Because of a shift in the way business is being conducted in 2020, we’re finding out that construction is more interested in technology than it was commonly believed and reported. Granted, some changes are being foisted upon the industry as rules around construction projects are being adjusted. But it’s good to see that construction companies are adopting tech that makes sense for their businesses. Things that may have been handled manually during a coordination meeting using a white board even a year ago are moving to a digital platform.
The tech that’s good for business includes more mobile applications that can be used on the job. Project managers and field workers, for instance, need to be able to access project information from the field or while they’re on the go. They can’t necessarily sit in an office and manage a project. As construction companies give feedback about the other challenges they have which tech might solve, the number of solutions that are a fit for the industry will increase.
Ease of use is key to people and teams on construction projects. An app can become overly complicated when software companies try to squeeze into it all of the features a company’s teams might need someday maybe. At that point, it usually has become more difficult to learn and use than staff are willing to invest into its use. Sometimes the best app is one that doesn’t have all the features, simply the most useful ones.
A couple of pain points in construction are labor forecasting and construction resource planning. When the market is hot, when skilled labor is busy, mistakes that are made by using manual data entry and “gut feel” can be absorbed. However, it’s during the challenging times when the metrics and historical data matter most. It becomes more important to retain talent and more critical to understand overhead, aka the “bench cost” of your labor force. That’s the time when you need to match up people who aren’t busy (benched) with projects that need staff.
Another thing construction companies need is to make the connections among a customer relationship management database (CRM), a human resources database and a project management system. The connections are complicated – and maybe because of that – the data is priceless. Software solutions that can marry those business systems can make a real difference for construction companies. And the more team members those companies have, resulting in even more complexity, the more critical those software apps are.
Construction companies are reportedly finding out that going digital isn’t as overwhelming as they first thought. For decades, the construction industry has been all about solving problems in a casual work environment. They’re not hesitant to have those candid conversations, and when they do, they can continue to innovate in many ways.
Going forward, efficiencies and tracking procedures promise to be important emphases for software applications. When you look at a process and figure out how you could do it differently and more efficiently going into the future, that’s the beginning of innovation.
Mallorie Brodie of Bridgit knows this better than most. As the CEO and co-founder of Bridgit, the #1 construction resource management software, she has a unique vantage point on the role of data, technology and innovation in the construction industry.
In episode 48 of the Bridging the Gap podcast, I got to talk with Mallorie on how to use data to advance construction, pushing the industry forward, women in construction and more. Listen to our conversation today.