Written by Shelley Armato

When your airport has a huge construction project, you have plenty to worry about. You try not to disrupt operations while placating tenants and appeasing the FAA. You shouldn’t have to worry that your contractor is misleading, fibbing, or flat-out lying about an expense or schedule extension.

But, sadly, you’re not wrong to worry. A report by McKinsey & Co. estimates that overruns in capital expenditures for infrastructure construction projects average above 130% of the original quoted capital, with schedules that lag 20 months behind the original contract.

Keep chaos in check

If your contractor’s information governance process is designed to create chaos, confusion, delays, and change orders instead of inspiring calm, confidence, and a sense of control, then you have a problem. And so do the subcontractors who are simply trying to do their job, but are unable to because they don’t have the data they need to make secure decisions to build with.

It gets even worse when you couple disorganization with deceitful actions. One example is a contractor canceling their insurance without telling the owner. Or similarly deceitful, blaming a lack of data on “system maintenance.”

Construction Projects Internal Software Woes

Shelley Armato, CEO of MySmartPlans, which provides a software application that focuses on creating accountability, transparency, and efficiency for construction technology, says a warning flag should go up in your brain when a contractor tells you they’re doing “system maintenance.” Sure, it sounds like they’re cleaning things up. But what they’re most likely doing is dumping all the data out of their construction technology system because it’s bloated with data duplications.

The old way of working would be to think, well, good, they’re making it better. Instead, your first thought should be: Oh, no, something’s not right here!

If owners hear “system maintenance”, Armato says they need to ask four questions:

  1. What is the exact date and time that your system is going to be down and when will it resume?
  2.  What data is going to be dumped out of your system?
  3. Can you provide me with a PDF copy of all the affected data? (This allows you to confirm what has been deleted and, if there is litigation, you are prepared.)
  4. What systems do you have in place to catch data, and recover anything lost? And where is it stored?

An even better way of doing business is to put your trust in tools that can keep those hundreds of documents and thousands of data points organized, from compliance all the way to facility turnover. You need the software as a service MySmartPlans and their third-party digital information librarians.

If you think you can buy software that’s going to meet projects needs, there’s no such thing,” Armato warns. “The deliverable must meet the project’s needs, and that’s where we shine. We achieve best practices from project to project.”

– Shelley Armato, CEO of MySmartPlans

You Are Missing Third-Party Digital Information Librarians

MySmartPlans gathers all data—including contracts, specs, schedules, certificates of insurance, change orders, warranty data, minority participation documents, and more—and creates a single source of truth. From there, their project team of digital information librarians takes over. With the same precision as physical librarians who know exactly where every title is at any time, these digital information librarians confirm the data and provide a monthly report to verify data integrity and confirm insurance policies are still active. Plus, they are experts of the security compliance necessary to meet strict data regulations imposed by the governing bodies of the aviation and construction industry. 

When data tools are in a third-party custodian’s hands, you have peace of mind that all plans are audit ready, because you’ll receive notification of information that was uploaded or deleted from the system. That means you can rest assured that the complete project closeout was built from day one, allowing for clean data delivery for the digital twin.

Construction Industry Deceptions Eliminated

Part of the challenge is that the market changed the word closeout to digital twin because that is something the contractor can bill ownership for in the future. “Let’s not change the word,” Armato says. “Let’s stay with the facts. And the facts are, their data is a complete disaster. There are duplications, a lack of naming conventions, and it is not searchable. With the right tools providing information governance, your project data can be delivered within seconds.”

With MySmartPlans, that’s exactly what you can expect. Our digital information librarians are the first of their kind in the construction industry, working behind the scenes to maintain data integrity.

What that means for you:

  • No more contractors showing you proof of insurance but canceling their policy (to save money) after you choose them.
  • No more “system maintenance” that leads to your critical data getting deleted.
  • No more fearing litigation when you are in the right … or getting the sense your “partners” are hiding things from you.
  • No more missed deadlines, damaged reputations, lost budgets, overrun costs, and failed excellence.

Would everyone on the project like having every detail documented, checked, and crosschecked with MySmartPlans management? Absolutely not. You may face political resistance, complaints from (less accountable) contractors and subcontractors, and possible threats. But you’ll also be able to put your head on the pillow, every night, knowing you’re doing your absolute best to steward the work you’ve been entrusted with. Do the seemingly impossible by challenging the industry with your integrity.

Contact MySmartPlans to eliminate chaos on your current or future construction projects.



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