Five Things You Need for Better Construction Management
Conley Smith, Content Marketing Manager, Asite
Posted: December 16, 2022 | Project Management
By Conley Smith, Content Marketing Manager, Asite
Whether you’re working on a sports complex remodel or a historic renovation, every construction project involves a huge number of moving parts — including people, schedules, and costs. While not everyone produces the millions of emails, documents, and workflows typically associated with a large infrastructure project, there is a lot of data that goes uncaptured on any project.
How are you running your day-to-day operations and completing tasks? Still using a variety of manual and digital tools? Architects, engineers, general contractors, facility managers, and subcontractors will typically use a variety of point solutions. This can include CRM, HR, ERP, accounting, takeoff and estimating, bid management, document management, scheduling, and construction project management.
Do you still rely on Excel? You may use spreadsheets to manage complex construction formulas and pair them with file storage solutions like SharePoint or Dropbox to house all your project information. More than likely, the greater mix of old-school/new-school tools and processes you use, the more you struggle when searching for files, emails, and submittals or communicating project updates.
You’re Going to Need a Connected Solution
With the new year, it may be time for a better way to handle project data and information. A strong construction management solution can improve life for all — whether on the jobsite or back in the office.
For starters, digitally converting and replicating paper-based forms like RFIs, submittals, change orders, site photos, and punch lists will bring a new level of visibility into budgets, schedules, and reports. When you step up to a platform solution, recording, tracking, and managing all project details becomes even easier.
This idea of bringing the industry onto one platform is supported by McKinsey, who predicts we have entered the “platform era”. This involves moving from point solutions to integrated solutions. For example, instead of using one solution for contract management, another for project financials, and a third for document management, one solution can do it all.
In its 2022 report, Deloitte noted that connected construction is the future for problem-solving. These technologies can bring assets, people, processes, and jobsites onto one platform to “work smarter, reduce downtime, optimize asset utilization and efficiency, and gain greater visibility into operations.”
Is your firm future-ready?
Five Features to Look for When Choosing Software
The benefits of choosing new software are many — including enhanced collaboration, visibility, and accountability. You may be looking to improve your document management, task scheduling, compliance, or budget tracking.
Whether upgrading or considering all new software in 2023, here are some critical product features to look for when evaluating new construction management tools:
1. Dashboards You Can Customize — When looking at new software, you’ll want to take advantage of its reporting capabilities. Make sure you choose a tool with customizable dashboards so you can configure your dashboards to work the way you work.
Instead of generic, canned dashboards, you want dashboards that can be configured for an organization or individual user level to ensure transparency and extensibility. You get the best of both worlds with customizable dashboards — configurability and control. As a result, everyone using your software can aggregate, analyze, visualize, and share data to make better data-driven decisions.
2. Flexible Workflows — You’re missing out if your construction management software is only good for document review and approval. When you add a tool that allows you to configure complex workflows, you can move beyond linear workflows to assign team members tasks and set due dates.
This means you can create unlimited internal workflows to suit every project need. What about a tool with branching and logic so you can assign tasks to users and define upload triggers? Applying smart and intelligent logic can be a game-changer when it comes to improving the efficiency of day-to-day tasks. Make sure the software you choose allows you to set triggers in your workflows to assign actions and reduce manual errors.
3. Ability to View & Mark-Up Files — You don’t want to be stuck with just PDFs that you can’t mark-up or comment on. Nobody wants to lose mark-ups and comments because of limited integration with other file formats. It’s much more efficient if you can collaborate on various document file types without needing a license for that application. Most importantly, this feature will allow you to minimize risk during project planning — when you can see other team members’ mark-ups, you can prevent cost overruns and ordering the wrong materials.
4. Flexible Folder Structure — Relying solely on metadata to find project information can be limiting. Your construction management software should allow you to search across all your projects. Customizing your folder structure means you can manage files and documents your way. File accessibility puts you in the driver’s seat.
5. Customizable Business Requirements — Consider whether the software can be customized to meet your business needs, especially when compliance is a consideration. Suppose you’re required to meet government rules, security standards, or corporate and regulatory policies. In that case, you’ll want to choose software with built-in compliance features, such as complying with the global standards ISO 19650 or other security standards.
Using an ISO 19650-compliant software platform will ensure all the stakeholders and project teams can work together more seamlessly across the project.
Leave Siloed Ways Behind
If you choose wisely, new software will help you bring all your construction project data and information together in one secure system. You will no longer suffer from cobbling together data and information from several sources.
The end result? Your stakeholders will have access to project information within a centralized location. With a single source of truth, you’ll make more informed decisions, reduce risk, increase collaboration, and avoid duplication. More importantly, you’ll no longer have to worry about team members referencing outdated information or struggling to sort through multiple versions of the same document.
Find out now how Asite can help you collaborate and communicate better with cloud-based construction management solutions.
Conley Smith is a Content Marketing Manager with Asite. She has been writing about technology for more than 20 years.