Building a technology advantage. Three Innovations to get a head start on reaping the benefits of adopting technology for your construction firm.
What would we do without technology? On the consumer side, Technology has infiltrated all parts of everyday life. It has revolutionized every industry and slowly helping construction subcontractors take control of the work they perform on jobsites around the world – both residential and commercial.
Today, Social Media, Cloud Technology and Mobile Apps are driving real benefits into the mobile construction world with increased organization and individual productivity, quick and accurate mobile communication, real-time access to documents and plans, automated workflow processes and more knowledge and transparency.
Last year’s KPMG Global Survey noted that many construction companies are not realizing the benefits of using technology in their business and powerful analytics that can help generate a return on investment. Here are KPMG’s key findings and my suggested solutions you need to be considering:
Construction industry is behind on adopting technology – Today’s costs are project ROI driven.
Volume of data is increasing dramatically – You need a cloud platform to access it from anywhere.
Real-time reporting is lacking – Connect the field with the office with a Mobile App.
Mobile technology has more to offer – Data collection, real-time communications and reporting.
Mastering project management basics has yet to be achieved – You need a platform built to standardize processes.
If you are stuck in neutral and still contemplating adopting technology, there’s a category of buyer called “late adopter” that is clouding your future. This means your competition have severely hindered your potential for growing your company. Below are some ideas to present a new framework for driving your company forward.
1. It’s time to leverage Social Media
Start small with plans to amplify your successes. Since its inception in the early 2000s, social media has no doubt changed the way we communicate for generations. The business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) environment has become more mobile and fast-paced, with companies now being able to interact with industry influencers, their customers, and larger audiences no matter the location or time zone. Why can’t this work for construction?
The benefits of social media for your construction firm are three-fold, with the first being increased reach and customer engagement. Facebook has nearly 2 billion monthly active users, while Instagram has 600 million monthly active users and Twitter has 319 million monthly active users, according to research provided by Statista. A construction business account on these platforms offers you the potential to reach your target audience and a much larger audience. Secondly, social media has advanced tracking capabilities that allow you to manage and optimize the performance of your posts. By reviewing data for each month, each day and each post, construction companies can easily see which messages and online activity are working for them. Lastly, it serves as an excellent market research tool. With millions of customer and competitor profiles, you can deduce what their audience is liking and new trends in the market—invaluable information that can be utilized for business growth.
If you’re new to social media, try starting off with one or two accounts with Facebook or LinkedIn. As you get more comfortable, you can start uploading more content and expanding your profile base with Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and more.
2. It’s time to adopt Cloud-based & Mobile Software
One of technology’s greatest assets is its ability to automate processes, providing faster, more convenient results. The technology boom has brought new software and websites that businesses can utilize to streamline their workload. Some examples include:
Accounting software: Get control of your finances. Software like Quickbooks and Sage can give you up-to-date reports of your business’s financial health with a few simple steps. Connect your accounting software to your project management platform to reduce duplicate data entry and speed up the time to get paid.
Design software: Put down your pencil and paper because computer-aided design software make creating designs easier and professional. By automating details and offering features like simulation and 3-D, this technology can speed up production and reduce costs.
Subcontractor Project Management software: Cloud-based Project Management software with advanced features to manage and track projects can help your business make informed business decisions not only on current projects but help increase profitability and efficiencies on every future project. Imagine having project data (files, plans, etc.) in a single virtual directory and accessible no matter where you are located.
Group communication software: Get connected with colleagues anytime and anywhere with modern communication tools like Skype. There several communication software programs on the market. These tools help you collaborate across different locations and allow you to conduct meetings and discussions rapidly. Push-to-talk (PTT) phones are built to last through tough conditions. Kyocera’s PTT phone uses Android software along with military-grade construction—perfect to withstand the rigorous conditions of the construction jobsite.
3. Your losing money on the jobsite if you’re not using a Mobile App
Not all mobile applications are created equal. You certainly don’t want to use too many apps where data isn’t easily transferred into your back-end platform either. In general, mobile apps are a great way for businesses to interact with stakeholders and increase productivity on the jobsite and office. Integrated email and time card capabilities in the mobile app is also an important feature to enable better communication and personnel tracking.
For project team members, the ability to stay connected to stakeholders and each other while on a jobsite can shave minutes and even hours from the work schedule. And by not having to chase down contracts, insurance documents, RFIs, change orders and the most current project plans, workers can keep the project moving forward while working in the field. The office personnel and field staff become essentially one unit and work off consistent and accurate data.
Stay updated with new trends by adopting these latest technologies in your construction business. Not only will you relate to and attract more customers, but also your business can benefit from reducing its costs, improving productivity and increasing market share.