Managing O&M Manuals for Effective Closeout
By Christina Martinez
General contractors often struggle with the gathering and delivery of operation and maintenance (O&M) manuals to owners at the completion of a project. This is due in part to the fact that contractors generally wait until the project is completed before considering the assembly of O&M manuals. Unfortunately, the rush of trying to execute the manual can often make closeout a costly afterthought that leaves your customer with a bad last impression.
Timely, accurate O&M deliverance is critical to any project because, among other things, it will determine when you receive your final payment. So for your next project, consider the following proactive measures before construction begins:
- Implement a project information management system (PIM) that is built specifically for construction projects.
- Before the project starts and as soon as you receive the contract, clarify and understand the requirements of your O&M manuals using contract specifications or best practices from previous projects.
- Create a digital system where subcontractors can upload O&M manuals as they are completed in a digital format for review and approval.
- Include the O&M manual requirements as an exhibit in your subcontractor’s contract, so that they can familiarize themselves with what is required and provide it in a timely fashion.
- As documents are collected, make them easy to find, access and use.
- Track and report on progress internally and with subcontractors as the manuals come together.
- Assign deadlines to subcontractors for receipt of all documentation related to their scope of work.
- Begin organization and assembly of O&M binders as soon as subcontractors begin their scope of work.
These steps can help you save up to 80 percent of the time that it currently takes you to deliver O&M manuals to your clients. In addition, your company will leave a good last impression on the owner.
Christina Martinez is Triune’s Director of Marketing and Business Development. Christina brings over 10 years of high level marketing experience to Triune. Triune is a leading, integrated, design-build General Contractor founded in 1997. Triune is headquartered in Dallas, TX – www.tmvllc.us
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