Construction Technology/News

Construction Technology and Project Management Tools: Helping Contractors Modernize, Streamline Operations—Part 3 of 5


Editor’s Note: This is Part 3 of a five-part series on Construction Project Management

Tech Tools for Better Construction Management

Here are just some of the modern technology tools leading construction companies are relying on to streamline and better analyze data and build better projects:

  • BIM/Virtual DesignBuilding Information Modeling, or BIM, is the process of designing a building collaboratively using one coherent system of computer models instead of multiple sets of drawings. By using multi-dimensional computer modeling, BIM can save significant time and money and reduce errors. The process has been billed by many contractors as the future of construction, opening the door to new design and building ideas that might not have been realized before. Read our guide on BIM
  • Complete ERP systems—More and more, contractors are turning to full-service construction ERP software that combines functions like accounting, job costing, project management, equipment management, human resources, inventory management, document management and more under one platform. By using one system, data can be shared instantly across all facets of the project without having to do multiple data entry across multiple software programs—programs that might also present or manipulate data in different ways, making it harder to analyze when needed.
  • Document Imaging—It used to be that a contractor’s office was a sea of filing cabinets, crammed with plans, specs, invoices, change orders, submittals, time cards and reams upon reams of other paper documentation and correspondence. With the advent of scanners and powerful document imaging and archiving solutions, contractors are digitizing their data. This makes it easier to store, easier to find, and, with some construction management software packages, easier to attach to other data, reports or collaborative communication tools.
  • Automated Workflow Tools—As construction software advances, so to do the opportunities to simplify and automate processes. Dedicated workflows being built directly into construction software packages are helping improve both collaboration and efficiency. Specific tasks or whole processes can be set up to occur automatically, and items that need approval can be routed to specific people, groups or even defined roles within the organization. By creating an automated flow of data and alerts when tasks need attention, projects can move quicker—and smarter—while reducing workloads.
  • Intuitive Dashboards and Kiosks—Another technology driver of efficiency has been the design of intuitive dashboards that provide not just a snapshot of construction project data, but a way to drill down into the data—right from the dashboard itself. This both saves time and confusion of navigating software menu systems. It also puts the most relevant data the project manager needs to see right at his or her fingertips every day. Special kiosks and portals built into software packages allow select groups to view and work with information relevant to them. For instance, subcontractor kiosks allow a single portal for them to see all project data related to their individual work and submit compliance documents.
  • Project Management Mobile Apps—With the explosion of smartphones and devices, mobile apps are being created specifically to handle project management tasks. From mobile apps that provide bid management and communication alerts to apps that allow viewing of plans and specs to on any device to markup tools and more, there is a multitude of choices where contractors can keep business moving with a few taps or swipes of their mobile device.

“Managing the information is one of the biggest challenges of project management today,” said Scott Builders’ Vice President and General Manager Dallas Williams. “Modern technologies and construction software are really helping to control the information and disseminate it so it can be available and useful to our project teams.”

In part four of this series, we’ll look at how cloud computing and mobile devices are changing the face of construction projects and the ability to access real-time data that is more relevant. 

Posted By

Andy is Marketing Content & PR Manager at Viewpoint. He has worked in the construction software arena since 2011. Previously, he netted multiple awards as a newspaper and trade media editor.

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