How to Avoid Costly Construction Claims With Good Document Control Software

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No one wants to be involved in a dispute with a client or subcontractor, but unfortunately in today’s litigious society they seem to be more common. But what is worse than being involved in a dispute is not having the evidence to back up your position. Unfortunately many contractors don’t have this evidence simply because it was never documented or recorded properly, and this is an easily avoidable situation.

In interesting article from CFMA’s March 2010 Building Profits magazine, Jeffrey Firestone and Andrew Natale outline ways to protect your construction claims with proper documentation. The article highlights that the days of verbal communication to settle agreements and do deals are gone. Nowadays a verbal ok and a handshake is just no longer reliable evidence in the event of a dispute, so it’s imperative to ensure all communication throughout the course of a job, such as transmittals, RFIs, meeting minutes and changes orders are well documented and stored in writing.

However, sometimes collecting and storing all this information can become a labor intensive task. That’s why an investment in project management software that has good document control processes may actually save you time and money. With well developed software products such as IPM, you can have all the documents related to the one job stored in a central database, unlike the traditional practice of project managers maintaining their own estimates and communication documents in their own spreadsheets, and sometimes only saved on their own personal computers.  With IPM documents are created and automatically filed against the job, so in the event of a dispute they can be easily retrieved by anyone with appropriate user access privileges.

Email communication can also be invaluable evidence when involved in a dispute. However, in the time consuming process of manually filing and storing emails related to a job, some details can be lost or emails forgotten in the mass of folders and correspondence. But as IPM is built on the Microsoft CRM framework, it takes advantage of CRM’s email tracking system. With an automatically generated tracking code in the subject line, IPM can automatically track and store all email communication related to a certain job.

With features like these, an investment in project management software can help your organization avoid disputes costing more than they have to. If you would like to find out more about how IPM and Microsoft CRM can help you improve your document control processes, please contact Scott Drushella at IPM Global USA.

By Reef Fielding of IPM Global, the creators of IPM - a Project Management Solution Certified for Microsoft Dynamics CRM

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