Tracking Time and Materials Made Easier
Tracking time and material has become easier for contractors using Rhumbix Field Intelligence Digital Time and Materials Tracking.
"It saves time, and it provides for a modern work experience," says Andrew Cameron, area superintendent at the San Francisco International Airport Terminal 1 project for Hensel Phelps, a member of multiple AGC chapters.
Traditionally, subcontractors track work outside of the contracted scope on paper carbon-copy sheets and pass those along to general contractors and owners for processing. But slips of paper can be misplaced or damaged, and in the office, require data entry.
The new Rhumbix platform for time and materials (T&M) tickets for subcontractors and general contractors collects data about labor, equipment and material resources used from subcontractors in the field and offers cloud-based reporting and approvals tracking. Subcontractors can attach photos and field documents to clarify T&M entries and obtain verification and signatures. Completed tickets are shared immediately with the home office, so management can know the T&M cost exposure on a job at a glance.
"The general contractor and the owner get the value of all of the data coming from all different parties in the same format," says Guy Skillett, vice president of construction innovation at Rhumbix in San Francisco.
Cameron and Hensel Phelps helped Rhumbix develop the digital T&M tracking system after recognizing the opportunity to streamline the process. New subcontractors, referred to by Hensel Phelps as trade partners, are required to use the Rhumbix system for T&M tracking on the airport project.
"Users only enter their information once, and they never have to waste time at their desk to reconstitute the information New Tool for Time and Materials Tracking into a spreadsheet or an accounting platform," Cameron says.
Rhumbix T&M tracking system offers reports that show all of the T&M work completed to date. The subcontractor or general contractor can look at the data, run analytics, observe trends and adjust operations accordingly to help avoid surprises.
"The best part is how soon the team has visibility into the data," Cameron says. Subcontractors purchase the T&M tracking from Rhumbix for a couple of hundred dollars per month. Skillett says the costs are usually incorporated into the cost of the project.
"You get a lot of lifetime value with shared visibility and having this data in one place," Skillett says.
Accurate, timely and transparent T&M information should lead to faster payments to subcontractors and fewer disputed claims.
"It has the potential to change the dynamic on construction projects," Skillett says. "If the T&M process is accurate and defendable, the general contractor is empowered to compensate subcontractors accurately and in a timely manner for change order scope. This reduces the cost of working capital, which is disproportionately high for trade partners. This will drive more competitive bids because, ultimately, paying people quicker will reduce the cost of projects."
Cameron agrees, saying he thinks the product will benefit "the entire construction industry," both small and large contractors.
"This platform can change the stereotypes we attribute to T&M, redundancy and inefficiency," Cameron says. Once "contractors and trade partners start using it, they will describe the T&M workflow as seamless, intelligent and accurate."
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