Construction projects produce huge amounts of data, but an abundance of information can be both a blessing and a curse, depending on how well it’s put to use.
Key project information is often poorly collected, hopelessly siloed, or out of date, significantly limiting its usefulness. The haphazard way many companies gather information and communicate it to stakeholders can lead to many problems, badly impacting everything from budgets and schedules to quality and safety.
Almost half of all rework results from poor communication among project stakeholders, which cuts into already thin margins. Compounding the issue is the ongoing supply chain crunch, which has added layers of unpredictability for specialty contractors as lead times have grown from weeks to months.
The industry is facing some unique challenges, which makes it more important than ever to get things done right the first time. Getting a better handle on project information can help your company navigate these obstacles and achieve more consistent project outcomes.
Working in silos and their many pitfalls
Specialty contractors’ ability to perform their best work while maintaining safe working conditions is currently hindered by deficiencies in processes and technology. Teams working in silos mean disconnected data environments, where precious time and energy are wasted chasing down disorganized documents, drawings, schedules, and logistics plans. This takes up resources when contractors can scarcely afford it.
In order to ensure projects are moving along in a timely and efficient manner, specialty contractors need access to accurate information to track and monitor performance. However, a significant percentage of field activity is not tracked or measured due to inefficient, manual collection methods. This leads to a lack of insight into actual field performance, making it virtually impossible to course-correct before making a mistake and increasing project risk.
Construction is a pragmatic industry, which is especially true for specialty contractors. They want to see results, and they want to see them now. However, that’s not always how technology works, and certainly not how tech adoption works. For a specialty contractor, successful implementation of new technologies must be a phased approach, requiring time and patience. Getting buy-in from teams may be a struggle at first. But, once they see how successfully adding a layer of technology can improve their day-to-day lives and spare them from redundant administrative tasks, they usually become converts for life.
Much of the reluctance around changing processes can be ingrained in company culture or bad experiences with previous software purchases. Part of a successful technology implementation involves reframing that culture and renewing expectations. You need to inform your people about the benefits of using modern technology and standardized processes, things many specialty contractors have historically struggled without.
Working from a single source of truth
Specialty contractors need the ability to track performance and ensure a project is meeting specs, quality control, safety, schedule, and budget requirements. This can be achieved by connecting teams and data, which enables the seamless transfer of information and facilitates more effective communication.
When the preconstruction and operations teams are working from a single source truth, specialty contractors can ensure they’re executing on the negotiated contractual terms. That includes the schedule agreed upon during the initial project phase.
Specialty contractors can take one major step to eliminate manual processes and move all project stakeholders to a connected data environment. This step will substantially reduce the amount of paper, spreadsheets, email, text, or phone-based communications that can lead to wasted time or introduce project risk.
Spend less time on documentation and more time boosting productivity
Improving the quality of your company’s information flow enables teams to spend less time working on administrative tasks and more time on work that ensures a project stays on schedule, within budget, and meets or exceeds quality expectations. By establishing a unified data environment through a connected technology platform, office teams can provide timely information to field teams to help them boost safety and performance.
Specialty contractors need a better way to increase visibility, connect teams, and eliminate manual processes that are holding them back from delivering quality and reliability at scale. Siloed information and poor communication between office and field greatly increases risk and the ability to accurately monitor a project’s progress.
Improving the collection and distribution of project information helps specialty contractors keep teams on track. In turn, teams are better able to focus on the revenue-generating task at hand as opposed to waiting on a callback to make sure the information in yesterday’s email is still accurate.