Founded in 1953, Layton Construction (Layton) is an employee-owned and second-generation family-operated construction firm specializing in a wide variety of industries, from healthcare to hospitality to manufacturing and industrial. Layton’s team struggled to manage disparate information across multiple systems without a uniform way to handle project closeout procedures. To effortlessly track, organize, and manage data for an effective project closeout, Layton adopted Pype, part of Autodesk Construction Cloud™, shaving two weeks off project closeout.
Inconsistent Closeout Processes Increased Risk of Mistakes
Layton lacked a uniform way to handle closeout procedures with each project team reinventing the wheel. Sometimes a log was created in Excel to track changes, sometimes information was only sent and retained in emails, or sometimes communication was as archaic as highlighted spec sections. Nothing was centralized, and project information was frequently in two or three different places.
“The more spread out your information, the harder it is to stay organized, and the easier it is to make mistakes,” says Alonza Mckenzie, Project Engineer at Layton Construction.
With data isolated on disparate platforms, teams had to update information manually if a project change occurred. This took time away from the project, as teams had to check and cross-reference information in several different places or risk acting on inaccurate and outdated information.
With its commitment to “Constructing with Integrity,” Layton challenged itself to change the status quo and adopt a solution to improve its closeout process.
Expanding the Use of Pype to Expedite Project Closeout
Mckenzie’s team was already using Pype AutoSpecs to automate the submittal log creation process by identifying every submittal from the spec book, filtering the log down to the closeout requirements, and then exporting them directly into their project management tool. Based on the success of modernizing the closeout process with automated submittal log creation, Layton was eager to expand its use of Pype to further improve project closeout. When Layton executives asked for a group to pilot Pype Closeout, Mckenzie’s Senior Project Manager enthusiastically volunteered.
After a quick onboarding, Mckenzie hit the ground running with using it for closeout, finding it “really user friendly, both to get started with and to maintain.”
Before using Pype for closeout, Layton’s managers frequently called and emailed their trade partners to check up on paperwork. Mckenzie utilized Pype’s automated email outreach to do this weekly, freeing him up to monitor the quality of other work, coordinate with trades on site, and review punch-list tasks.
“With Pype, the trades were much more engaged and were submitting requirements quickly, all without my nagging,” jokes Mckenzie. “They were responsive, and we were able to get it figured out right away.”
How Automating the Closeout Process Saves Time and Builds Relationships
With all closeout data in one place and accessible by every project stakeholder—subcontractors, project engineers, project managers, project executives, and accounting departments—Layton can use Pype to know exactly where a project stands toward closeout compliance. In addition to more visibility into closeout status, Mckenzie estimates the solution shaved at least two weeks off of project closeout.
“Pype’s specific focus on the closeout process and requirements made it easy to track what the subcontractors submitted, where they’re at, how many are on board, what percentage to completion–everything,” says Mckenzie. “This enables us to get our closeout documents faster so we can pay out our trades - which is a win-win.”
Layton was also pleased with how Pype supported its company goal of building and maintaining relationships with subcontractors and employees.
With Pype Closeout, it was now clear to trades where they are in the process, what’s left to complete, and what specific documents are needed. Layton found that its subcontractors were also more involved in the closeout process, as they were better able to understand what was required and complete their closeout submissions in record time.
The new procedures also improved Layton’s employee relationships. With the time saved with Pype, Mckenzie was able to gain more experience learning other skills and responsibilities. By automating manual closeout processes, employees can focus on value-added activities that improve employee morale and retention, leading to higher-performing teams and quality work across the company.
“My project manager was comfortable allowing me to take a deeper dive into the financial aspect of closeout since I had Pype backing me up,” says Mckenzie.
With a comprehensive approach involving automated outreach, powerful dashboards, and robust reporting, Pype helped ease the burden of closeout by streamlining their disparate processes into one efficient workflow.
“Pype focuses on closeout; it’s the best at what it does.”