If there’s one surprising aspect about the construction industry, it’s that there’s a lot of hidden time and energy that goes behind project management and contract administration.
We know this from personal experience because, in the past few years, PandaDoc has had many construction clients from around the world tell us about their contract management worries.
So, this article is for folks from the construction industry — it’ll tell you all about what to look for in a contract management solution, the top contenders to consider, and which option you should choose.
How can construction contract management help your business?
1. It’ll help you collaborate and finalize details with all stakeholders
For example, in PandaDoc, if you want to send your contracts to your legal team members for a quick review, they can leave in-line comments and suggest amendments about deliverables, timeframes, change orders, etc.
2. It’ll streamline your workflow
You can bid goodbye to those good ole days when you needed to manually ship your contracts to get them signed.
In today’s day and age, multiple contract management software allow easy e-signing, have a library of templates, and help you reduce manual data entry errors.
3. You’ll end up creating audit trails
Since these solutions also offer version control, allow you to create role-based permissions, keep timestamps of contract negotiations and signings, generate reports, and track the contracts through various stages, it’s much easier to create audit trails with them.
4. They’re secure and legally compliant
If you stick with good contract management software, we can guarantee they’d be compliant with the E-Sign Act and other necessary regulations and security measures in the industry.
For example, PandaDoc offers e-signing certificates, uses SOC 2 Type 2 data centers, and is compliant with HIPAA, GDPR, eIDAS, FERPA, and data residency laws in the US and EU.
5. You can integrate with your favorite solutions
You also leverage contract management solutions to integrate with:
- Payment partners to get paid for construction projects on time;
- Design apps to create 3D mock-ups of projects; and
- Project management tools to track all your construction projects and meetings.
1. Cost-plus contract
This contract allows general contractors to get paid for all construction-related expenses plus their profit.
For example, if a contractor is charging $1000 for materials and labor costs and wishes to keep a profit of 20%, then the project will be billed at $1200.
These are ideally used for long-term projects where the cost of materials/labor is bound to fluctuate.
2. Design-build contract
Under this contract agreement, construction companies take over the task of design execution as well as building the property.
Clients who prefer their designers and contractors not to have tiffs and want to have a singular person for communication use such contracts.
3. Incentive construction contract
Incentive contracts provide general contractors with incentives if they complete the construction project before the deadline or at a lower cost. Such contracts prove to be a win-win situation for both parties.
4. Guaranteed max price contract
This contract allows the client to manage risk by guaranteeing a maximum price for all deliverables and responsibilities (additional expenses are taken over by the construction company up to an extent).
Such contracts are more beneficial to the client and less to the construction company.
5. Lump-sum contract
Under this contract, the client pays a fixed project fee to the general contractor to take on the task.
In turn, the contractor can go under or beyond this amount to complete the project. Such contracts are undertaken by clients who wish to stay on a budget.
6. Time and materials contract
Since the charges of subcontractors and materials can differ based on different seasons/projects, you can use this contract to account for the fluctuating prices.
This differs from a cost-plus contract because contractors get profits based on the fluctuating amount, whereas, with cost-plus contracts, profits are based on the fixed amount allocated towards materials and labor.
What to look for in a contract management solution
There’s a difference between a solution that allows you to ship contracts vs. one that allows effective contract management.
You want to look for the latter option, preferably one that:
- Has collaboration capabilities
- Is compliant with major security and compliance standards (especially the E-Sign Act)
- Allows you to track your contractual obligations
- Has multiple construction templates for reference
- Provides real-time audits
- Allows you to create and edit contracts seamlessly
Top contract management solutions you can consider
|GetAccept Contract Room
|Between $19-49/month (depending on the plan you choose)
|Custom pricing (but ranges between $15 and $450)
|$49/user/month for the Professional plan (Enterprise plan is available too)
|4.7/5 on G2 based on 2,252 reviews
|4.5/5 on G2 based on 2,215 reviews
|4.6/5 on G2 based on 711 review
|Document upload limit
|20 documents with 1.5 GB size
|Unlimited, but file size cannot be more than 20 MB
|Web, iOS, Android
|Web, iOS, Android
|Web, iOS, Android
|14-day free trial
(you can sign up on the website)
|30-day free trial (need to contact the sales team)
|14-day free trial (you can sign up on the website)
|24/7 email and chat support + learning academy, knowledge base, and customer success manager
|Support is paid and depends on the subscription plan
|Email, phone, and chat support + knowledge base
PandaDoc’s capabilities go way beyond a contract management solution and instead lend themselves to being an all-in-one solution that allow you to manage proposals, invoices, quotes, and contracts.
Plus, you can use this solution to:
- Collaborate with all your stakeholders, including construction clients, architects, product suppliers, and internal team members.
- Edit multiple documents (e.g., you can use pre-built proposal templates to bid on construction projects).
- Collect payments and send invoices once a construction project is complete.
- Integrate with your favorite tools (e.g., you can integrate with project management tools to assign design-related responsibilities of different projects to individual team members).
- Create audit trails (you can access version control, signing certificates, and timestamps to show during internal company audits).
- E-sign and notarize your construction and design contracts with clients, laborers, and suppliers.
Basically, with it, you can create an entire contract management process that will help you with tasks that happen before and after signing a contract.
Oh, and if you’re in a busy mode and have no time to create contracts, we can assist there, too, as PandaDoc has an entire library of construction-related templates.
DocuSign is one the biggest e-signature and contract management solutions in the industry — and this is mainly because it has advanced capabilities that’ll help you create, edit, and finalize contracts with ease.
What do we mean by this? Well, you can use DocuSign to collaborate with your team members (e.g., legal teams can pre-approve clauses or add inline comments), integrate with solutions like Salesforce to auto-populate fields, use DocuSign AI for contract negotiations, and search contracts with filters.
Moreover, it’s also legally compliant with all the major standards in the industry and even goes above and beyond to provide you with all the analytics you need (e.g., it can provide risk-scoring data).
However, these capabilities are similar to what PandaDoc offers, too.
For example, PandaDoc is also compliant with the E-Sign Act, HIPAA, FERPA, GDPR, etc., and can provide analytics on how customers interact with documents (e.g., it can show when they opened the document and how long they viewed it for).
While GetAccept may not be as well known as PandaDoc or DocuSign, it’s still no underdog in the industry, considering the way it stands mighty with its impressive product and an even more impressive feature list.
So, what makes it deserving of the praise, you ask? Well, aside from offering almost the same benefits and features as both its competitors, GetAccept also allows:
- Video recording and SMS reminders
- Recipients to add their own files
- Analytics (e.g., deal scores which show how likely a contract is to convert)
Perhaps the only area it can use some improvements is allowing all its users to use all of its capabilities (presently, only enterprise clients get to access all integrations, SSO logins, Adobe-trusted certificates, add unlimited library items, and create department-wide accounts).
Which contract management software should you choose for your business?
At this stage, especially when you have such impressive contract management solutions on the list, you might wonder which solution to move forward with. Well, here are our two cents, which might help with decision-making:
There’s no doubt both DocuSign and GetAccept are excellent software, but they’re solutions with limited capabilities that can only help you manage contract obligations — nothing more, nothing less.
Basically, if you wish to notarize your documents after signing, send proposals to clients before signing, and/or connect with customer support around the clock to ease your doubts, there’s no way of making that happen. (Plus, they’re also more expensive options when compared to PandaDoc.)
So, if you need an all-in-one solution that charges you one flat rate (just like a lump sum contract) to manage your contract and business-related responsibilities, PandaDoc is the option you ought to move forward with.
To get a complete understanding of how we can change the way you conduct business in simply two weeks, click here to avail a 14-day trial.