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Paper vs. Clunky Software vs. Integrated Construction Solution
Place your bets. Who will win the construction heavyweight belt?
Paper. It’s always there when you need it. It comes in various forms and is used for various reasons: sticky notes are used to outline construction processes, invoices are printed and mailed to clients, notepads are used for taking notes … the list goes on and on. Besides paper, many organizations are holding on to older software and systems, but don’t deliver what is needed for the business to enhance collaboration and streamline processes because the software is typically outdated and doesn’t fit the needs of the current organization’s climate.
We analyzed each “system” and decided which type would win in a construction organization bout.
Meet the Contenders:
1. Standing in the right corner, approximately 10 to 20 years old, introducing stand-alone construction software
The stats: This is typically an outdated platform that often looks and operates the same way it did 20 years ago. It doesn’t appear to solve the needs of a growing construction organization —projects with modern demands that need to be completed quickly and with minimal risk. The features are insufficient including no or limited visibility into job cost and contractors can’t see up-to-date project information — instead just rolling with the punches. The lack of visibility slows down project completion time because field workers are waiting for or may receive incorrect information that could increase risk and lead to costly mistakes.
Advice from the coach’s corner: In order to maximize your business’s success, the office, team and field should be connected throughout the lifecycle of construction projects. Communication and information sharing across the entire organization is vital for staying productive and completing projects on time and under-budget with minimal mistakes. Also, modern, scales with contractors needs, providing regular software and functionality updates that help organizations stay on top of an ever-changing industry and its unique needs. There is definitely a difference between integrated vs. stand-alone construction software.
It may be time for stand-alone software to throw in the towel.
2. In the left corner, weighing 4.5 grams, introducing paper
The stats: this contender has been around for a very long time, but its reputation is declining. Paper gets lost and isn’t easy to share. Reminders are placed on sticky notes that are often forgotten about. Equipment and materials cost that is written on paper often doesn’t reach a system that is tracking job costs — leading to over budgeting and spending. Paper forms in the field, heavy books of plans and drawings and other tree-sourced documents can also get lost or revised so many times to the point that no two people on a jobsite have the same information in front of them. Since there is a construction labor shortage, keeping track of recruitment and employee needs on paper or an outdated system can hinder the hiring process and doesn’t streamline or empower employees to enter their own information that could save valuable HR time.
Advice from the coach’s corner: Remember when you couldn’t find that piece of paper with important project deadline information? It’s often easy to misplace paper and difficult to enhance collaboration and visibility when paper is used. The field can’t see what was written on that piece of paper and it’s an extra step in a process that could be streamlined by having integrated software. For instance, having a system where information can be entered in real-time via a mobile device — from anywhere at any time — can help prevent common mistakes that involve paper and save time instead of hanging on the ropes and hoping to get projects done on time and within budget. Paper, in today’s digital age, should be down for the count.
3. Newer to the ring, please give a warm welcome to integrated, cloud-based construction software
We learned from the two previous contenders that lack of communication between internal and external stakeholders can lead to miscommunication, inaccurate job cost and processes that cost valuable project time and eat away at contractors’ profits. With an integrated, cloud-based software solution, however, the office, team and field all have the ability to see project updates in real-time. Invoices, drawings, team reports, material and equipment decisions, job cost information, project reminders and so much more can be viewed or acted on through either a mobile or desktop device. A modern take on managing construction gives contractors a modern, competitive edge. No more forgetting or misplacing sticky notes and no more having software that doesn’t talk to the entire organization. Robust software can help construction organizations complete projects with fewer mishaps — stand out in the ring and knock projects out.
In your corner: To learn more about how integrated software can help your organization gain TKO on project bottlenecks and outdated processes, please contact us. We’ll show you how modern technology can help you and your construction organization’s specific needs