The world has changed dramatically in the past three decades. Yet, the construction industry hasn’t adapted to our rapidly changing world. According to this 2022 AGC survey, only a third of contractors or fewer plan on increasing their use of various construction technologies.
Over the past 20 years, contractors have implemented software solutions for managing estimating and accounting, and these achievements have helped contractors modernize their organizations. But now that contractors have adopted estimating and accounting softwares, what’s next? How do you ensure that your company keeps up with the speed of the modern world?
The next step for contractors is to adopt workforce management (WFM) software.
Digital WFM software can fundamentally change the way contractors manage, assign, communicate with, track, and measure their workforce. Similarly to what contractors experienced when they adopted estimating and accounting software, adopting WFM software can make contractors even faster, smarter, more productive, more efficient, and ultimately, more profitable.
Take a look at how the construction industry has adopted software to understand why digital labor management is the future for both general and specialty contractors.
2000 to 2010: The Era of Estimating
Estimating software was created to solve the need for accurate project costs. Contractors were looking for a way to get information off their drawings and into a spreadsheet. Estimators had to account for each piece of material to understand the true costs of a project and margins.
In the past, every trade developed its own estimating software. Management teams drove the adoption of estimating software because it provided a more efficient and repeatable way to understand your company’s cost to complete a scope of work or project.
2010 to 2020: Accounting & Enterprise Resource Planning Arrives
The digitization of the construction industry didn’t stop with estimating. Accounting/Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software arrived in the following decade with the promise of more efficient accounting systems.
ERP platforms create a way to digitally manage a company’s finances, including payroll, accounts receivable and accounts payable. Financial, Human Resources, and technical operations teams led the adoption and rollout of ERP software. The only thing missing in most Accounting/ERPs is the management of the workforce.
2020 to 2030: The Time for Digital WFM
While software has been built to address the recurring tasks of invoicing and managing materials, the construction industry hasn’t widely adopted WFM software platforms. The time is now for contractors to start addressing their biggest costs and potential risks by gaining direct and actionable insight into their workforce. Digital WFM platforms provide real-time information about the mix of skills and size of workforce on each project.
While some contractors have retrofitted spreadsheets to manage their labor, no true digital solution was widely available until about five years ago. When Procore’s Workforce Planning (formerly LaborChart) was established in 2014, a WFM solution built specifically for contractors was finally available.
Bringing the Software Together
As new software is introduced, so does the opportunity to integrate data from each platform. WFM systems like Workforce Planning integrate seamlessly with Accounting/ERP software, Project Management software, and many other web-based solutions. These software integrations allow contractors to sync WFM data with accounting data, so they can make decisions with complete information about the time, materials, and labor needed for existing and future projects.
This is the moment when you can build a smarter system to ensure that you have the right people on the right job at the right time. A digital WFM platform automates labor scheduling while also leveraging the existing infrastructure you’ve built to manage your estimating and accounting.