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How to Optimize the Construction Workflow When You're Outsourcing

A successful build depends on several interconnected phases. From the office to the field, a superior build requires communication, collaboration, and connectivity. And yet, anyone who has worked in the industry long enough knows that this is easier said than done — especially when it comes to outsourced work.

In smaller construction teams, you don’t always have all the professionals in-house that you need to complete a project. Instead, you depend on outsourced work to fill in procedural gaps. Collaborating with a 3rd party is a great way to enhance your team’s capabilities, but when working with an outsourced partner you need to be aware of communication barriers.

Faulty components, mismatched parts, out-of-scope work, etc.  — all of these issues stem from miscommunication and lead to costly delays. Ultimately, outsourced partners might not be attuned to your particular project goals, so you need a communication channel that helps unite all project phases.


Improve communication with content-enabled models

Content-enabled models are the solution to communication bottlenecking. Backed by a range of important metadata augmenting the geometric parameters, models deliver technical information necessary to fully define a physical object. While components of the model can be built from scratch with comparable results, a more efficient option (when available) is partnering with a Managed Content provider who can make sure content-enabled models update on-the-fly according to manufacturer specifications, so all stakeholders have up-to-date, accurate component data.

Content-enabled models help streamline the construction workflow — throughout all phases of a project — by delivering important information to all project stakeholders. These adaptable models contain all the information detailers, fabricators, subcontractors, and other stakeholders need to get the job done right.


Empower detailers with data

MEP detailers are tasked with the invaluable job of analyzing initial drawings (or, if they’re lucky, 3D models) to determine the practicalities of a structure’s electrical, plumbing, and mechanical systems, then enhancing those designs with optimal component placement, measurements, and other data needed by fabricators and on-site installers. Detailers bring a plan out of abstraction and actualize it into the real world using constructible models — bridging the gap between the architect’s intention and the building process.

The detailing phase directly impacts the accuracy of all other tasks, so it’s important to get it right. When empowered by data-rich models, detailers can identify inconsistencies that might exist in the initial design. Resolving these issues early, and in a virtual setting, means detailers can impose crucial safeguarding measures and help improve project accuracy.


A Managed Content provider can make sure content-enabled models are up to date according to manufacturer specifications, so all stakeholders have up-to-date, accurate component data.


Streamline fabrication processes

When details are overlooked in the pre-build process, this misinformation trickles down and affects the accuracy of all project phases. Through content-enabled models, project managers can communicate mission-critical information to the fabrication shop. When outsourcing fabrication, information that can be shared includes:

  • Verified component measurements

  • Accurate manufacturer specifications

  • In-depth fabrication instructions

When it comes time to fabricate parts, 3D models enhanced with the right data can be integrated directly into cutting machine automation. This significantly streamlines the fabrication process and virtually eliminates human error. This not only helps eliminate waste in the fabrication shop but also improves fabrication speed and efficiency.


Access your free guide and learn how to manage MEP content for your constructible models.


Democratize information to subcontractors

When trusting unfamiliar faces with project responsibilities, you need to ensure everyone is on the same page. Subcontractors provide specialized work essential to project success, but their efficacy is only as good as the onboarding General Contractors provide.

Integrating subcontractors into existing processes can be challenging, but content-enabled models help democratize information. These 3D models empower subcontractors with the same project details everyone has access to, so they can effectively do their job. Equipped with information passed down from the design, detailing, and fabrication phases, subcontractors receive a thorough overview of project expectations.    


Improve project connectivity

Ultimately, all team members should be fully integrated into one team — even if their overall engagement is limited. Outsourced talent performs important, specialized tasks that contribute to project success, and they need the same level of detail as everyone else. Therefore, democratizing information through content-enabled models is key. 

By breaking down communication silos, project stakeholders can better communicate status reports and, in the event of an issue, can find resourcing to help remedy impending delays. Through content-enabled models, you can trust that outsourced workers have all the information and guidance necessary to get the job done right the first time.


Are you ready to improve your workflow? Check out this blog post on How to Work Better Together with Connected Trades and Project Phases.