Q: What are some of the risks associated with shop drawings and submittals and how can I manage them?
A: While we have no specific recommendations or requirements for shop drawing or submittal stamp language, in our experience, a relatively simple stamp can be adequate and appropriate. As you consider the language on your stamp, we’d recommend that you also take into consideration the following questions:
1. Do we have a system for scheduling submittals, keeping in mind that we will only request those shop drawings and submittals that are necessary?
2. Do we have a procedure for timely and adequate submittal review and are we following that procedure?
3. Are we requiring that the contractor check and approve shop drawings prior to submitting them to us?
4. Are we returning—without review—shop drawings that were not required by the contract documents?
To arrive at appropriate language for the shop drawing or submittal stamp, consider the important elements of review, which, in our experience, are:
1. defining contractually your duties;
2. developing a procedure to carry out those duties;
3. identifying a process for confirming that the procedure was followed; and
4. creating and using a stamp that accurately reflects the contractual duty and appropriate protections.
The Risk Specialty Group and RLI Design Professionals are pleased to feature our Contract Tip of the Week series. Each week, we’ll review a question submitted by a design firm relating to the subject of contracts. Keep in mind, though, that these discussions are general in nature and in making specific business decisions, it’s important to review your options with a knowledgeable attorney.