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February 7, 2019

A Day in the Life of Contractors & How 3D Laser Scanning Makes it Easier!

It’s 4:30AM and the day is just getting started. Welcome to the life of a General Contractor. Depending on your experience, your success, and your organization, many events take place in a single day. Your job as a GC is to manage the chaos that comes your way. Usually a typical day starts out by going site to site and checking up on the progress. As a GC, you will have subcontractors that work along your side. This could be a team that you have brought under your wing or independent partners that you have established a strong relationship with. Your subcontractors make or break your success as a general contractor. The goal is to make the connection between contractors strong and influence productivity by collaboration, communication, and cooperation. A general contractor stands in the middle of the three groups, hopefully promoting unification. The best way to make general contractors and subcontractors work in unison is leveraging a tool built to make projects work seamlessly together and stay on schedule. These tools can be outsourced from certified clients or can be purchased by a general contractor, although training will need to be implemented. GC’s may also experience a need to cut the middlemen out, thus becoming their own virtual design or construction management unit. Here, we will take you through some of the challenges that present themselves to all contractors and how 3D laser scanning can make those roadblocks faced by contractors around the world become easier in managing.

It can be a real pain to depend on subcontractors that are not meeting your quotas. This could be from a number of reasons, such as limited resources or pure laziness of your team. During your daily routine in visiting sites and leading meetings, you are starting to notice a trend. Productivity and your way of holding people accountable are being counter-active to your requests. One way to ensure the job gets done the right way is through documentation and 3D modeling. As a general contractor, you decide that you want to stop dealing with the agony of pushing back deadlines and increasing budgets by implementing a scanner to document and model each subcontractor’s progress. You begin to rotate your scanner around for your subcontractors to use. Your team may experience hidden benefits, such as increased prefabrication, an abundance of information that can be used for sharing and modeling with and by other subcontractors. Scanners can be used to capture useful information that can give you accuracy and is on demand. A construction manager can send updated progress or can show new excavations being made to you, the general contractor. You can send these new updates to your MEP subcontractors to make sure every detail is accurate and following the plan. They then can begin prefabrication processing or give you fast updates on changes that may need to be made. Any GC can use laser-scanning technology to increase faster workflow between subcontractors and remain on time with their project scheduling.

Another idea a general contractor may bring into fruition is cutting out the middlemen, aka some subcontractors with scanning services. You may be too busy day-to-day with a jam-packed schedule and want to incorporate an in-house team to oversee some responsibility. This is a personal team that can act as a middle management unit. From here, your team can capture scan data, which can help with budgeting costs and scheduling of materials. By hiring this ‘intelligence’ team, there is more time open to a GC. Accurate information also keeps you sane during tight budgets that need to be made. Instead of manually updating your subcontractors, you can have your central team send updates to every person, check supplies and materials, and keep track of scheduled milestones. This gives GC’s more time to gather permits, work closer with architects, and be able to manage construction managers and other subcontractors alike to execute a well-thought-out plan. Contractors begin sharing ideas with each other and natural collaboration may begin forming during a project. You now have time to start establishing your venture for the future, where you can build out a connected team of subcontractors working together using scanning technology to create a business built to last. To me, this is the future that has already begun happening and many general contractors are starting to take notice. By finding a certified team of individuals who are experts in scanning technology, you can leverage this tool to gain more control on your projects and envision long-term goals for your future.

There are some periods during building a career as a GC where you may find obstacles along the way. Sometimes competition begins to grow strong in a region where you once dominated. Other times general contractors may find a dry spurt in obtaining work from clients and need to attract owners looking for help. Whichever issue it is, these problems do arise from time to time. A good strategy is to differentiate from the pack. By finding innovative ways to promote your work, you can separate yourself and gain recognition. How do I do this? I stun the owners with my previous work so I can gain their attention. This is a good time to use a central team of certified BIM members to create a great marketing campaign from your portfolio using laser scanners. You can use scanning technology to create fly-through videos or realistic 3D models so you can ‘wow’ your next client. General contractors can assign their team the task of scanning a newly designed building from the inside and out, which can produce a stunning video for future clients to observe. Giving a potential client a virtual walkthrough of projects can display how well you perform as a general contractor, how professional you deliver your work, and gives yourself credibility. These marketing pieces can be produced with laser scanning, giving the tool a truly powerful and flexible feature. Using realistic models and fly-through models can help any general contractor gain recognition from a potential client and land them more projects during the year.

Reading about laser scanning and experiencing this technology is two completely different things. First, you must get your feet wet and learn everything you can about the technology. After you have explored the possibilities, it is time to test it out. This is a tool built for the future industry and it is a tool I do not see going away anytime soon. Check out some of our projects here (insert link to projects tab) where we use laser scanners to help our clients get the job done right. You can see that we have done multiple projects using scanners and provide an extensive portfolio to show our work. Our partners that use laser-scanning service have been working with us for many years, proving that using this tool has provided more connection between contractors than ever before. We offer 3D scanning services for all contractors, including general and subcontractors, to help them with their daily tasks and their big goal of getting a project done with precision.

We are Cadnetics, and we are here to help you be your ‘intelligence’ team of certified BIM users that can help you smoothly transition into the world of laser scanning technology. So when your 12-hour day ends at 5 o’clock, you can go home rest assured that the job is getting done the right way. 

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