When it comes to managing construction projects, not all solutions are created equal. Typically, businesses rely on one of two digital methods: an array of disparate point solutions or one integrated platform. However, relying on disconnected systems often leads to more––rather than fewer––problems. Even the most robust tech stack of specialty contractor tools will be useless if they aren’t integrated.
Disconnected systems prevent teams from effectively communicating and efficiently managing workflows between the field and office. For this reason, we believe a platform offers the most streamlined solution for businesses to manage their projects. It provides a single, central place to store all the information teams need—including managing labor, improving field-to-office communication, simplifying change management, managing budgets, and having access to documents in real time. A platform can bring everyone and everything together by offering a secure, configurable system that connects business applications, people, devices, customers, and partners through one central hub.
Even the most robust tech stack of specialty contractor tools will be useless if they aren’t integrated.
Before you invest in a construction management solution (or many), take time to reflect on the needs of your business and how different solutions could impact your team’s current workflows.
Be sure to avoid buyer’s remorse—and falling prey to the following pitfalls of point solutions:
Pitfall #1: Watch out for solutions that don’t easily connect teams.
Disjointed point solutions scatter information across multiple systems—which may or may not have mobile functionality—often delaying critical and time-sensitive information to the field. Not only does this prevent teams from efficiently collaborating (not to mention, likely resulting in more rework), but it may also impact schedules, budgets, and overall profit.
Worse, using multiple point solutions often means double or triple data entry, and a higher likelihood of human error that further delays or damages data integrity. Information quickly becomes unmanageable in silos with redundant, repetitive, and inconsistent data.
In contrast, a platform enables teams to access real-time information from the office, field, or anywhere in between for maximum collaboration. Plus, integrated systems enable teams to enter data one time for fast and easy data collection.
Pitfall #2: Buyer beware! Point solutions often come with costly customizations.
As your business grows, your needs change, multiply, and become more complex. However, single-point solutions may only address isolated business needs one at a time and often don’t integrate together—likely becoming more costly in the long run.
A platform offers a robust, secure solution that is open and extensible, enabling teams to use the tools in a way that best suits their unique needs. Unlike point solutions, teams have the option of adding more tools on a platform at any time—without having to log into another new system or worry about reliability.
Unlike point solutions that force teams to purchase new software every time they run into a new business challenge, a platform connects all tools together seamlessly. That way, teams can continue using the tools they love—all within the same ecosystem.
Pitfall #3: Don’t be fooled by point solutions disguised as platforms.
There are many point solutions that claim to be a platform, so be sure to do your own research. Many companies simply acquire various solutions, stitch them together, and call it a platform. This can result in a complex array of standalone technologies that likely don’t integrate. Software upgrades, compatibility, and version control will often be inconsistent and unreliable across various vendors. This also means an increased burden on IT teams to support and maintain multiple systems —not to mention, an array of different customer support teams to rely on when troubleshooting issues.
Instead, here’s what to look for in a true platform:
- Consistency: Be sure the solution has a proven track record as a platform.
- Adaptability: A solution’s infrastructure should be able to support changing needs as the industry evolves.
- Integrability: Be sure that all tools—from project management to financial management—can seamlessly talk to one another.
- Flexibility: The solution should allow other tech partners to connect with the platform, enabling company-specific workflows.
Pitfall #4: Look out for solutions that don’t give you full visibility into project performance.
Because point solutions operate independently of one another, teams may not have a comprehensive picture of project performance. Reporting and data will likely be siloed to each system, making it difficult to identify risks or areas that need improvement.
A platform, on the other hand, offers insights that look at overall performance—across individual projects and the company as a whole. A platform that is mobile-friendly enables workers to capture and share critical data in real time. This helps teams avoid surprises at the end of the month. What’s more, executives will gain access to a high-level overview of project health, enabling them to identify areas of improvement to drive greater productivity, less risk, and higher profits down the road.
You need problems solved, not more tools.
Whether you’re building a home or a high-rise, it takes countless stakeholders to come together to build something remarkable. But if everyone is operating in silos with their own tools that don’t talk to one another, it only inhibits communication and collaboration.
With Procore’s platform, businesses can connect the field, office, customers, vendors, partners, and more, all in one central hub.