Let’s face it. Sometimes the construction software that is supposed to make your life a little easier actually does the opposite. This is as true in the construction industry as anywhere else, and in some ways more true. The recent explosion of new technologies for construction is enough to make heads spin, and a lot of these technologies create more headaches for everyone.
Meanwhile, construction projects continue to grow more complex, and owners more demanding. This shift leads to increasingly complex collaboration, planning, project management, and document management needs, much of which is made even worse by the technologies that are designed to enable them.
That’s not how it should be.
The right software should make your job simpler and your deliveries both better and more profitable. Demand that your technology reduce complexity in your business in at least four ways by enabling:
- A Single Source of Truth
- Better Collaboration
- Mobile Accessibility
- Permissions Control
1. A Single Source of Truth
Many software options for the construction industry do a good job of attacking individual tasks in the field, but in many cases they also create new data points that may not coordinate with other data points. For instance, if you are downloading a construction drawing into a mark-up utility, and then uploading it again to share with the rest of the team, you’re creating opportunities for conflict among versions.
The right technology will create a single source of truth that is accessible across all relevant stakeholders, ensuring that everyone from the GC to the super to the foremen to the tradespeople have access to the latest documentation and drawings at all times.
2. Better Collaboration
On many projects, an RFI or change order can take days to weeks to get a response and in the meantime work is either delayed or mistakes are made. The right technology platform should make it easy to process RFIs, change orders, and other communications directly from the job site to the relevant parties and back again.
3. Mobile Accessibility
When you put documentation, drawings, and communications tools directly in the palm of every hand on your job site, you automatically eliminate a great deal of complexity. Demand that your document management tools be accessible via mobile devices, and then provide everyone on the site with access to the information and communications options they need.
4. Permissions Control
Complex projects involve hundreds and sometimes thousands of documents, not all of which should be accessible by everyone. Choose a construction software that makes it simple to set permissions access by role or by individual, by folder and by file, and by company. This capability simplifies document management by making sure everyone has access to everything they need, and only what they need.
A Tale of Two Contractors
To illustrate the impact of greater versus less complexity, consider the case of two separate contractors, one who has simplified their processes with technology, and one who has not.
In the one case, a PM walking a site noticed that ductwork had been installed in the wrong place. After extensive fretting and finger-pointing, it was determined that the installer had been working from an old set of plans. The GC had to eat the cost and the project was delayed as the work was redone.
In the other case, Broad Sustainable Building embraced the simplicity of managing all documents in the cloud with a technology solution that provided the 4 benefits outlined above. They’re most famous for building a 57-story tower in 19 days.
Which company are you?
In today’s increasingly complex industry, it's more important than ever to embrace the right technologies in order to thrive.