You’ve probably been in this situation: you need to get the latest updates on a particular project, and you gather your project team members to a call and go through everything in an hour or two. Much worst, you have to call each of the members, and you spend the rest of the day processing the sheer amount of information that you just got.
As a general contractor – whether it’s an established family-run business or a relatively new venture – your main goal is to keep projects on time and on budget. This means being able to make various decisions to prevent problems or address them. To be able to make the best possible decisions, you need the right information at the right time. And this information is usually the hardest to access if your company is still stuck in the Jurassic era.
Sure, you may have invested in an office email, maybe some video conferencing software, some ERP (or at least an accounting software), and maybe use any of the messaging apps. All in the name of coordinating with the various stakeholders of each project and making sure your projects are progressing as planned. But somehow, it’s still not enough.
Going digital, in the truest sense of the process, is not just about investing in these disjointed online tools that do not “speak to each other,” meaning they are not seamlessly connected to each other. There’s so much more to it, but it’s also not hard to implement to modernize your business and drive growth. Other than making your own everyday life more convenient (or at the very least, lessen the headache that you need to go through) there are three key reasons why you need to go digital.
Going Digital Helps You Be More Productive
However, there’s so much inefficiency surrounding your management processes, you end up wasting so much time because the information is not centrally gathered. Even if you have those digital tools in place, you still struggle to have a grip on the progress of your project and would have to resort to physically going to the job site all the time. With the pandemic still far from over, this is not only an inconvenience but also a health risk to you and your loved ones.
By going digital, all the information you need on a day-to-day, week-on-week, or month-on-month basis is available at your fingertips. By having this information easily accessible, you can make decisions much faster and better. This, in turn, lets you do more in a day. Whether you use that extra time to take on more strategic activities, start new business ventures, take on new hobbies, or just spend more time with your loved ones – there’s no denying that turning your construction business into a modern-day digital company can make you more productive.
Going Digital Helps You Be More Profitable
Oftentimes, mismanagement of projects is largely due to neglect. Management action to avoid wasteful/inefficient activities or turn projects around is too little, too late. And we’re not saying you’re a bad executive, it’s just that you missed out on so much critical information that could’ve been key to making projects succeed. And this again is where having readily available information (by going digital) becomes critical in ensuring project success and overall company profitability.
In fact, Deloitte reported that investing in digital can lead to a 5–10% reduction in build costs and a 10–20% reduction in operating costs, in addition to other benefits across the project lifecycle. These figures may not be too big by percentage, but a 10% reduction of $2 million is not a joke. The reason why going digital can lead to such huge gains in profitability is the fact that you can address your project’s cost drivers directly.
One of the biggest cost drivers for materials and other resources is rework, and oftentimes rework is borne out of poor coordination among your client, the design team, and the project team. By having a proper system in place that literally brings all your stakeholders on the same page – whether it’s the latest version of the design plan or the BIM – you can avoid costly rework and drive savings up. More savings mean better profitability on a project- and company-level.
Going Digital Helps You Be More In Control
Challenges in your construction business will never go away – but you can try to minimize them by staying informed and in control. When we say “in control,” it’s having that visibility across the organization and having a crystal clear understanding of where each project stands. This way, if there’s anything that may need your attention, you will know what to do about it. Sure, maybe running one or two projects can be very manageable by just having some of the communication tools we mentioned or even just keeping a Microsoft Excel file shared across different team members. However, once you go past that number of projects, the amount of information can be too overwhelming that you’ll need something more comprehensive.
That’s where having that all-in-one platform to have both a bird’s-eye view of your projects would come in handy. Much better if this also lets you deep-dive into each project, each deliverable, and even break it down by schedule, by cost, and by resource (i.e. materials) usage/consumption. It would take a huge undertaking to be able to process these seemingly disparate pieces of information to paint a picture that would help you make better and smarter decisions.
Finding the Right Solution to Modernize Your Construction Business
As we earlier pointed out, going digital is not just about using tools for each department or use case. It’s about being about to seamlessly connecting all aspects of your construction business to see clearly through all the chaos and help you be more productive, be more profitable, and be more in control.
Steer’s construction management software helps you bring your company to the 21st century. It takes a holistic approach that synchronizes various aspects of construction, its stakeholders, and existing systems. First of all, it has dashboards on a portfolio- and project-level to let you quickly see how each project is doing. It also features workflow, communication, and mobility tools that let you manage your entire business anytime, anywhere, and on any device.
Steer also has more traditional tools like GANTT charts as well as more easy-to-use features like the plan and BIM viewer. Lastly, It lets you automate processes and integrate them back into your existing systems so everything runs smoothly. There’s much more inside Steer to help you achieve connected construction, and you can learn more about it here.
Find out how Steer can help you modernize your organization. Jump right into booking a free personalized demo here. You can also subscribe to our newsletter or follow us on LinkedIn or Facebook to get more updates.