Your company has achieved tremendous success. Even while navigating choppy economic waters, you set ambitious goals and were able to accomplish them. Your employees are happy, and your customers routinely sing your praises from the rooftops. As gratifying as it is to reach such heights, it’s essential that you don’t let your success hold your business back from ascending even higher.
You’ve probably already figured out that even great success comes with its own set of challenges. As your business has grown, you’ve taken on larger and more complex projects. But has your company outgrown the mix of technological and low-tech solutions that got you there? Your company likely operates very differently at its current size than when you started out. Do the systems you’ve put in place still support your business processes as you’ve scaled? Are the software tools you’re using outdated or overly complicated for users?
Answering these questions will help determine if you’re on a path to build on your success, or if you’re at risk of plateauing due to outdated systems, processes, or tools that no longer serve your business’ needs.
Here are the four signs your success has led you to outgrowing your current construction management tools.
1. Your systems aren’t playing well with other systems
You probably didn’t get this far without a system, or systems, of tools and other software solutions providing key project support. But how well do those systems speak to each other? Early on in your growth journey you may have been able to fill some of the gaps with human effort. But that approach isn’t scalable long-term, especially with the industry in the grips of a severe labor shortage.
Software solutions that don’t play nicely together can create unnecessary issues which negatively impact your customers or employees. This not only consumes valuable time that could be better spent on other tasks, but clunky, inefficient software often leads to double-handling of jobs, and can open the floodgates for human error to sneak in.
Information bottlenecks are another perennial foe of on-time project completion, and a siloed data environment only exacerbates this, creating blind spots that add to your list of tasks that must be completed manually or in duplicate. If your various systems don’t seamlessly communicate with each other, you’re more than likely wasting valuable time and resources.
2. Your team is constantly seeking workarounds
The technology solutions your company employs should work for you, not against you. So if your team is constantly looking for workarounds to overcome the limitations of your existing systems just to get things done, it’s a strong indication your business processes are probably out of date. If you or your staff are spending considerable amounts of time devising alternative solutions to complete routine tasks within your existing systems, those systems are likely long overdue for an upgrade.
When systems don’t play nice, and the ad hoc workarounds requiring extra human effort begin to break down, the net result can be technology actually splintering the team, rather than uniting them. This can lead to a scenario where, ironically, we lose the very transparency and collaboration that technology was meant to enable in the first place. When systems are divided, your people can soon follow, which eventually leads to degraded project and business outcomes.
The main purpose of an integrated technology solution is to unburden businesses from time-consuming manual and administrative tasks. If you’re noticing a steady uptick in the number of manual tasks being performed in order to meet project needs, it’s time to think about adding some new tech tools to your company’s digital toolbox. More advanced technologies are capable of adapting to your processes and scaling up right alongside your business.
Remember: the technologies your company invests in should save time, not waste it.
3. Your current system and processes are not keeping up with your growth
Your business has grown. You’ve expanded to new markets, added more staff, clients, and business processes, and are taking on more projects that are also increasingly complex. But have your familiar ways of working kept up?
Maybe it’s been a while since your current system has been updated. Or you may feel out of the loop on the latest features and enhancements. These are signs your technology provider may think of your business relationship as purely transactional, as opposed to being a true collaborative partner in technology design. To make matters worse, outdated systems are frequently the source of data security and compliance issues.
Lagging technological capabilities can severely limit the agility of teams and feasibility of innovative projects. Any technology your business adopts should allow your company to thrive while seamlessly meeting increasing demands. If your software has gotten too sluggish to handle the work you need done, it’s likely limiting your growth potential.
Investing in the right technologies and implementing them correctly gives your company a competitive edge. It will be much easier to earn a potential client’s trust, and ultimately their business, when bringing a competitive offering to the table. Smart tech investments also help companies punch well above their weight class, thus enabling even smaller firms to compete with much bigger contractors.
4. You don’t have access to your data
Another glaringly obvious sign that your company has outgrown its tech tools is if you’re unable to view and analyze your data. Equally troubling is if you’re unable to create a view for your project stakeholders when analyzing that data. You can collect all the data you want, but in order for it to be useful it must be accessible and easy to find, and able to be analyzed quickly and accurately.
The data you gather should be readily available in real-time so you can easily access the insights it contains that help you more efficiently run your business. It should also always be current; outdated data is of very little use to anyone. Real-time reports and data also help manage expectations and reassure stakeholders that a project is proceeding as planned. Clients put a huge premium on that kind of transparency, so the ability to produce accurate, real-time reports on demand can be a big differentiator in growing your company’s portfolio.
Outdated technology typically provides some limited form of data analysis, but does very little to help you make informed decisions around budgeting, scheduling, and the current state of your business. As your company grows, the amount of data produced grows in parallel, so it’s essential you’re able to pull the most important insights and factor them into your decision making. Data can be a powerful tool when wielded skillfully.
The inability to access and report on your data with your current systems can result in poor user experience for clients, resulting in dissatisfaction, frustration, or worse, lost future business.
If any of the above issues sound familiar, it’s time to consider a new solution. The first big step is to identify the limitations of your current systems, then make the switch to something that better serves you, your team, and your stakeholders. Success can be a double-edged sword if your tech tools aren’t able to keep pace with your growth. But fortunately it’s usually pretty obvious if they’ve fallen out of sync. By evaluating your existing solutions and honestly assessing their shortcomings in addressing your changing needs, your business will have a clear path for even greater successes in the future.