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Time and money are some of the most valuable assets for any contractor. When faced with a legal issue, that becomes twice as true. Many construction attorneys find themselves spending half their careers diving through banker boxes and trying to find out where projects went awry and put together a paper trail with the answers. This common scenario led to essential case-winning information getting lost in the disarray and added up to incredibly high legal bills. Discovery is one of the most expensive parts of any legal dispute, and if contractors are paying attorneys to dig through banker boxes of unorganized and incomplete records, it can become astronomical quickly.

Until recent history, this rudimentary process was usually how things were done. Now with technology, the situation has gotten better, but the reality is most contractors don’t have any kind of consistent system for digitally filing and storing records and documentation for the work they do, making it nearly impossible to develop a grounded defense in a legal predicament. Without a solid paper trail, it turns into a he-said-she-said argument, which severely lessens the likelihood of winning a case. This is an age-old industry issue. So, what is the best way to address it?

A New Solution: Trades Tech

Organization is an essential skill for modern contractors, especially if they want to ensure their company is effectively protected. Without an organizational system for documents, and especially their bids, change orders and construction contracts, construction business owners risk complicating work for not only their legal team, but their administrative team, accounting team and field team as well. Luckily, this is the age of technology, and the construction industry is catching up. Today, there are many cloud-based trades technology companies that allow for the digital organization and storage of project documents, esignature capabilities and other project management essentials like updating milestones, sending invoices and processing daily reports.

With platforms like these, contractors can make it easier for their entire team to not only keep track of their current projects, but also review past ones by searching the database for integral names, keywords or addresses.

This kind of accessibility saves time and money and gives contractors the security that they could lose out on without a paper trail in place to support them. This makes it easy for a construction attorney to access a project timeline and documentation supporting the completion of the project and, if there is a client portal in the application, the communications between the client and the contractor throughout the project. These resources are significantly advantageous to all teams that find themselves supporting a construction company. Bookkeepers can issue invoices and monitor the status of their payments. Administrators have the ability to promptly locate contact information, addresses and other project essentials. Contractors on the jobsite can track milestones and file daily reports for the company’s records. Construction lawyers can quickly and easily access company-saving information at record low times. Ultimately, the advantages are many.

Start Now

The easiest way for a contractor to reap the benefit from rapidly growing solutions like construction management software is to get started right away and use the available resources they provides as fully as possible. There are always ways to make these applications even more beneficial for construction companies. Filing daily reports and including anything that could affect the project, such as bad weather, illness, material cost changes, prior work, or any other problem areas, can amplify the effectiveness of construction management applications in a significant way. Additionally, saving all communication between the contractor and client that takes place on the application and outside of it is imperative to building a strong defense.

Construction business owners would also benefit from making sure that the contract they send in their chosen platform is custom-built for their company, not just a template that is auto-generated by the application. A custom-built construction contract is the absolute best line of defense to help keep construction professionals out of the courtroom. If they aren't using a contract that is made specifically for their company, a great deal of protection capability is lost.

Lock this down by connecting with a construction attorney to draft a contract first or otherwise connecting with software that partners with construction attorneys to offer customized contracts right in the software. Using partnered software like this simplifies this multi-step goal into one consolidated task, ultimately making it easier to set a construction business up for success on the front end. 

Owning a business in the construction industry is a challenge and comes with many road bumps along the way. Sometimes it feels impossible to get everything organized, and—especially in the face of something as severe as a lawsuit or other legal issue—it’s easy to feel desperate for a solution. Construction management software is the answer. It’s in the industry’s best interest to take advantage of new resources that enable construction companies to oversee projects, correspond with hiring parties and keep track of all essential paperwork on a project. Trades tech has the ability to save construction businesses from some of the oldest issues in the industry. It all starts with buying in.

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