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Change Order Challenges – How Change Order Software is Helping GCs

Find software for the current challenges in change order management


According to the 2024 GCPay Construction Industry Report, 54% of general contractors saw an increase in change orders submitted by subcontractors in 2023. The expectation of change order submissions increasing is expected to continue into 2024 showcasing the growing need for GCs to adopt construction change order management software. This makes understanding the common challenges (and more importantly how to alleviate them) more critical than ever.

Common challenges with change orders in construction projects include: 

  1. Unforeseen site conditions: During a project, unexpected site conditions may arise that require changes to the original plan. These conditions could include encountering soil or groundwater contamination, encountering utility lines that were not initially identified, or discovering structural deficiencies in existing structures.

  1. Design errors or omissions: Design errors or omissions can lead to the need for change orders. These errors can occur due to inaccurate or incomplete design documentation and may result in the need for revisions to the plans that were initially approved.

  1. Client requests: Clients may request changes to the project scope or specifications after the initial plans have been developed. These requests may be driven by changes in their own needs or preferences or as a result of external factors such as changes in regulations or market conditions.

  1. Material availability: The availability of construction materials can impact the ability to execute change orders. If the required materials for a change order are not readily available, it can lead to delays in implementing the change or increased costs if alternative materials need to be sourced.

  1. Weather conditions: Adverse weather conditions can pose challenges when it comes to implementing change orders. For example, if a change order involves exterior work that cannot be performed during certain weather conditions, it can cause delays and potentially increase costs.

  1. Contractual issues: Ambiguities or lack of clarity in the contract can lead to disputes or challenges related to change orders. It is important for contracts to clearly outline the process for initiating and approving change orders, including how the scope changes will be documented, how costs will be addressed, and how disputes will be resolved.


These challenges can significantly impact project timelines, costs, and overall client satisfaction, underscoring the critical need for construction professionals to proactively manage and address them. Elevate your project efficiency with advanced construction change order management software. 


To improve construction change order management, consider the following steps:


  1. Standardize change order procedures: Establish a clear and standardized process for initiating, reviewing, documenting, and approving change orders using efficient change order management software. This ensures that all parties involved are following the same protocol and reduces confusion or delays.


  1. Implement a change request form: Require a formal change request form for any change orders. This form should capture the details of the proposed change, including scope, cost implications, schedule impact, and necessary approvals, streamlined through innovative change order software.


  1. Assign responsibility: Clearly define who is responsible for reviewing and approving change orders. This may include project managers, architects, engineers, and other relevant stakeholders. Assigning specific roles and responsibilities ensures accountability and streamlines the decision-making process.


  1. Communicate effectively: Establish open lines of communication among project stakeholders. Regularly update all parties on the status and progress of change orders. This helps to minimize misunderstandings and facilitates timely decision-making.

  1. Document changes thoroughly: Keep detailed records of all change orders using advanced change order management software, crucial for tracking changes, managing project costs and resolving disputes


  1. Monitor project budget and schedule: Regularly monitor the impact of change orders on the project’s budget and schedule. This allows you to identify potential issues early and take corrective action to minimize delays and cost overruns.


  1. Evaluate and learn: Conduct a post-project review to evaluate the effectiveness of your change order management process. Gather feedback from project team members, subcontractors, and clients to identify areas for improvement. Use these insights to refine your procedures and enhance future project performance.


Automate these steps with GCPay’s comprehensive construction change order management software as part of its all-in-one subcontractor management product suite. Book a free custom demo today to learn how GCPay can help your business.


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