbing subcontractors will send their team to the construction site without them. 

Because their participation at the site isn’t that big enough, some plumbing subcontractors will try to save resources by cutting off the use of new technology. Communication is then done via telephone. While it may have worked in the previous years, modernization has transformed the construction site into a fast-paced workplace, and using traditional methods will have the old-fashioned subcontractor cramming and trying to catch up with the project team. 

This is because communication is slow.

Plumbers working in the field need guidance from their office from time to time. What’s on the plan may not be what’s existing in actual so if communication is slow, decision making is also slowed down. Consequently, work is delayed and the deadline is missed.

But by using software, plumbers at the field won’t waste time waiting for printed plans or emails for answers to come in.

Furthermore, the ability of software to share data in real-time helps the plumbing subcontractor to track collaboration with other subcontractors. For instance, piping can only be installed when the ductwork has been finished, hence making it a requirement to connect with the HVAC subcontractor. Communicating with them will then save the plumbing team time from having to visit the site from time to time just to check whether the ducts are already installed.

Another scenario to look at is progress tracking. It takes over an hour to walk through the construction site with a foreman. And this is just to review the project progress. Sure, general contractors may be impressed with the attention given by the subcontractor to the project, but when it comes to productivity, regular site visits can be impractical. But by using good construction crew management software, plumbing professionals are able to track progress more often and more accurately. Time wasted can then be cut down and be used in growing the company instead.

  1. Preventing Errors and Reworks

We’ve been talking so much about how communication can reduce risks of costly errors in construction. General contractors and subcontractors need to collaborate closely so that installations meet the client’s standards as well as the site conditions.

But the construction site is always changing. As we mentioned in previous discussions there are instances that can’t be avoided at the site, which often require a change order. Changes normally cause delays so as a part of the mitigation, these changes at the site should be communicated immediately with the involved parties. This is to ensure that everyone knows to abut the modifications and can adjust their goals accordingly.

Without software, the frequency of rework can become higher. There should be a central location where subcontractors and general contractors can collaborate. Modern subcontractor scheduling software is now able to provide other functions than merely posting crew schedule. Digital apps like Pro Crew Schedule enable users to link the office and the field as well as the subcontractor and the general contractor. This reduces the time spent on coordinating with the general contractor just to eliminate the risk of installing following outdated specifications.

On a side note, remember to update your drawings on the software. It’s important that they are accurate, updated, and are in coordination with your actual installation so that you will get paid. Otherwise, you will be questioned for working on a plan that you didn’t declare.

  1. Collaborating via Cloud

As we just mentioned, there will be a lot of times when the plumbing subcontractor should collaborate with the general contractor as well as other subcontractors. Reports by electrical subcontractors reveal how closely they need to collaborate with Plumbing and HVAC subcontractors on construction projects. Being members of different trades and companies they should establish a common communication channel that will allow document sharing without delays and limitations. 

The cloud technology is the perfect tool that will satisfy these conditions.

Cloud-based collaboration is faster than any on-premise software, hence making workflows smoother. Subcontractors can exchange information on key valve locations as well as relevant installation details by simply sending photos. This way, all of these subcontractors spend lesser time waiting and more time working.

  1. Attracting Younger Workforce Ages

Labor shortage isn’t just a problem in the construction industry. Even the trades are suffering from a very low rate of skilled applicants. And if there are any reliable people in the trades they’re becoming older and older.

In 2000 the median age of workers in both industries was 37.9. But in 2010, after the great recession, the median age was recorded at 40.4. This means that a large percentage of the workforce is approaching their retirement age. And it’s a problem. The trades and construction need younger people to keep the industries alive.

But the millennials and generation Y are more engaged in office and tech-oriented jobs where they can play with innovative gadgets and devices.

This is the reason why the plumbing trade should also start embracing technology. But unlike the construction industry, the plumbing trade doesn’t have much tech tools to use in their work although they have video cameras for pipeline inspection, GPS for real-time speed tracking, and ProPress systems for safer and faster pipe joining.

Additionally, plumbing subcontractors can use frontrunner software for scheduling and monitoring to attract tech-driven younger people. Technology is in demand it makes the work lighter, which is what the practical young people want. And software can cut off so much of the manual work, making the field a more convenient place to work at.

  1. Scaling Up Your Operation

When your business is finally growing, with more clients getting your services, software can help you handle the demand effectively. There will be times when you need to juggle projects and site visits won’t be advisable. There will also be more drawings and plans to handle Using your mere memory to process them all will only lead to disasters and errors. There needs to be a tangible guide for people working at the site but paper pints are no longer advisable. 

Adding manpower will also be necessary, making crew management more painful for a single leader. But by using software you can manage a big team without any difficulties.

  1. Centralizing Project Information

Data is important in construction and trades as these industries greatly rely on information defined in plans and schedules. Hence everyone working at the site should have an updated copy of these documents to make sure that their activities are aligned with the modifications made. This is difficult, though, with traditional methods.

Cloud-based software for constructors and subcontractors was built to overcome this difficulty. With it, documentation have become extremely reliable. Sharing photos from the field for the subcontractor to check is now easier. Revising plans and informing everyone about it is now faster. Overall, subcontractor scheduling software like Pro Crew Schedule makes a plumbing team more dynamic as it communicates and documents activities at the site.

Overall Results

Convenience, reliable documents, accurate data, updated information, smooth communication – all these are the key ingredients of a successful plumbing subcontract business. And let’s not forget about productivity. A subcontractor can now manage a dozen welders working on different locations at the same time. During the traditional times, a subcontractor is only able to take one project at a time and manage four welders, making business growth slow. 

With a plumbing subcontractor software like Pro Crew Schedule, there’s no second-guessing how tasks should be carried out or how up-to-date an information is, or cramming to make up for tasks that should have already been finished weeks or months ago. 

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