As 2017 ends, many construction firms are planning their growth strategies for 2018. How will we close out our current projects on schedule and increase our project capacity to grow revenues? How will we keep our employees engaged to keep them on board for 2018 and many years to come? If your construction firm experienced any of the challenges below and has strategic goals for 2018, construction software can help play a critical role in improving operations.
Challenges from 2017
Construction activity happens on the jobsite. However, when your project managers are in the office juggling multiple projects, it is hard for them to go out on the jobsite. Luckily, you have a team of capable foreman managing the operations from the ground level. They have everything under control. But they are too busy supervising their crew and conducting field operations to keep the team in the office updated. The project manager and Accounting team have to call and email the foreman incessantly for updates to process paperwork for invoicing or for communications to the General Contractor or customer. The delayed communication from the foreman in the field starts a disastrous ripple effect onto the customer.
How closely are your labor actuals coming in close to your estimated hours? If you are consistently finding yourself over in your labor hours on projects, perhaps it is time you took a closer look at your team’s productivity. How much time are they spending waiting for materials to arrive? Or perhaps their productivity challenges arise from waiting on other trades? Or maybe they are taking longer breaks and not documenting their time accurately? To improve productivity, you will need to track where the productivity challenges are in the workflow.
According to a survey by the Association of General Contractors, 70% of construction firms report difficulty filling valuable positions. Construction firms are increasing pay and benefits to attract the skilled labor and luring them away from the competition. Have you lost any of your skilled superintendents or foreman to your competition? On the other hand, perhaps you have had some difficulty filling some positions. Hiring challenges make it difficult and very expensive to complete projects on time or take on new projects.
Start the 2018 year off with new construction software
The start of the New Year represents an opportune time to address those previous challenges and incorporate new workflows to kick off the New Year. Construction software, such as project management, can help overcome those challenges and provide additional benefits as indicated below.
Cloud-based construction software unites all the members of the project team regardless of their location. The crew in the field can document jobsite activity from the field. The team in the office receives real-time updates to process paperwork in a timelier manner. With construction software, communication between the field and the office is improved to enable a more collaborative work environment. Everyone becomes more productive with all the necessary project information at his or her fingertips.
Whether it is the desire to earn more money, improve their skills, or advance their career, many employees enter 2018 with a desire to improve themselves. Many job advertisements request their foremen and project managers have experience with project management software. Take this opportunity to invest in the professional development of your employees. Installing new construction software will provide them an opportunity manage their projects more effectively as well as provide them the opportunity to learn important new skills that will advance their careers.
In many commercial construction projects, subcontractors create hundreds of RFIs and Change Orders. Construction software provides users the ability to electronically create, email, and track the documentation. This process automates the workflow to ensure that documentation and correspondence does not slip through the cracks. With accurate documentation and improved communication, construction software enforces project management best practices for your busy construction firm.
Many construction software packages include an extensive number of reports and dashboards. These provide valuable insights for your management team. Reports include up-to-date project information that depicts summaries, trends, and forecasts on project activities. Additionally, a roll up of all projects summarizes the overall financial health of the company. The data provides concrete information for project managers and executives to make important decisions to keep projects on track and maximize profitability.
Implement Construction Software in 2018
Now that you have decided that 2018 is the year you will implement construction software, it is important to set yourself up for a successful transition. This is a large investment of money and time that your firm is making, so we encourage you to conduct thorough research. Interview members from different departments and analyze your current workflows to determine how construction software can benefit your operations.
Websites like Software Advice and Capterra provide overviews and user reviews to help you navigate the crowded construction tech marketplace. If you are new to construction software, starting small will help your team ease the transition. Start with one project to determine the optimal processes and workflows before a wide scale rollout. Start looking now, so that when you get your first new project in 2018, your team will be ready to start the project with new construction software.