About Blach Construction
Since 1970, Blach Construction has been building structures of enduring quality throughout California, earning recognition across the construction industry and general business community for their projects, innovative practices, employee engagement and community service. Their experience includes a broad cross section of education, housing, institutional, mixed-use and workplace building types, and transit- oriented developments, as well as fluency in traditional and collaborative delivery methods.
Quality, collaboration and safety are at the core of everything Blach does. True to their Silicon Valley roots, the firm is committed to incorporating advanced, innovative construction techniques, employing new technology and leveraging their in-house prefabrication, self-perform and virtual design and construction expertise to gain greater efficiencies on their projects and increased value to their clients.
Blach recently signed an enterprise agreement to deploy Extracker across their entire portfolio and we sat down with Project Manager, Tami Williams, and Project Engineer, Pablo Azcona, to discuss how Extracker has improved the change order process.
"I never have to go on the hunt for information anymore. Extracker offers real-time access to all of our Change Orders. All of the information is there, whenever I need it!"
Project Manager at Blach Construction
Extracker offers Blach the ability to consolidate their change order process, which eliminates the stress that comes with juggling multiple Change Orders over the life of a project. “There’s always a nerve-wracking moment at the end of a job as I account for varying Change Orders, when I wonder if everything is accounted for, and hope that nothing was inadvertently overlooked,” Tami states.
Additionally, Extracker’s real-time cost information provides transparency never- before-seen in the industry. Adopting Extracker gave Tami peace of mind about the project’s financial status, ensuring subcontractor Change Order documentation resides in one place. “Requiring subcontractors to submit Change Orders in Extracker is very reassuring,” she added.
Increasing Accuracy & Eliminating Paper Tags
Paper Time & Material tags are universally despised throughout the industry, as Blach’s team can attest. Prior to using Extracker, Tami recalls having stacks of paper tags in file cabinets at her desk, which would have to be logged before being entered into their financial software. She spent hours each week referencing each tag with her log, ensuring added scope was accurately documented. The process was laborious, time-intensive and challenging -- and one of the key reasons Blach turned to Extracker.
After introducing Extracker to its subcontractors, paper-based Tags became a thing of the past. Blach’s Trade Partners now submit all estimated and Time & Material Change Order documentation through Extracker’s cloud-based, real-time Change Order Request (COR) log, ultimately saving time and providing accuracy.
Extracker reduces unnecessary and excessive back and forth communication. “Because information is real-time, Extracker provides up-to-the-minute clarity, which eliminates the potential for confusion,” observes Pablo.
Additionally, Extracker’s change notification feature has drastically improved communication for new design changes. Pablo started using this feature on the $300+ million Gateway at Millbrae Station project, one of California’s largest transit-oriented developments where Blach is in a joint venture with Cahill Contractors.
“I previously had to rely on email to share design updates, pricing documents and deadlines, which resulted in mile-long email threads,” Pablo recalled. Extracker enables Blach and Cahill to upload documents directly to the platform, eliminating multiple email strings from the process. Not only does Extracker notify all parties of changes, it maintains tracking status and enables everyone to access viewing history. Furthermore, trade partners are able to update pricing right in the platform. “The Change Order notification feature is easily one of my favorites,” stated Pablo.
Enjoying Peace of Mind
Change Orders are a reality in the world of construction. Inevitably, they require valuable time in a Project Manager’s work day– time that might be better spent on other initiatives. Extracker mitigates the unnecessary and sometimes excessive administrative burdens that accompany the Change Order process. Extracker offers efficiencies that extend beyond immediate access to real-time cost information and Change Order status. By using Extracker, Tami and Pablo have found that they have more accurate data for meetings, are quicker to address client inquiries and can more skillfully analyze project information and cost data. Ultimately, Extracker simplifies what is often an ongoing and complex process in the world of construction.