Ever heard of the boiling frog experiment? When you put a frog in a pot of boiling water, it will instantly jump out. But when you put that frog in a pot of cold water and slowly bring it to a boil, the frog stays in the pot and – well, I’m sure you can guess the rest.
The lesson: If change is slow, we don’t notice it. It’s the same for technology. When software begins to break down or procedures become less efficient, it happens slowly. The problem grows and grows, but we don’t notice it until it’s too late.
Bringing awareness to this gradual change and figuring out where your processes are causing you problems can be overwhelming. You may be asking: How do I know if I’m working with an inferior platform? Which tasks are obsolete and should be eliminated? What time-consuming processes could be completed more efficiently?
These are great questions, and we’re here to answer them.
Too Much Data Entry
A couple of years ago, Forbes called Microsoft Excel the most dangerous software on the planet. Why? Because spreadsheets are vulnerable to error. Just one data entry mistake is all it takes to throw off an entire spreadsheet and send financial accounts and projections into chaos.
The chaos only gets worse when companies bridge together multiple apps and tools. Keying in the same data across different apps and databases that aren’t “talking” to one another wastes a lot of time. As does correcting data entry mistakes and dealing with the fallout caused by those mistakes.
To avoid too much data entry, financial software should:
- Store all information in a single database
- Allow you to automate processes
- Self-check for errors
These features make reporting easier and reduce human error, duplicate information and conflicting data. ERP software can be robust and powerful, but if it doesn’t have these features, it’s a triple threat when it comes to risk.
Waiting for Wi-Fi
Mobile tools are useless if they don’t allow you to work offline. Without offline access, chances are you have an extra step somewhere within your workflow that’s costing you time. For example, tracking labour onsite without access to a central database requires a temporary method for recording timesheet information. If you can’t enter data into the central system without Wi-Fi, you’ll need a way to capture the information in the meantime.
You can eliminate stop-gap solutions with offline-sync. You can enter data from anywhere and it will upload automatically when you reconnect to the internet.
Using Generalized Reporting Templates
One-size-fits-all templates may seem like a minor issue. But the extra thought and decision making they require really adds up. Creating and sending RFIs and productivity reports, for example, is more time consuming when the standard templates aren’t designed for the construction industry.
Project leaders must think about what to included in the report and attach additional materials not already included in the template. When you have to continually ask yourself “what’s missing?” you haven’t standardized your processes. This is a problem because standardization increases efficiency, saves time and lets you to automate workflows more easily.
Solutions designed for the construction industry are built to solve everyday challenges with construction-specific templates, fields and metrics. And shouldn’t your software provider be in touch with the needs of a modern jobsite?
To learn more ways you can save time with better software, check out our Solutions Map for Construction Management.