Construction technology includes all the innovative tools, equipment, processes, and software used during the construction process. On one end you have basic tools for communication and building construction schedules. One the other end, you have advanced tools like automated construction equipment.
Technology—from pickup trucks to hydraulic excavators to construction project management software—has always propelled this industry forward. But a recent survey of construction managers found that only 32% of respondents were adopting new technology to increase the efficiency of their workers. Even worse, more than half spend 2% or less on information technology. This explains why McKinsey research shows that construction productivity has remained flat for decades.
Many builders’ project management, governance, and controls are paper-based activities that do not keep up with projects in real-time. Meanwhile, project managers and subcontractors get bombarded with too much information, rather than what they need to see, when they need to see it.
This problem presents a major opportunity for builders to take huge leaps in the efficiency and productivity of their teams. It’s just a matter of knowing which technology offers the most return on investment. Here are our recommendations to help your team work more efficiently, while keeping projects on track and within budget:
Choose what works, not just the latest tool
When ramping up your approach to technology, start with tools that allow you to begin new projects with ease and efficiency. If you are starting from scratch with documents and files that you rely on for every job, then maybe it’s time to reevaluate this inefficiency. If you know you’re going to use a document or process more than once, make it a priority to automate that asset by making it a template to be used again and again. This sort of resourcefulness will allow you to land jobs faster, start those jobs faster, and save time and money in the long run.
Project management software
Comprehensive construction project management (CPM) solutions designed specifically for custom home builders and remodelers help project managers coordinate schedules, share necessary information in real-time with trades, and eliminate data redundancy and wasted time playing phone tag. They provide built-in templates, documents, and workflows based on industry best practices and processes familiar to builders. Software helps to manage every aspect of home building including bid management, scheduling, budgeting, accounting, and more.
Cloud-based applications that can be accessed on laptops, tablets, and smartphones on the job site eliminate the constraints of legacy desktop and paper systems. Now construction managers can access files and reports from the field and enter data directly in a system so critical information is available to everyone. Say goodbye to disjointed notes and spreadsheets that often lead to mistakes and delays.
Centralizing reports, documentation, and communication in a single solution you can access from anywhere at any time ensures that everyone is working with accurate, up-to-the-minute information at all times. This includes schedules, reports, photographs, and more. When changes are made, information is automatically updated across the system.
Safety and training
For years, a disproportionate number of worker deaths and accidents have occurred in the construction industry. As builders face increasing liability, technology solutions offer the ability to more efficiently train and monitor workers in order to reduce the rate of serious injuries and deaths. For this reason alone, any builder that has been adversely affected by safety incidents should consider implementing construction software to increase visibility, improve communication, and provide accountability.
Better time tracking
When workers report after the fact the number of hours they worked, when they worked, and on what projects, mistakes get made—and usually not in the employer’s favor. Time tracking software enables employers to efficiently track time, attendance, and labor costs in real-time, from the field and office. Accurate time tracking yields significant labor savings.
Construction software makes it easier to collaborate and communicate effectively. Real-time data updates and automatic notifications eliminate the need for redundant phone calls and emails while ensuring that contractors and clients get the information they need, when they need it, from any device. Managers can respond quickly to problems or information requests. Automated compliance reminders also help to ensure your company avoids costly errors.
Gain actionable business insights with data analysis
Construction project management solutions provide data that help executives and managers improve operational processes, boost productivity, streamline schedules, cut costs, and increase profitability. Artificial intelligence and machine learning systems can aggregate data and predict future outcomes on projects to help builders gain competitive advantages in the estimating and bidding phases of construction projects.
With a skilled labor shortage in the industry and increasingly complex project requirements, there has never been a better time to empower your team to get more done, more effectively and in less time.
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