Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Example of a General Contractor "self-hosting" project documents

This morning, I received an e-mail from one of my reprographics-industry friends, who pointed me to the web-site of a GC. He was doing some “internet research” on GC’s, and he found that this particular GC, Garrard, is using, in his words, an “unadulterated FTP” site to share project documents with (I guess) its sub-contractors.

You can click on this link to get to Garrard’s web-site:


And, when you get there, you can click on “project drawings” in the upper right hand corner of Garrard’s home page.

Or, you can simply click on this link to take you directly to the “project drawings” Garrard is hosting:

Project Drawings

Well, I looked through the various folders Garrard hosts in its “project drawings” site, to get “a feel” for how Garrard has all of its project documents organized, and found it fairly easy to navigate my way around.

Certainly, Garrard, if it wanted to, could use a reprographer’s e-planroom service to host its project drawings, but I would imagine that Garrard is doing things on its own because Garrard doesn’t find it too time consuming to handle this on its own. But, keep in mind that someone at Garrard has to make sure that all documents are “up to date” (i.e., has to make sure that the most “current versions” of each individual document are posted.) Regarding that, even if Garrard was using a reprographer’s e-planroom service, Garrard would have to spend time to ensure that the reprographer’s document control person had the latest stuff.

How Garrard is “handling this” activity is, I think, a perfect example of the “distribute, then print” model. Instead of Garrard ordering bunches of sets of prints “for” its subs, Garrard is, evidently, leaving it up to its subs to obtain printing services (if hard-copy is found to be necessary by a sub.)

I hate to be redundant about this point (meaning, I’ve mentioned this before), but this is why (I think) it is important for reprographers to be involved in providing “FM” services …. even down to the sub-contractor level. Give the sub a low-cost ink-jet plotter, paper, ink, and service … and charge for the “output” they generate. Or, don’t do that and rely on the subs calling you for printing services … until one of your competitors “FM’s the subs.

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