The Joys of Reviewing Shop Drawings

When you think of reviewing shop drawings, it sounds like it should be easy. Receive an email from the General Contractor with the shop drawing, review it, and send it back. Easy as that, right?

Unfortunately, it’s not always that easy. For a shop drawing that requires multiple consultants to review it, the process can sometimes look like this:

- Get an email from the GC with the shop drawing

- Make sure all the right consultants were copied on the email, if not, forward it to them to make sure they have it.

- Save the pdf in your clunky file folder system (6 clicks later…)

- If another consultant must review it, you typically wait for their review before you start yours….so the emails begin

- “Hi Mike, have you had a chance to review this yet?”

- Wait a few days

- “Hi Mike, just following up with your review.”

- Attend the OAC meeting, and as you’re going through the submittals log, this shop drawing gets brought up. If the meeting is in person, you give Mike a look across the table that says “SEND ME THAT SHOP DRAWING!”. If It’s during the COVID-19 world, you’re on a conference call and you simply respond and say “Mike’s reviewing it, you’ll have it next week”.

- Finally, you receive an email from Mike with the reviewed shop drawing! Hallelujah!

- Save the pdf in your clunky file folder system (6 clicks later...)

- Now it’s time to complete your review! Make sure you add your comments on the same pdf as Mike’s so you only have to send back one pdf.

- Finally, you can send back your review to the GC!

This review took 6 emails, 1 meeting and days later, the process is complete. Time to do this 200+ more times, depending on your project size of course. Typically, the contract outlines somewhere between 5 to 10 days for consultants to complete their review. However, we’ve all seen the urgent shop drawings come in that needed to be returned yesterday. It's not that consultants are lazy or don't care. People are often assigned to multiple projects and are bombarded with hundreds of emails a day. How can you possibly keep up?

The shop drawing process could be better. It should be better. It’s a task that consultants cannot escape, and yet it’s often something that people remark is their least favourite thing about their role. Check out how Part3 can make your life easier!

11/8/2020