The Facilities department at the State University of New York (SUNY) at New Paltz is in the midst of one of the campus’ largest construction booms ever with roughly $300 million in projects planned over eight years. The goal is to help the university attract a more competitive and diverse applicant pool by building new facilities and modernizing older buildings, ensuring students have a campus that supports their educational and social needs. For Michael Weatherly, and the Facilities department at SUNY New Paltz, this means finding ways to increase their capacity while reducing costs so they can move through their project backlog faster. Not surprisingly, when Facilities evaluated ways they could improve their department and help make a better environment for students, three of their top five initiatives were related to improving their document management process. Something they hope to do, in part, by expanding their usage of Primavera Submittal Exchange Cloud Service
(formerly Textura Submittal Exchange).
Weatherly, an architectural designer and project manager, began using Primavera Submittal Exchange Cloud Service after seeing how several designers in his department used it to manage their projects more efficiently. Weatherly’s success with Primavera Submittal Exchange Cloud Service comes down to three things: the immediacy with which documents are available, the transparency of contractors knowing when specific documents need to be provided and the ability to complete closeouts in a matter of minutes. “I was able to see shop drawings come in much more expeditiously and was immediately notified when they came in,” Weatherly said. “Submittal Exchange set up the specifications and clearly defined what a contractor was responsible to submit. That was enough to spec it into my projects.”
Before using Primavera Submittal Exchange Cloud Service to manage their construction administration process, Weatherly and his team had to rely on contractors sending document including proposals, notices of change and drawings via email, or providing paper copies for files too large to send digitally. Handling everything manually increased the likelihood that something would get lost or slip through the cracks, especially if the Facilities team wasn’t constantly reminding stragglers to send critical documents. They tried popular FTP sites, and while effective for sharing documents, they weren’t great for tracking and accessing the most recent version of a document. The time spent on document control reduced the department’s capacity to start new projects. With up to 30 ongoing projects and 50 in the backlog, finding ways to be more efficient was critical.
With a team of only 12 people, the Facilities department needed support to addresses such a large project backlog. “That’s where the time-saving factor and the ability to find information immediately comes in, ”Weatherly said. “Submittal Exchange allows us to perform more of the value-added work that we want to do and dive deeper into more of the projects, reducing our dependency on consultants.” Subcontractors are automatically notified when they need to add documents to the system reducing the need for extensive document control and ensuring drawings and submittals are always available. It also simplifies communication with project teams. For example, on a recent project, Weatherly needed to share and categorize over 200 photos, something that would have been time consuming if done by email and messy if done by FTP. Weatherly noted, “the contractors had the photos in minutes. They were right there in the system for them. It was extremely helpful.”
The feedback from SUNY New Paltz’s contractors and consultants has been extremely positive. According to Weatherly, contractors are getting used to working in Primavera Submittal Exchange Cloud Service and understand how it makes their life easier, especially if they have done any work for the New York State Office of General Services, which requires Primavera Submittal Exchange Cloud Service on all their projects. The software is easy to use, so there is not much training required at the beginning of a project. “Even if a contractor has not previously used Submittal Exchange, I do not believe that it is going to take them more time to learn Submittal Exchange than to do the work by hand,” Weatherly said. “Once they start using it and see how it makes them more efficient, they love it!”
Given the strong positive feedback from the entire project team and Primavera Submittal Exchange Cloud Service’s ability to help the Facilities department meet their top process improvement goals, it is safe to say that Primavera Submittal Exchange Cloud Service helps the Facilities department build top-notch facilities that improve the environment for the students and faculty at SUNY New Paltz.
This story was originally published on www.texturacorp.com.