Payapps is delighted to have won the Cloud Technology of the Year Award at the 2022 Construction Computing Awards.
Judges were looking for a solution that captures the essence of Cloud and advances the benefits of centrally hosted software applications; one that demonstrates flexibility, security and cost-effectiveness whilst providing a comprehensive solution for large and small enterprises.
So in what ways does Payapps embody the essence of cloud technology to make this software worthy of such a win?
Payapps is a unique, cloud-based collaboration solution, shared by contractors and subcontractors, that standardises the complete valuation process, streamlining the submission and assessment of construction applications for payment. It replaces an inefficient and error-prone manual method with an innovative, accessible online process that is simpler, faster, fairer and more transparent, ultimately keeping contractors and subcontractors commercially aligned throughout a project’s lifecycle.
The traditional process of managing applications for payment is an inefficient mix of disparate systems, spreadsheets, handwritten notes and emails, often printed out, couriered, stored and misplaced. This often causes payment and project delays, fractured working relationships, breaches of legislated payment standards and adjudication.
Payapps, however, has standardised and digitised the process for both sides of construction transactions and makes all the information easily accessible online.
"I can’t believe we tried to manage applications for payment using spreadsheets and paperwork – in terms of administrative efficiencies, we’re saving around £100k a year now.”
Theo Riakiotakis, Finance Controller, BW Interiors
Partnered with businesses such as Autodesk, Procore, Trimble Viewpoint, Eque2, RedSky IT and 4PS, Payapps is used by main contractors and subcontractors working together on projects, or standalone by subcontractors, to manage their applications for payment.
The cloud-based software addresses the important issues in construction payments:
1. Approved and unapproved project variations are recorded, tracked and assessed to ensure nothing is missed by either main contractors or subcontractors. These are reflected in main financial and project management budgets and systems, and allow projected final accounts to be analysed with ease.
2. Payment retention means a certain amount of the project budget is withheld from subcontractors pending satisfactory completion of the project, and Payapps helps all parties calculate and track these amounts throughout the project.
3. Document compliance (insurances and bank guarantees) to reduce project risk as part of the application for payment certification methodology. Faster certification helps contractors meet regulations such as the Construction Act / Construction Contracts Act, created to provide security for subcontractors in construction.
Globally, Payapps has been adopted by over 40,000 users, managing over £6billion/annum applications for payment through the solution. UK contractors include Bouygues UK, Stepnell, Michael J Lonsdale, Blenheim House, TClarke and Watkin Jones.
Cloud-based for flexibility and accessibility
Subcontractors can submit applications for payment online, through Payapps in the office or on the go, at any time and on any device. So no matter where they are, the timely automated reminders ensure subcontractors never forget to submit an application for payment. Subcontractors can also upload and share compliance documentation, along with supporting evidence and explanations, to expedite their applications for payment.
Meanwhile, contractors are reminded to assess and approve payment applications whether they are at their desk or onsite. Indeed, Payapps was designed with an intuitive, high colour contrast user interface to support outdoor use on a mobile device, and to ensure easy use with minimal training.
Furthermore, Payapps uses responsive web design for primary use pages, created using a mobile-first approach that prioritises the most relevant information and actions to cater for smaller devices such as smartphones, with additional information added incrementally within revised layouts for larger screens.
“We can now log-in at any time of the day and see exactly where we are, what’s being claimed for, and what’s been certified or due to be paid.”
Martin Brown, Senior Quantity Surveyor, Swiftline Engineering
Cloud-based for transparency, visibility and collaboration around centralised information
Payapps provides a single, cloud-based interface where contractors and supply chain members come together to manage payment application submissions and certifications, variations and retention in one place. This allows both parties to track approval status in real-time and reduces the likelihood of project disputes.
“We can upload any supporting evidence… and because everything is in one place there is no risk of our applications or related documentation being mislaid.”
Vera Kiessling, Technical and Founding Director, Modular Connexions
Users save hours every month in their preparation, submission and certification of applications for payment; less time wrangling spreadsheets, finding paperwork and making phone calls to chase information, thereby encouraging faster payments and offering improved predictability of cashflow. This provides better project and financial outcomes for all parties across multiple projects, along with improved working relationships and reduced stress.
Being cloud-based, Payapps has the capacity to store data, providing a central document repository for compliance documents (such as licenses and insurances), as well as evidence and supporting documents, comments, modification reasons and images to back-up applications for payment.
Payapps seamlessly integrates with popular construction accounting and ERP systems. For commercial and finance teams, this reduces data entry requirements and provides a single, real-time view of project financials and status of applications for payment, alongside overall project budgets. Central visibility of all retention funds across a project ensures nothing is missed once a project is complete, and construction retention funds can be invoiced in full.
This single source of truth keeps all parties happy with no strain on cashflow across the project supply chain, ultimately providing superior confidence in control over project finances and project success.
“Now we’ve got visibility of everything coming in. There’s less chasing – probably none at all really – to get the subcontractors to submit their applications because Payapps does that for us. Everything’s in a standard format which is much easier than trying to interpret various documents to assess and value the works.”
Mark Nice, Commercial Manager, Bouygues UK
Cloud-based for standardisation, ensuring compliance
Construction has a high number of industry participants and high turnover of relationships. Contractors engage hundreds or even thousands of subcontractors, often engaging multiple businesses of the same trade type. Meanwhile, subcontractors work with multiple contractors, each with their own desired application for payment format and often with different formats between projects for the same contractor! This lack of consistency is incredibly inefficient and the transient nature of relationships means there is little investment in standardising payment application formats and processes.
Yet by creating an online collaboration mechanism, Payapps has introduced standardisation across the industry. With built-in reminders and all submissions provided in a digitised, consistent format every month, subcontractors applications for payment are timely, accurate and in line with contractual requirements. This reduces contractors’ time spent chasing amendments and finding lost paperwork, meaning quick assessment and certification – and therefore payment – is more likely.
"Payapps has standardised the way we are making payment applications, keeping all payment applications in one place… It has minimised the human error impact in the process."
Jim Howe, Head of Business Development, Gtek
For processing applications, contractors can set up a standardised application approval workflow in Payapps that works for them, with reminders to ensure payment notice deadlines are met. This gives both contract parties confidence that their ‘paperwork’ conforms to the UK Construction Act / Construction Contracts Act, and any disputes are genuinely focused on the extent and quality of work completed rather than the format, completeness and accuracy of the request for payment and subsequent assessment.
Having shared access to the same financial data, with the same calculations and classification of variations by status, both contract parties are working from the same page. A detailed, time-stamped history of individual payment applications provides an accurate audit trail. This transparency means all parties can focus on delivering our built environs, rather than arguing over different numbers and spreadsheet layouts.
“I would strongly recommend Payapps. It brings a level of consistency and uniformity across our business. It is a user-friendly process that saves invaluable time, which in today’s working environment is our greatest asset.”
Sean Hickey, Commercial Director, Cilantro
Cloud-based for quick and easy set-up
With Payapps, no ‘implementation’ is necessary and any training required is available online. Set-up is easy and fast; in fact the cloud-based platform can be up and running in as little as 24 hours so that a contractor’s payment approval process can be improved within days, not months.
For all users, there is also unlimited support via live chat, email and phone support.
“It’s an incredibly simple system which has been quickly picked up and understood by all of our users.”
Steve Gratte, Supply Chain Director, Gratte Brothers
Cloud-based for secure, no-maintenance, cost-effective payment application processing
Feedback from customers is that Payapps reduces their time to assess applications for payment by up to 50%. On this basis, most contractors achieve a fast return on investment within six months of go-live. They also enjoy automated product updates with no on-going maintenance or underlying infrastructure issues to be concerned with, making it incredibly cost-effective. Even in the event of a disaster, there are no servers the customer needs to rescue and replace, yet everything is backed-up.
Payapps’ hosting provider is AWS, with all information securely stored in their data centres and backed-up - essential in particular for audits and for recovery of evidence during any dispute negotiation.
“The process of assessing payments, and issuing payment notices, has been cut by around 50%. It can literally take minutes to process an application, issue payment notices and make a payment… very very easy.”
Carl Wiltshire, Managing Surveyor, G F Tomlinson
What's more, there is peace of mind that Payapps is secure with the support of Optional SSO (Single Sign-On) for working across multiple projects, and Multi-Factor Authentication. For subcontractor users, Payapps offers a range of simple and flexible monthly payment plans with no lock-in contracts or additional fees – ever.
Whether Payapps is being used in collaboration with contractor clients, or to self-manage applications for payment, it’s easily scalable so there is a cost-effective plan no matter how many (or how few) payment applications are submitted.
Payapps is a one-of-a-kind, innovative, easy-to-use solution that embodies all the benefits of a centrally hosted cloud-based solution; improved visibility, flexibility, security and efficiencies in terms of time and cost savings. Coupled with exceptional customer support and a high service standard, users enjoy supreme control over their project payment processing.
To see this award-winning software for yourself, book an online demo today!