Although it’s not often discussed, good contract management is essential in our industry. Well-written and executed contracts are the foundation of great projects, establishing clearly understood relationships between all participants. HB Contracts Manager Valerie Johnson shared how her work behind the scenes helps minimize risk and starts HB projects off right.
How do different project types change the way contracts are managed?
For CMAR and Design-Build projects, it’s more complex to track and organize subcontracts. Unlike hard bid projects, where there is a complete subcontract list, other delivery methods require continuous coordination with the subcontractors as they are added to the project.
How do you ensure complete contracts?
I’m a list girl, I use them for everything. The world of contracts is ever-evolving, so there is not one process that has been the same for more than a few years. We also use DocuSign to track what has been sent out, signed, or what is pending.
What changes in contract management have you seen?
We’ve come a long way from when I first started managing subcontracts. From what used to take weeks to review, process, and get subcontracts signed now sometimes only takes an hour. We have a very efficient process and with technology, people can access documents from anywhere.
Why is it important to get subcontracts processed quickly?
Often times subcontractor pricing is only good for a certain number of days after they submit their proposals. To adhere to budgets, we require a signed contract to lock in the numbers. Also, when it comes to scheduling, subcontractors need to be set up and ready to perform. During the contract process, we ensure every subcontractor that steps on site has a contract, insurance, and is following proper safety protocols. This protects everyone and sets the project up correctly.
How did you end up in your role?
When I first started at HB, we had only 25 employees, and we weren’t sure what my role was going to be. I learned a lot from working with everyone and applied my skills to find efficient processes for the company. Over the years, I have received training in different software and learned about the latest technology to keep up to speed with industry advancements.
What is the most important part of your role?
I’ve realized that so many details go into the contracts and things can slip through the cracks if not properly managed. I enjoy supporting the project teams by taking a behind the scenes role making sure they have everything they need for their projects.