Modernizing the Change Order Process

With a global reputation built on delivering innovative, landmark, full-facade solutions, Permasteelisa was an early adopter of Clearstory, applying the modernized Change Order Communication tool to its projects across the US as a way to solve manual, inefficient, and disconnected processes.



About Permasteelisa

The Permasteelisa Group engineers, designs, and manufactures architectural envelopes for signature landmark buildings throughout the world, applying constant innovation in the fields of quality, safety, and environment through the use of advanced technologies. 


Marquee Projects Require Innovative Solutions

Headquartered in Italy, Permasteelisa is one of the world’s largest curtain wall Specialty Contractors, and is renowned for its advanced technical solutions and place-making facades on marquee buildings like the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, the 93-story One Vanderbilt skyscraper in New York City, and the Uber Headquarters in San Francisco. 

With a global reputation built on delivering innovative, landmark, full-facade solutions, Permasteelisa was an early adopter of Clearstory, applying the modernized Change Order Communication tool to its projects across the US as a way to solve manual, inefficient, and disconnected processes. 

“I'm overseeing  the financial performance of our projects, where Change Orders, specifically, had been a pain point for the organization, just like for every other contractor,” says Permasteelisa senior project manager Sam Gilbertson.

Since Permasteelisa often enters projects at an early stage, even minor changes to an architect's design can have significant repercussions on facade construction. Tracking design changes efficiently before Clearstory was a daunting challenge, and the use of Excel spreadsheets, which allowed project managers to create their own Change Order workflows, didn’t help. 

“Every project manager had their own variation of how they calculated a Change Order, how they priced a Change Order, how they presented a Change Order, and how it was tracked at the project level and reported to management,” explains Gilbertson. 

As a result, maintaining Change Order consistency and ensuring everyone was using the same format was an ongoing struggle, and the lack of visibility made it difficult to report Change Order exposure risk both internally and to their General Contractor accurately. “From a reporting perspective, you never knew if you had the most up-to-date Change Order Log. It was always a hunt to find the latest and greatest version,” Gilbertson says. 

Permasteelisa early on recognized a need to uplevel its approach to managing Change Orders,  and began searching for a solution during a period of slowed construction activity due to COVID-19, quickly adopting Clearstory for its streamlined and collaborative approach to Change Order processes. 

Created by contractors to modernize how the industry communicates and resolves out-of-contract work, Clearstory is the only Change Order Communication Tool purpose-built to reduce risk for all stakeholders. Clearstory’s 100% real-time, Universal COR Log provides automated workflows and practical markup tools to replace static COR logs and disconnected email threads, helping Permasteelisa project teams stay on the same page, avoid risk, and understand cost impacts.


Sam Permasteelisa Headshot

“Clearstory gave us reliable visibility into our Change Orders probably for the first time. Where we were spending 40 hours or more per month just to try to understand our Change Order exposure, Clearstory shows us instantly where we need to put the most attention. It's very quick to get in, see what needs to be priced, do the work and move on.”

Sam Gilbertson

Senior Project Manager, Permasteelisa 

The adoption of Clearstory yielded other significant benefits for Permasteelisa, including: 

  • Improved Cash Flow and Reduction in Lost Revenue: Permasteelisa saw an increase in the amount of revenue-at-risk that was protected due to real-time visibility into Change Orders. With Clearstory aligned to daily operations, processes became more automated and efficient, reducing the risk of forgetting to price or send Change Orders in a timely manner. 

  • Enhanced Communication: Clearstory enabled Permasteelisa to communicate Change Order cost impacts to clients immediately. This proactive approach facilitated easier discussions and ensured that all parties recognized cost implications of design changes from the outset.

  • Streamlined Subcontractor Management: Although Permasteelisa mostly self-performs, it also tapped into Clearstory Change Notifications to manage fire protection and door and window Subcontractors to distribute design changes and collect cost impact efficiently. 

Most importantly, Clearstory ensured trust and transparency, allowing all project stakeholders to assess the same information in real-time. “Clearstory is the single source of truth,” Gilbertson says. “There's not several versions of the same thing. There's one version of your Change Order, and there's one version of your Change Order Log, so there's just never any questions – it’s one repository of all of the changes on a project.”

Clearstory is also helping Permasteelisa’s General Contractors, who have found the solution invaluable to gaining enhanced visibility into open issues impacting the forecasting on world-recognized landmark projects like the iconic 200 Park tower in Silicon Valley now under construction near San Jose, CA. “Our General Contractors see Clearstory as a great tool for tracking Change Orders and quickly recognize that it provides great visibility into what’s open,” Gilbertson says. 

Using Clearstory, Permasteelisa and its GCs have benefitted by sharing a live link to a Universal Change Order Log, providing instant visibility to current status and eliminating the risk that only increases as Change Orders accumulate unseen.  “The user interface is great and the presentation is great,” Gilbertson says. “But the fact that we have one source for all change on all projects is, I think, the most important benefit for the business. It’s definitely made the conversations, the follow-up, and follow through regarding Change Orders a lot easier.”

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