Connecting people with data across projects is essential for contractors looking to accelerate their business, writes Brandon Oliveri-O’Connor.
As anyone running a construction company knows, the difference between making a profit or a loss is often down to how well everyone connects and collaborates. Timely, accurate information, often referred to as data, becomes the fuel.
Projects have a greater chance of success if workforces can draw on the most up-to-date technology in real time: they must be able to monitor and analyse disparate data and make confident decisions on costs, timings and resources. For that, they need a construction platform that connects multiple strands of data in one place – a single source of truth – and which reports the true state of play.
Having direct access to this information is helpful to those in senior roles – the dashboards that an integrated platform generates provide easy visibility in real time of how contracts are performing and potential impacts on the bottom line.
Lead transformation with a data-first approach
Digitising data leads to fewer building mistakes, less rework and improved productivity and site safety. A recent Procore survey of construction leaders in the UK and Ireland, part of the How We Build Now report, found that senior executives believe digitisation could cut project costs by as much as 25%.
This is truly transformative change and it’s being driven by technology that leverages every number, every process and every detail that goes into a project. Business leaders can then drive accountability across their teams to address issues promptly. They can also use a different view of data to confidently demonstrate progress to their clients.
Build trust through data transparency
Data can be overwhelming but not if it’s brought together in one place rather than in unconnected silos. Over our 20 years in construction, we at Procore have seen first-hand how empowering it is for businesses when a platform captures, standardises and integrates data, allowing elements of information to ‘talk’ to each other, bringing a project’s many strands of information into that one single source of truth, and making it open and accessible to all.
This level of transparency plays a key role in developing strong collaborative relationships with teams, clients and supply chain partners. Stakeholders can elect for a high-level overview of projects or can drill down into more detail to learn more about specific elements.
A construction platform also enables tight control of the financial elements of the project and provides visibility of site operations to all stakeholders. By tracking against a project’s budget in real time and sharing that information across higher levels in the company, a construction platform allows financial decisions to be made confidently and gives those in the senior positions the visibility they need to make informed decisions.
Integrate data from across the business
Traditional paper-based processes and non-integrated software solutions mean there is no complete visibility into how a project is progressing and can increase significantly the likelihood of cost and time overruns due to poor coordination between the supply chain and the management team.
Construction platforms such as Procore overcome these issues by channelling all processes, documents and personnel into one integrated easily locatable place.
The platform is designed to scale across multiple projects, allowing managers to oversee more work at a time. Managers can use the technology to identify performance trends and areas that are consistently tracking behind budget or time.
Platforms can bring in data from the HR and commercial functions. It then becomes possible to cross-reference training and experience against staff availability to quickly pinpoint the best qualified person to bolster a project team.
But, as the industry continues to digitally transform, certain departments will inevitably continue using their own software. Therefore, your platform needs to have a strong ecosystem of API connectors to integrate data around estimating, tendering, enterprise resource planning (ERP) and BIM – or allow visibility into planning, purchasing, inventory, sales and marketing.
Embrace change management
Capturing, integrating and standardising data from across the business was seen as the surest way to improve operations according to Procore’s survey of construction business leaders in the UK and Ireland in its How We Build Now report.
With this in mind, we continue to make the Procore platform and app easy to use. Our 24-hour human support is always there when your team needs help. Because we know that driving technology adoption is never easy or quick. We work hand in hand with the industry to help make technology as straightforward as possible, so you can focus on building the world and driving the business.
In a world that is changing faster than ever before, and becoming even more competitive, you need as many insights into your business as you can obtain. Investing in construction platform technology will pay off not just now, but for the years ahead.
How We Build Now 2023 can be downloaded at procore.com.
Brandon Oliveri-O’Connor is Procore’s head of the EMEA region.
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