Built CIO, Chris Clarke: "There are 2000 subcontractors with 9000 claims - not all of them are used to sitting at a computer...they are used to delivering on something."
Manually dealing with around 9,000 project progress claims each year was becoming untenable for Australian construction firm, Built.
Administrators working with 2000 sub-contractors were grappling with the clunky, time-consuming and error-prone task of processing progress claims for work completed on building projects.
These claims are submitted for a range of services on building sites from pouring concrete floors to completing electrical work and installing air conditioning and lifts over a period of time.
"It's a very manual process using Excel spreadsheets and other documents... and there are rules for each state from the point in time of a sub-contractor raising the process claim to you actually being able to respond to that and act in a certain amount of time," said CIO, Chris Clarke.
Built is currently building a new shopping centre at Warriewood in Sydney's northern beaches and two staff were recently on site until 8:00pm on a Saturday night processing progress claims to meet statutory requirements to complete them in a timeframe.
The $300 billion construction industry in Australia is also sometimes marred by contract disputes that can hold up infrastructure projects. Clarke said although Built hasn't been embroiled in legal rows over work, there are many conversations around whether jobs have or have not been completed within a specific time.
"You can be claiming for the work that you've done but there's another part of it called a 'variation'. Through the month you may have agreed with the client that there's an extra $50,000 worth of work to be done - but a claim can come through and all of a sudden there are all these variations in it.
"It's a tenuous area and something that can bring accuracy to improve the time and lessens tensions that could arise, is highly regarded," he said.
In NSW, the builder has 10 days to respond that it accept contractors' progress claims or indicate that it disagrees with the amount of work that has been quoted and needs to initiate a discussion with the contractor.
"We'd end with lots of people in rooms having discussions or phone calls or chasing things up trying to find out where that variation came from. Once a month, you're bringing out the fire hose and trying to sort everything out instead of being in a pre-emptive state," said Clarke.
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