Too many loose sticky notes?
One of the hardest parts about working in residential construction is having to juggle all of your projects while also keeping a close eye on the administrative side of your company. Your office is filled with sticky notes, your whiteboard is marked up like no tomorrow, and your file cabinets are filled to the brim.
You don’t have the time to look through all your files to find an old contract, guidebook, or permit. You use these documents infrequently, so it’s understandable that you sometimes lose track of them.
Manage your business like you manage your projects
The Admin Project within CoConstruct is a way to leverage the software as a tool to help you execute, track, and document administrative tasks within their companies. The Admin Project, free for CoConstruct users, brings peace of mind and control of your business. To add the Admin Project to your account free of charge, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Next time you’re out on a job site and you want to access essential documents, simply login on your mobile device and check your To-Do’s, Specs & Selections, or your Schedule. The Admin Project allows builders to streamline routine business practices and keep everything in one place.
In this video, our Builder-In-Residence, Spencer Padgett, walks through a few examples to show you how to leverage the Admin Project for your own building company. Let’s highlight a few of those helpful tips.
Specs & Selections
The Admin Project offers a better way to, quite literally, keep all your employees on the same page. Under the Specs & Selections page, you can customize your own menu of categories to store digital files of original client contracts, trade contracts, staff onboarding documents, and safety information. This is the hub for your company’s administrative documents.
Onboarding Made Simple
Under the Specs & Selections page, we recommend that you make an onboarding folder to make onboarding easier for you, your staff, and your trades. For example, when a new employee joins the team, they could visit a customizable “Staff Onboarding” category. Your new employee could explore the category, open files, and even read an employee handbook. It’s a simple and straightforward way to ensure that you and your employees can get to work as soon as possible.
Want to take it a step further? Create a “Trade Partner Onboarding” category to orient new trades with essential documents such as your company policy and your subcontract agreements. Keep yourself up to date by marking files with an expiration date. When you mark a file’s expiration date, you can always check the “Trade Partner Onboarding” in the Admin Project to stay on top of certifications or agreements that may need to be updated.
New trades and employees can message you about onboarding procedures through the CoConstruct software. This ensures that your communication system is organized and recorded for future reference.
Though it can be mundane, your safety program is an essential part of your company. We recommend that you also create a category dedicated to all of your safety information under the Specs & Selections tab. This is where your employees and trades can access all necessary safety information.
You can also document each safety meeting by taking note of the meeting topic, which employees attended, and when the meeting took place. By doing this, you can sleep peacefully at night knowing you won’t have any complications with insurance auditors. At the end of the day, it’s nice to know you have your ducks in a row in case something goes wrong on the job site.
When you show insurance companies that you are being proactive with safety, they may even give you a discount on workers’ compensation or liability insurance. Ask them to recommend a safety program of their own and show them how well you are using it. You just might be able to score a discount.
The Admin Project is a great tool for documenting your past contracts. We recommend you create a “Contract Related” category where you can store all of your contract related files. Once you create the category, you can refer to budgets from prior projects and maintain an accurate record for your business.
It’s also a good idea to store a digital copy of the NAHB’s Residential Construction Performance Guidelines in your “Contract Related” category. Reference these NAHB guidelines in your contracts so your clients don’t try to hold thousands of dollars from you for a loose doorknob. Once the performance guidelines are uploaded into the Admin Project, you and your team can open the “Contract Related” category any time to remind clients of their contractual agreement to the NAHB’s performance standards.
Utilities and Permits
When it comes time to apply for utilities and permits during a build, the Admin Project can serve as a great reference for you and your team. Under the Specs & Selections tab, create categories for both “Utilities” and “Permits” to store information about what you need and who you need to call in order to get approved for utilities and permits.
Next time utility applications pop up on your to-do list, just click to your Specs & Selections tab, open your “Utilities” category, and begin the application process. You won’t have to waste valuable time reminding yourself how to apply for utilities. When you document the process in the Admin Project, you can update the information at any time. Do whatever you need to make CoConstruct work for you.
Is your business operating in a larger geographical area? It might be helpful to include a “Project Map” category under the Admin Project. Under the “Project Map” category, keep a directory of all your job sites in Google Maps. Simply add a pin for each job site on Google Maps and link it to the “Project Map”. Using a map as a reference will help you and your employees visualize the scope of your business.
Let’s talk about your schedule
It’s often messy, scary, and overwhelming. In the Admin Project, your Schedule is a place for you to document and track dates that are related to the routine operations of your company. As we said earlier, you can use the Schedule to enter the dates for safety meetings and quality control inspections. You can choose to have your staff notified before each meeting so that everyone stays in sync. Most importantly, CoConstruct will keep all your meetings documented.
Use the Schedule to assign tasks to your employees. For example, notify your office manager each month to remind them to check on trade partners, general liability forms, workers’ compensation files, vehicle and equipment management, and other necessary items. These tasks are small and seem unimportant, but tightening up operations in the small areas will ensure your company runs smoothly at the highest level.
An organized, integrated to-do list
A to-do list also lives under the Admin Project in your software. Maybe you keep a to-do list on sticky notes, on your phone, or maybe even in your head. CoConstruct offers the best way to maintain an organized, integrated to-do list.
When something needs to get done, simply enter it on your to-do list and assign one of your team members to the task. CoConstruct will send a notification to the assigned employee to remind them to complete the task. You’ll be checking items off your list all day once this system is set up in your company.
Bend the software. Make CoConstruct work for you.
CoConstruct provides the framework for you and your team to execute operations at a high level. The Admin Project is one of many examples that demonstrate how you can bend the software to the structure of your own business. Understand how your business operates, learn the capabilities of CoConstruct’s software, and figure out how to best optimize the service for your purposes.
Once you implement the Admin Project, you won’t just be talking about building better houses, you’ll be learning to build a better business.