The construction industry isn’t always the “early bird” when it comes to digital transformation. That’s why the trailblazers of construction technology see huge benefits when they adopt the latest tech.
But before you set out on your digital transformation journey, it’s important to create a solid plan. You can’t change everything at once, so strategizing is important for ensuring a smooth transition that makes a positive impact on operations.
As a starting point, here are three questions to help you identify your firm’s most pressing issues and find the best technological solutions. Let’s dive in.
What technological challenges are you currently facing?
Technology is a great enabler, but it can also become a roadblock if it’s out of date or isn’t tailored to match your specific needs.
Unfortunately, identifying where technology is negatively impacting construction operations can be difficult. Inefficiencies may seem too small to affect your bottom line or they may accumulate slowly over time — either way, they can be hard to spot.
When looking for potential technological problems, consider these common areas:
While there are thousands of tools on the market to help teams communicate better, some add complexity instead of streamlining collaboration. Take a good look at the tools your team is using to manage projects. For example, email is an easy and inexpensive way to communicate, but it’s not great for managing complex projects. Your construction management team should be able to collaborate quickly and easily without having to wade through long email threads.
2. Siloed Data
Look at how your various software applications store data and communicate with one another. If your firm uses multiple apps for different operational tasks, you may have data siloes. When individual apps aren’t integrated, or connected to a single database, individual app data becomes isolated. This can result in conflicting data, duplicate information and extra data entry work.
Because cybercriminals can use your vendors to gain access to your network, it’s important to develop strong security protocols and identify all points of entry. Make sure that you evaluate the security strength of your vendors and know exactly how they will respond in the event of a breach.
What new technology exists to counteract these challenges?
Sorting through the many technological solutions out there can be a nightmare. Here are some tips for narrowing down your options:
1. Look for construction-specific software.
Many project management, ERP and financial software is multi-purpose. These options may seem great on the surface, but one-size-fits-all software can cause a lot of headaches. By choosing technology developed specifically for the construction industry, you’ll be able to access functions that are tailored to your needs.
2. Choose applications that can be updated regularly.
Not only does outdated technology cause delays and inefficiencies, it can also be a huge security risk. Whatever software you choose, make sure the developers are releasing updates on a regular basis. Regular software updates will keep applications safe, secure and running smoothly.
3. Check to see if new technology can be integrated easily — or better yet, consider a unified solution.
Before you purchase a new app, make sure that you’ll be able to integrate it with your other software solutions. You might also want to consider a unified software solution. Unified software has apps for multiple operations all connected to a single database. Going with a unified system makes IT simpler and more secure, and improves the connection between field and office.
How much time could you save with the best construction apps?
When software declines slowly, inefficiencies can be hard to notice. It’s important to get granular and figure out just how much time you’re wasting on time-consuming processes. By figuring out the cost savings of embracing new technology, you can help prove the ROI of a new solution to other team members or higher-ups.
Good news: we can help you with this calculation! Check out our time savings infographic for a quick calculation of the time wasted with manual pay requests.