Gone are the days of filing cabinets lining the walls for a single construction project. With the digitization of documents and use of multiple computer programs, the manual process has been simplified to hard drives—and maybe a few files for record keeping.
While this shift in document management may have eliminated some cabinets and paper along the way, it is not the best way to keep everything organized, up to date and accurate.
Until all aspects of a project are made accessible to construction contacts, there’s a constant need to relay communications and update paperwork. With a cloud-based construction management software, there doesn’t have to be a go-between. Teams can immediately collaborate by creating, sharing and archiving documents while adding quality to the process and providing greater job satisfaction. As a result, the contractor will learn to better manage day-to-day tasks, time and risks.
Minimize small tasks
When the time comes to introduce a new construction management software, contractors must be ready to change the core process of managing a project. Simply tasking a single teammate with the technology while maintaining manual systems throughout the company may not be enough.
According to a report on KPMG’s 2016 Global Construction Survey, only 8 percent of engineering and construction professionals can be considered cutting-edge visionaries. In addition, just a little more than 20 percent of respondents report making innovative changes to their current business model.
By choosing to embrace technology, contractors are championing the adoption, training and use of the software. While that may sound overwhelming, it only takes a few clicks to start uploading contacts and creating documents. Those same documents can be accessed, shared and updated throughout the project. This process minimizes small clerical tasks for the contractor, providing greater value to the overall management of a project.
With manual systems in place, a day’s worth of work may still be ruled by long phone calls, lengthy email responses and mounds of paperwork. These tasks make up a small portion of a project, but take up a lot of time. As a result, it inhibits optimal productivity—especially when the tasks confine a contractor to the office rather than the jobsite.
To get a contractor mobile and away from the desk, construction management software can provide collaboration in real time so users can access and upload project contacts, plans, drawings and photos at any time.
When key information resides in many places in different formats on a computer or on paper, it makes decisions more difficult and time consuming. For many contractors, it has become an uncertain cost of doing business with no time to solve, which can be a headache for contractors and result in repeating the same mistakes.
With cloud storage, files remain in one place, allowing contractors to pull them up on the job without having to manage physical files. This prevents unnecessary loss of important paperwork, reducing stress, saving time and improving project delivery overall.
As long as city infrastructure continues to evolve, the responsibilities of project management will increasingly grow more complex — and with these complexities comes more risk.
In KPMG’s survey, 67 percent of all respondents said project risks are increasing, which rises to 78 percent among engineering and construction companies. At the same time, 60 percent of respondents see a rise in the amount of projects.
It’s more important than ever for contractors to focus on solving new challenges in the industry. Dedicating too much time to a project’s clerical intricacies could cause a contractor to miss an opportunity to catch any mistakes made during the process of a job.
By implementing a construction management software, contractors can repurpose time spent on smaller tasks to help target higher-level tasks, which reduces the risk of errors, omissions and cost overruns. The right technology will create, distribute, execute and archive documents to make the process more automated and repeatable, which can result in a better experience for a contractor’s clients, vendors and employees.