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The Importance of Project Handoffs in Roofing Business featured image

The Importance of Project Handoffs in Roofing Business

Like specialists in every other aspect of construction, Roofing contractors must know the importance of a smooth project handoff so their crew does not get dragged back into a construction project they thought they had finished months earlier.

Knowing how your estimator prices a job and how it gets sold is critically important to every project's success. Without a proper handoff from the office to the field team, expect the potential for costly problems during construction.

A poor handoff can lead to miscommunication over the scope of work, incorrect installation methods, and budget and cost overruns. Project managers must know when to coordinate labor and materials to keep the entire crew productive. And they must understand project sequencing or risk holding up other trades and vendors, putting the whole schedule at risk.

There can also be billing issues that will throw off the billing schedule from the general contractor.

If you find your company has these issues, one of the first steps to take is to start having job handoff meetings and document the construction process. It requires a lot more than having your estimator dump a set of plans on the project manager's desk. Without a documented construction collaboration process, you will lose money.

Companies that skip these all-important handoff steps usually do so to speed the job along and keep clients happy. But this is a time to slow it down, so you do not overlook how to perform your roofing work with both quality and profitability. The time you take upfront will pay off in a lack of frustration between the roofing team and the general contractor.

A proper handoff includes:

  • Planning
  • Preparing a handoff package
  • Great communications
  • A job package

These steps will ensure you produce a consistent outcome for customer satisfaction. You will construct a quality project and make more profits.

Before holding your pre-construction meetings, schedule jobs and have your crew in place. Have everyone meet to review the job and give the project manager several weeks to digest it all.

Work with your estimator to write a foolproof description of work to go in the job package.

Consider This List for Handoff Meetings

  1. Outline each phase and important milestone for the project, including billing.
  2. Determine who makes decisions on the job site from your team and from the general contractor. Determine whom to call when needed.
  3. Have approved submittals, so all stakeholders agree on estimated budgets and when to spend money as the project proceeds.
  4. Determine who will be on-site and who will be in charge, work hours, safety initiatives, and decisions.
  5. Set up payment application deadlines and coordinate work to coincide with those deadlines.
  6. Discuss and decide on the process for change orders. Make sure everyone is clear that there are no change orders without written approval from the right person.

This is not necessarily a quick process. It may require reams of information, which may seem overwhelming. Reach for technology and collaboration software to limit confusion and facilitate communication. It will also help you ensure accountability, workflow, and accuracy.

Collaboration software allows you to hand off the entire project to authorized users, giving all the information they need to do their jobs. This software allows for a smooth workflow from the estimator providing details to purchase orders and creating an execution plan for the project.

Use the same technology to tie your estimate to your budget and billing schedules. You can share drawings from the estimating process, which the project manager can use to create work schedules and checklists. By using a cloud-based software platform, you can access it from anywhere with your smartphone.

Start with estimating software to prepare a professional proposal that can be easily transferred to the project management phase.

Bringing everyone together through collaboration software streamlines the process and cuts down on mistake-filled duplicate data entry. And having all of the project information in one place reduces the need for physical paperwork.

Job Packaging

Every company is different, and each company's design process, management, and paperwork flow is different. However, there are certain similarities in job packaging.

For starters, there is no such thing as too much information. A standard package turnaround time will take weeks, depending on the job's size and the client's indecision.

Do not rush the packaging process but start early during preliminary budgeting and before the design/build agreement is completed. Once a project is through the design phase, use a template to customize materials selections and other specifications. The process is not complete until the estimating is done. Once that is done, and the handoff is complete, the roofing project team has a document it can count on to get through the job smoothly.

Once everyone has the information needed, schedule meetings to work out any previously overlooked issues for the job package. Sometimes, information only stored in someone's head does not make the job package and needs to be added.

No one knows your project like the estimator, who had their nose in the plans and specifications for weeks or months. But the estimator is not the end of the line. For your roofing project to run smoothly, hold handoff meetings and put together a job package everyone on the team can use to help the project run smoothly and to help your profit margin go up.

John Kenney has over 45 years' experience in the roofing industry. John started his career by working as a roofing apprentice at a family business in the Northeast to operating multiple Top 100 Roofing Contractors. As Chief Operating Officer, John is intimately familiar with all aspects of roofing production, estimating, and operations. During his tenure in the industry, John ran business units associated with delivering great workmanship and unparalleled customer service while ensuring strong net profits for his company prior to joining Cotney Consulting Group. If you would like any further information on this or another subject, you can contact John at jkenney@cotneycl.com