Streamlining Change Orders & Safeguarding Margins

See how Urata & Sons Concrete is leveraging Clearstory to accelerate Change Order Request review and approval, eliminate error-prone paper T&M Tickets, and recover hours of project team productivity.



There’s one thing Rick Rice has learned after three decades in commercial construction: the longer it takes to get paid for out-of-contract work, the tougher it is to get paid at all. 

“It's always hard to go back to the pot,” says the executive vice president of Urata & Sons Concrete about getting extra work costs paid off after lengthy delays. “Change Order Requests and T&M Tickets are very time sensitive, and our GCs need to get them in front of owners quickly. So I always preach that the faster we get stuff in, the quicker we can get paid, and the easier we can get paid, too.”

It wasn’t such a simple order when the Specialty Contractor was captive to static COR logs manually assembled from spreadsheets, field documentation, and paper T&M Tickets that could take weeks to arrive at the home office.  

Often a multi-hour drive from headquarters, Urata jobsites across California and Nevada meant field documentation endured a lengthy, risky journey back home. And once it finally arrived, contract administrators and PMs would have to lean into mind-numbing data-entry sessions and volley emails back and forth with GCs to reconcile logs. 

“You can imagine the amount of time and fuel spent on just that process alone,” Rice says. “We could end up missing tags or have things turned in extremely late. And at a 15% margin, if you lose one out of 10 tags, you're essentially doing the work for free. So, yeah, it's pretty easy to go backwards in that scenario.”

Then Rice discovered Clearstory, the industry's only purpose-built Change Order Communication Tool designed to help Specialty Contractors capture and close out-of-contract work faster. With Clearstory’s shared, cloud-based Universal COR Log, Urata could align with GCs in real-time and collaborate with a suite of timesaving markup and review tools, including digital T&M Tags to eliminate all of those time-consuming, error-prone, paper ticket workflows.




“Clearstory was eye opening. It was kind of that moment where it's like, I think you guys just solved a pretty major problem here, and did it fairly eloquently."

Rick Rice

Executive Vice President, Urata & Sons Concrete

GC-Ready and Jobsite Approved

With a focus specifically on out-of-contract work, and designed to complement and work alongside major project management and financial systems, Clearstory provided Urata & Sons with the Change Order Request and T&M Tag point solution they’d been looking for. And even better, it was easy to use, and therefore eagerly adopted by skeptical, process-burdened project teams.

“I can honestly say the guys in the field picked it up really, really fast,” Rice says. “Clearstory has been easy to implement in the field even with people that aren't savvy with computers. You guys honestly nailed it. It's great, great software. We love using it.”

Urata’s General Contractors likewise were quick to gravitate to Clearstory’s shared, cloud-based Change Order Request Log as a way to avoid being blind-sided by surprise costs by having full transparency into pricing exercises and whether items are pending or approved. “With Clearstory our GCs can stay ahead of cost issues and protect their financial interests as well,” Rice says. “It just allows good visibility for everyone and provides a constant reminder of what’s owed and what status it’s in.” 

Rice and his executive team are even firing up Clearstory during live Change Order review meetings with GCs, marking up and revising change order requests in real-time and seeing the instant updates and revised Change Order Requests in Clearstory as they efficiently clock through review meetings. 

“I think more than anything, Clearstory allows the project manager for the general contractor to see what's happening in real time,” Rice says. “It makes things quick and easy, streamlining the process and helping to free up the money to get our Change Orders paid.”


More Productive Teams and Real-Time Analytics 

And no longer are Urata & Sons contract administrators and PMs burning hours of productivity on data entry and spreadsheet management and tracking COR log status through endless emails. “The whole old school process was a fairly big time suck for everyone, and now our PMs can do other more productive things with their time,” Rice says. “Nobody likes to sit around and fill out spreadsheets.”

Clearstory’s project filters and data insights are also providing Rice and the Urata & Sons executive team with real-time visibility into project and project manager performance as its related to Change Order Requests and other out-of-contract work issues. And since everything is centralized in a single, centralized, interface, identifying and correcting delays or issues is easier than ever. 

“Instead of having big convoluted logs and a million different spreadsheets, we can easily filter by project and by project manager and really look at who is doing what to keep everyone working on the goal of getting Change Orders in the door and approved as soon as they’re available,” Rice says. 

It’s just another reason that Clearstory is one of the few softwares that Rice says he would highly recommend to any contractor or subcontractor that’s out there. “It’s super functional, does exactly what you need, and there’s not a lot of extra steps,” he says. “It’ll streamline your process and you’ll be very happy with it. It’s great software.” 


About Urata & Sons

Established in 1974, Urata & Sons Concrete is a leading concrete subcontractor in California and Nevada recognized for delivering high-quality, customized results on time and within budget.


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