Since the 1960s, U.S. businesses have achieved substantial gains in annual productivity through a variety of improved business processes, computing technologies, and related applications. These productivity gains can be measured in most major industries, including manufacturing, financial services, and transportation, to name a few.
During the same period, the productivity growth rate for the construction and building industry has averaged –0.59 percent, while all other industries (excluding construction) combined have an average productivity growth rate of 1.77 percent. This relative decline has occurred even though the construction industry and other U.S. industries have access to many of the same technologies.
To determine a source for this problem, industry experts point to many anecdotal and generally plausible causes, including:
Construction workflows that leverage color design, and construction documentation and wide format color printing provide an important means for reducing costs for traditional design-bid-build projects. Relative to the cost of color printing, the improvements in collaboration gained through reduced estimation contingencies, requests for information and change orders can readily exceed a 4:1 ratio, in which each incremental dollar invested in color printing can yield $4 in savings for a given project.
These savings are derived through the use of higher-quality color construction documentation during the estimation, bidding, and construction phases of building where collaboration extends across multiple downstream stakeholders, such as specialty subcontractors, fabricators, and suppliers.
Architects, project managers, engineers, construction foremen, estimators, safety crews and others could be wasting time and money by not printing construction documents in color.
To build successfully, avoid costly bidding errors and construction rework it is important for general contractors and subcontractors to make sure that everyone is working off the latest document version.