For construction companies, creating a workflow that operates effortlessly has not always been an easy undertaking.
Unlike conventional workplaces, connectivity isn't always guaranteed and traditional devices are not necessarily sturdy enough for the less-than-forgiving construction jobsites. But, thanks to a number of advances in software, hardware and wireless connectivity, a seamless workflow is now well within a contractor's reach.
The available solutions can offer significant savings in both time and money throughout the entire project.
So, how does a company transition to a world of frictionless collaboration? Are the benefits really that much better for your company than traditional methods of information sharing?
A seamless workflow connects all individuals within the organization (including partners and subcontractors) and allows fluid information sharing.
For instance, you might have a field worker using an iPad to access floor plans when there's a change from one of the designers, who then flags it to the project manager (PM) back at the office.
Now they need to make an adjustment in real-time a seamless workflow will enable them to do so. By leveraging a solution that combines the power of on-premise storage and the flexibility of the cloud, they will be able to adjust without any hiccup in productivity.
The PM can make an immediate adjustment to the floor plan, then upload the new version to their local storage device. The changes are then synced to the cloud and the field worker is notified in real time.
The worker can then make the appropriate modifications in a timely fashion, without having to go back to the main office for updates. This new process can all happen in a matter of minutes.
Real-time collaboration not only saves time and helps projects hit their deadlines, but it can also significantly reduce costs associated with the project. A great example of this is Balfour Beatty, which was able to save $5.1 million by going paperless on its project on the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.
Thanks to the increased ubiquity and affordability of mobile devices, as well as the creation of a number of collaboration solutions specifically tailored to the needs of the construction industry, these savings are only going to increase. A seamless workflow means visible improvements to your bottom line.
While the technology for better collaboration and information sharing is here, it still takes work to put it into action. Here are a few ways to ease into a paperless, real-time world:
- Develop a technology plan—Before you can begin implementing a new infrastructure, you must understand what you need and what you can afford. Listen to your employees and look at your business goals before taking the plunge. That will ensure that your transition is as seamless as your workflow will soon be with this software solution.
- Ease into it—Start with small groups or projects, so employees can experience the benefits on a smaller scale. Once they experience an increase in overall productivity and an enhanced workflow, it will encourage more widespread adoption and help scale usage.
- Don't skimp on training—One of the biggest obstacles for employees in the adoption of new technology is the fear of the unknown. This is especially true with longtime construction professionals who are still skeptical of using technology on the jobsite. By taking the time to educate your various teams, you can increase the confidence they have in these new solutions and significantly speed up adoption of the solution itself.
A good construction firm invests in the best materials and tools for the job at hand. There is no reason it should be any different when it comes to technology. By building an ecosystem that allows for the frictionless sharing of information, construction companies will not only significantly save time and money, but will also gain a competitive edge.