PlanGrid Construction Productivity Blog
submittals approvals

How to Accelerate Submittals Approvals [Ebook]

Tips and Tricks to Ramp Up Productivity with PlanGrid Submittals

Submittals are critical to any project. Nonetheless, often the process can feel like herding cats; compiling thousands of items into a log manually, submitting each item and waiting on stakeholders to review and approve. As a result, the process can be massively time-consuming and error-ridden, increasing project risk line item by line item.

At PlanGrid, we knew that submittals could be a major bottleneck for a productive project. As a result, we launched two new products designed to streamline the process at the start of this year. PlanGrid’s Automatic Submittal Log (ASL) and Submittals, are designed to help construction professionals improve the speed and accuracy of the entire submittals process, helping to mitigate project risk significantly.

To provide an in-depth insight into both of PlanGrid’s submittals products, we decided to release a getting started guide s. To find the best tips and tricks, we sat down with PlanGrid Product Managers and some of our customers for tips straight from the field. Our latest ebook, “Getting Started with PlanGrid Submittals and Automatic Submittal Log” is the result of that research.

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Before we jump into what’s in the guide, let’s quickly run through exactly what are Submittals and the Submittal Log and how they can be used to accelerate your submittals approvals.

Submittals: A Refresher

Submittals include schedules, meeting minutes, product data, shop drawings, test data and product samples. A large project with multiple subcontractors has hundreds of them.

At the beginning of the project, the general contractor creates a submittal log which lists in detail all the submittals required on the project. Submittal logs include thousands of line items. It’s a critical piece of documentation that allows a team to visualize what they need to submit and when to do it. Typically, submittal logs take days or even weeks to manually complete.

What Is PlanGrid Automatic Submittal Log?

Regardless if a specification book is 100 or 1,000 pages long, PlanGrid’s Automatic Submittal Log adds efficiency, automation and accuracy to the once tedious process. Now, contractors can upload the project’s spec book and in minutes. The software automatically pulls information from the specifications to create a downloadable spreadsheet containing all of the submittal register items.

What Is PlanGrid Submittals?

The submittal process includes logging, tracking and managing thousands of submittal register items. It also provides an essential system of checks and balances in construction. PlanGrid Submittals standardizes everything that is submitted for review—from material sheets, or shop drawings, to physical mock-ups, samples and everything else in-between. From the Submittals dashboard, you can see at a glance which items are upcoming or overdue. This information lets teams prioritize, follow up and move towards ordering the materials needed to begin construction.

To get the full rundown on both of the products, check out this blog post.

What’s Inside?

Our ebook provides an essential overview and guide for construction teams to get the most out of PlanGrid’s submittals products. Below are some highlights from the tips and tricks section of the getting started guide.

Tips and Tricks for Automatic Submittal Log

  • ASL currently works with AIA and CSI MasterFormat, so be sure ensure that your documents adhere to AIA standards.
  • Verify that your specification documents are text documents and not images.
  • PlanGrid will automatically email you when the extraction process is completed.
  • When new versions of your specifications come out, upload them into PlanGrid and they will automatically update with any changes.
  • …and more (if you download the ebook).

Tips and Tricks for PlanGrid Submittals

  • Decide who your reviewers are at the beginning of your project and define your review cycles at the same time.
  • Subcontractors and designers can be included in the submittal via email and do not need a PlanGrid account.
  • If you don’t have a spreadsheet that contains all your items, you can create them manually within PlanGrid.
  • PlanGrid groups all submittal statuses into three categoriesapproved; revise and resubmit; and rejected.
  • Watchers in Submittals have different permissions than those directly assigned to a submittal.
  • A published submittal can be exported from PlanGrid and can be directly linked to a specific sheet.
  • Add a logo to your transmittal page by going to the user account settings page and uploading one.
  • …and more (if you download the ebook).

A Submittals Case Study

Prior to using PlanGrid Submittals, Project Engineer Tyler Creason’s process was complicated to track and manage. Each submittal required a conversation with the subcontractor to prompt them to provide a formatted submittal package. After he reviewed of the package, he’d either return it to the subcontractor for revision or pass it on to the design engineer for approval. The design engineer had the same basic interaction: either approve the submittal or return it for revisions. This handoff loop continued until each package received approval.

With PlanGrid Submittals, Tyler no longer has to deal with the cumbersome manual submittals approvals process.

“I don’t have to manually do anything anymore. The foreman in the field and design engineers have the [PlanGrid] app and can see what submittals are approved in real time. This lets them see what work they can do, based on which submittals have been approved.” – Tyler Creason

Let’s Get Started

If you’re ready to rapidly scale your submittals process and increase productivity, download the Getting Started With PlanGrid Submittals ebook today.

Download Ebook

Further Reading:  The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Project Delivery Method

Eric Thomas

Eric Thomas is a Content Marketing Manager at PlanGrid. He develops PlanGrid’s content strategy and creates assets to educate their customers based on his experience working at Gilbane Building Co. and Truebeck Construction. He has more than six years of marketing experience and a Bachelor's Degree in Scientific and Technical Communication from Michigan Technological University.

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