The following is guest post of Matt Lee, owner of the Innovative Building Materials blog
Let’s face it. The construction industry has a bad rep when it comes to technology adaptation. According to a report by McKinsey & Company, the construction industry was one of the lowest-ranked industries for digitization. In 2012, only 16% of the entire industry was using cloud-based software.
Today, it’s a little bit of a different story. Now 85% of construction companies are using cloud-based software or are planning to use it in the future. However, the slower uptake has resulted in some construction companies and contractors feeling a little hesitant to adopt or fully embrace new technology.
Why change something that’s always worked, right?
The thing is that construction software and cloud-based platforms have completely revolutionized the entire construction process. From general contractors, to trade contractors, to project managers, and more, nearly every person in the construction ecosystem can dramatically improve their working process with high-quality, specialized software.
What kind of benefits are there? While every software caters to a different link in the chain and boasts varying advantages, there are four consistent benefits to using construction software for your future projects.
Let’s take a look at them.
Benefit #1: Improved Project and Time Management
On average, large construction projects take twenty percent longer to complete than expected. We all know that sometimes that’s just par for the course. There’s rarely a construction project that has zero issues from start to finish.
It makes sense because construction projects entail everything from building construction to electrical wiring, to fire compartmentation and more. There are generally subcontractors, trade contractors, full-time employees, vendors, project managers, clients, and more who all need to communicate. So, it’s no surprise that things can get messy and delayed.
One person forgets to send out an email, and the entire project can be put on hold. The benefit of cloud-based project management software solutions is that they house all of the communications, RFIs, calendars, projects, and more in one single location.
If everyone on the project is operating off the same set of information, things run much smoother. And it’s easier to keep a birds-eye-view of where every project is at any given moment. Construction project management software helps make managing projects and staying within a timeline much more straightforward and manageable.
Benefit #2: Cost Control and Efficiency
Statistically, large construction projects generally come in at a whopping eighty percent over budget. Utilizing construction software allows you to get closer to hitting your target budget. Whether you’re at the top of the chain or you’re a subcontractor, everyone in the process tends to set and operate under budgets.
Cloud-based software solutions allow you to keep a running audit of spending as well as providing overarching insight into where the money is going. It’s much simpler to identify the areas where you consistently come in over budget and better plan for those costs or fix the issues that are causing the budget to be blown.
For instance, maybe you realize that the concrete contractor consistently comes in over-budget. Their work is terrific, they’re timely, and they’re just one contractor in a sea of contractors, so you hadn’t noticed until you were able to see it over and over again in an auditing setting. You realize that they’ve been using heat resistant concrete rather than standard Portland cement, and it’s caused them to spend more on materials than anticipated. It’s a quick fix. Either account for the extra cost in future projects or have them switch to the more cost-effective alternative.
When you use construction software, identifying small cost problems is much more straightforward. Beyond that, cloud-based software helps avoid costly manual accounting and invoicing mistakes. Some solutions even include options for payments and time-tracking. And generally, these solutions cost much less than a local software that’s hosted within your computer or manual alternatives.
Benefit #3: Increased Communication Flexibility
One of the most substantial benefits of construction software solutions is that they vastly improve internal communication and flexibility. You can easily import contacts, monitor emails, and communicate seamlessly with every person on your team. There’s generally the ability to upload and share field notes and create daily reports. Essentially, these software solutions improve and streamline every part of regular communication.
With cloud-based software, you aren’t tied to your office computer or expensive, external devices. Instead, these types of software can pair with your phone and home laptop, allowing you to get access to pertinent project information from wherever you are.
If you’re in corporate management, this means being able to get insight on all your current projects in real-time without having to make phone calls or drive out to the site. If you’re a subcontractor, it means submitting information from the site you’re at and not having to submit anything manually.
This technology saves time and provides much-needed flexibility to an industry that’s always in motion.
Benefit #4: Better Customer Communication
In addition to internal communication, customer communication is also simplified via construction software. You can import clients, email correspondence, set up reminders, send invoices, and more.
It’s possible to take your entire customer communication from individual phone calls, emails, and books to streamlined communication. It’s also much easier to track and resolve issues and client concerns. Once something is raised in a cloud-based system, it’s simple to track the issue throughout the process until the issue is resolved.
Ultimately, the increased project management and timeline improvements will work wonders in improving your customer relationships. You’ll always know the answers to their questions and have a full scope understanding of exactly where their project is on the timeline.
Consider Using Construction Software on Your Next Project
Whether you’re in corporate management or an individual trade contractor, your process can benefit from the integration of cloud-based construction software. Whether you oversee entire projects or you specialize in plumbing or in laying bakery flooring, there are clear benefits to adopting and using construction software.
Your project management, costs, and communication can all be dramatically improved by using construction software. Don’t be left behind the rest of the industry. See what a cloud-based construction software like eSUB can do for you.
Matt Lee is the owner of the Innovative Building Materials blog and a content writer for the building materials industry. He is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that save money, improve energy efficiency, and increase property value.