Color Coded Excel – Not the Right Solution
Laptops and spreadsheets

Every project requires insurance – we all know that. It’s how we track that insurance that is still managed in a manner that is outdated and most likely putting your company at risk. 

 

I’m talking about excel and no, conditional formatting is not an upgrade to excel nor does it do a better job of reducing risk transfer.  I have spent that last few months talking to many companies from all over the country and the majority of them have this same process for tracking insurance:

• Receive certificate 
• Manually verify it matches project requirements
• Enter the vendor name, policy number, and expiration dates into excel
• Repeat above for each policy (auto, workers comp, umbrella & GL)
• Repeat above for every vendor
• Track expiration dates to insure policies on projects don’t expire 

 

If you’re a sophisticated company then you may have macros built into excel or conditional formatting with color coding to “alert” you as to when a policy is going to expire. 

 

Red-Yellow-Green cannot be the answer to tracking insurance. This system is actually a simple database to house data related to documents that are not stored with the data.  Color-coded excel is NOT a proactive insurance tracking and management system.  This is how many companies get into trouble.

 

If you are managing only one construction project you (on average) will have to track 30 COI with 4 policies per COI.  That is 120 dates – if you aren’t tracking tiered subs and suppliers.  Its easy to see how this can get unwieldy. 

 

The problem is that this database method only works as a tracking tool to manage insurance if the person managing the sheet is actively (this means daily) reviewing and updating data, looking for soon to expire certificates or looking for the color coding to point them in the right direction.  

 

What’s the downside if the color coding is not accurate or if the spreadsheet is not being inspected daily? If a subcontractor’s policy expires and is permitted on site they are no longer insured for that project. 

 

If an accident were to happen with that subcontractor then all that risk would transfer to you – the Contractor.  Do you think the Superintendent, Compliance officer, Project Manager or Owner would be aware of this situation?  In most cases not until it’s too late. 

 

Like I said earlier there has to be a better way.  Why are we still doing it this way? How can we do it differently?  

 

Now you can – with billy.  billy is the first end to end insurance tracking platform for construction.  billy can request, verify, track, renew and communicate with the field automatically on all your projects.  Construction is successful when the entire team – office to field – are working together and billy makes that happen. How do I know?  I have been in the construction industry for over 25 years and was tired of conditional formatting “protecting” my company.  So I created billy!

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