Communication is critical when working as a subcontractor on large construction jobs and RedTeam’s new app, TeamPlayer, helps improve collaboration between landscaping companies and general contractors.
RedTeam is a cloud-based construction management software provider that has been around for 12 years.
“We were born out of a commercial general contractor who was looking to improve the way they manage projects,” says Frédéric Guitton, chief strategy officer at RedTeam. “The key focus of the solution that’s been designed is improving collaboration between the subcontractors and the general contractor (GC) and also increasing visibility to all the team members at any given time.”
RedTeam created TeamPlayer to simplify the collaboration process when it comes to team members accessing and responding to critical documents, improving visibility and paying subcontractors faster.
Guitton says that TeamPlayer currently starts at the GC level as the general contractor has to decide they want TeamPlayer enabled on their projects first.
Subcontractors can view the status of their contracts, change orders, credentials, lien waivers, submittals and punch items. Users can also share day-to-day performance updates in real time and check in and check out at project sites based on their location.
“They log into the app and they can see all the GCs that they work with who use RedTeam,” Guitton says. “Now they click on that GC and they can see all the projects they have, and they open the project, they can see every document in that project. It could be a request for quote. It could be an invoice. It could be a subcontract agreement. All of that is organized for them in a single environment.”
The app utilizes DocuSign so subcontractor agreements can be authorized directly from the platform.
Over the next couple of months, RedTeam will roll out multiple enhancements for TeamPlayer, such as project check-in, subcontractors’ daily reports and field change order management.
A common challenge when working with a GC is when they give subcontractors field directives but fail to properly document it. With TeamPlayer, subcontractors will be able to memorialize requests made in the field.
“Once you have a contract, typically the agreement is, whatever I tell you to do, you’re going to do it and we’ll figure out the cost of it,” Guitton says. “But where it breaks down is someone walks the project from the GC side of it, gives a directive but then it’s not visible from the office, and then the subcontractor starts invoicing against it. And the office says, ‘Well, I don’t know anything about that. It’s not documented, so I can’t pay you yet for it.’ Those issues are ongoing issues that happen every single day on projects.”
TeamPlayer helps in other ways with subcontractor billing as well. Some of the current issues with billing can occur when invoices are improperly prepared or aren’t documented correctly, which bogs down cash flow and requires administrative intervention to make corrections.
“The idea here is now a subcontractor is able to pull the contract that they have with the GC, they can see the detailed schedule of value and what has been built to date,” Guitton says. “They can say, ‘Okay, on the pavers I am now 50 percent done and last month, I was 25 percent done.’ The system automatically adjusts that particular line item.”
By streamlining the documentation process, TeamPlayer helps reduce risk for subcontractors and improve communication among their people in the field and those back in the office, as well communication with as the GC.
“One of the biggest sources of friction that can occur between the GC and the subcontractor is that the information is not always harmonized,” Guitton says. “They live in separate silos. TeamPlayer breaks that silo and creates a direct link that’s visible by both parties concurrently. It really helps streamline that whole event.”
The basic form of TeamPlayer is free for subcontractors.
“It’s free because it benefits everybody,” Guitton says. “One of the key elements to successful project management is to be able to gather as much information as possible. Anything that creates friction in that process for us is actually detrimental to successful project delivery. So, the aspect of collaboration is free.”
However, for the billing functionality, there is a cost associated with it. Guitton says it’s up to the GC to either bear the cost or pass it on to the subcontractor. It is $10 per electronic invoice. Also, the documentation is under the ownership of the general contractor. If subcontractors wish to upgrade to TeamPlayer Premium for $50 a month, they will retain ownership of the documents as well.
Guitton says ownership of the documentation can be useful in situations where if the GC is not pleased with the subcontractor’s work to the point it might lead to litigation. He says the first thing a GC would do in this case is remove the subcontractor from accessing the documentation anymore.
“By upgrading to premium, the subcontractor can buy an insurance policy against that, because now they retain access to that documentation regardless of what the GC does because they now are owner of that document as well,” he says.
Guitton says the long-term benefit of TeamPlayer is it reduces stress and conflicts that can occur between subcontractors and general contractors.
“If there’s a conflict, they have all the backup documentation,” he says. “So, there’s a source of truth that exists that can be discussed together. Whereas if someone says, ‘Well, I sent you an email two weeks ago,’ ‘Well, I can’t find it. I don’t think I received it.’ There’s what you consider a plausible deniability. TeamPlayer breaks through these kinds of barriers.”
“The success of construction projects depend largely on the collaboration and communication between and amongst contractors and subcontractors,” says Michael Wright, CEO of RedTeam. “Updates to a project’s plan or unforeseen delays can change the trajectory of the project quickly. We created TeamPlayer as a solution that is free for subcontractors to use as part of the contractor’s use of RedTeam, helping entire projects to remain on-schedule and on-budget.”