As businesses, families and individuals continue to adjust to their new working arrangements both at work and at home, the whole world is trying to navigate a path forward to getting things opened up, restrictions relaxed, and projects ramped-up again. Thankfully these are all positive signs for those contractors and owners looking to get back to work, as construction projects in most geographies have been deemed as “essential”; and are either still in operation, or are part of the first phase of reopening. Nevertheless, there still remains a great deal of uncertainty as to how this will play out or how successful it will be, so we are all feeling a sense of anxious hopefulness that we can all get our lives back relatively soon. Although many may wish for a rapid return to normal, accompanied with a boom of new activity, this is highly unlikely as the overarching sense of cautiousness will prevail for the foreseeable future.
For construction contractors in any industry, this will mean fierce competition for new projects once things are back to a new normal. With that in mind, this provides a unique opportunity to examine your processes and software systems to ensure you’re giving yourself the greatest strategic advantage in this new landscape. Here are a few questions you should be asking yourself:
1. Are You Still Using Paper or Spreadsheets to Collect Jobsite Costs & Progress?
Over the past several years, many contractors have moved forward to using a construction project software system that provides efficient ways to collect time, expenses, production and more from the jobsite. This is about more than just streamlining the effort of collecting information, it’s also about having data in real-time for project teams to have strategic insights into the health of the project. Many owners today are making the demand on contractors to move to collecting and reporting information in real-time, so this may be a unique opportunity for you to upgrade to a digital, paperless jobsite solution for your business and your teams.
Real-time data is critical for early identification of issues that can have a significant impact on the project if they’re not addressed early. Owners know this and are keenly aware of those contractors that are working in real-time verses those that are not.
2. Does Your Project Software Enable You to Analyze, Forecast and Make Key Decisions?
Does the project management software you’re using provide built-in tools for analyzing the data that’s collected?
Can you perform strategic comparisons of budget versus actual to compare hours and costs and revenues that were planned against what is actually happening? Does your software enable you with forecasting capabilities to anticipate remaining costs, hours and materials that are required to complete tasks? Does your software provide project controls capabilities, timeline charts, S-Curves, progressing tools and powerful dashboards that deliver key insight into where issues might be occurring? And equally important, why they’re occurring?
Having software that can estimate and track your costs is clearly important, but having the additional analysis and forecasting tools built-in is critical for contractors to compete for work on complex projects.
3. Are Your Enterprise Systems Integrated Together?
When evaluating software that empowers your project teams to be more streamlined, efficient and drive better results,
it’s important to look at how that solution can integrate with your other enterprise systems. Sharing data across the enterprise is essential for elevating your corporate information to the status of an “Asset”. Not only that, but integrating systems reduces the administrative effort of re-keying data between systems and running the risk of errors, omissions and data delays. Software integrations are now more reliable and less expensive than ever, so moving up to a fully integrated world is easier than you think.