Urban Atelier Group (UAG) is a New York City-based construction management company that offers comprehensive services for every phase of the project, from preconstruction through closeout. Their success hinges on their ability to mitigate risk and foster great relationships with their subcontractors. With the pace and expectations for large-scale construction projects continuing to increase, UAG needed better prequalification tools to manage and mitigate subcontractor risk effectively.
Mitigating Risk to Avoid Defaults and Insurance Claims
With BuildingConnected’s risk mitigation tool, TradeTapp, within Autodesk Construction Cloud™, UAG can analyze subcontractor profiles during the bidding process – such as a subcontractors’ financial position – and make risk mitigation decisions that can be incorporated into the bid leveling and preconstruction process. This prequalification process is especially important when considering the impact on their subcontractor default insurance (SDI) program.
One of the primary factors behind UAG’s success is their intense focus on collaboration. UAG chose TradeTapp and BuildingConnected to remove silos between procurement and construction risk management teams and improve the budget, schedule, and safety level of every project. The integration between TradeTapp and BuildingConnected, a bid management tool, helps them streamline the prequalification process, manage a SDI program, and increase transparency between internal teams — removing bottlenecks from a critical part of the preconstruction process.
“If we’re not thinking, planning, and looking to mitigate risk before we start construction, then we are faced with all sorts of risk when the project is under construction. Anything and everything we can do in the preconstruction phase to mitigate risk makes the process of actually building projects for our clients more successful and seamless.”
Moving Qualification Away from a Paper-based Process
Before TradeTapp, UAG used a paper-based qualification system. It was hard to track and allowed for significant errors or omissions on the subcontractor side. UAG often couldn’t complete qualifications because they were receiving incomplete forms or inadequate data.
The integration between BuildingConnected and TradeTapp helped UAG improve communication and identify forms and questions that were holding up subcontractors during the qualification process. Instead of waiting until the time of contract to begin qualification, they’re now able to complete the process during bid package creation — allowing the team to be much more proactive in creating risk mitigation plans for subcontractors.
“Humans can only do so much, and we can only have so much brain power. It comes to a point where you’re hindered by that human element. We have to be able to communicate very quickly, and the best way to do that is with new, innovative software. Technology that improves communication gives us that leading edge.”
Fostering Trust Through Increased Transparency
When assessing risk, UAG needs transparency to understand the subcontractors they’re getting into business with so they can make strategic decisions and award jobs. Increasing transparency is also important for long-term relationships and building trust with clients and subcontractors.
“Our relationship with subcontractors and clients is paramount to our ability to build jobs, but you can’t let it cloud your decision-making. TradeTapp allows us to quantitatively analyze subcontractor information and create a discussion around how that subcontractor might align with a particular scope of work or bid package.”