Top Software Resolutions To Improve Project Productivity in 2018
Cue the (wrecking) ball drop and prepare the champagne, or beer, if you prefer. 2018 is almost here, and whether it’s a new project, a new construction phase or even a new trailer, every builder has something fresh they can celebrate at some point in the New Year. Speaking of fresh, software and new technology solutions can help keep your job both engaging and productive. With new platforms and tools being constantly introduced, construction has only reached the tip of the iceberg when it comes to innovation radically transforming the way the industry operates.
As part of the freshness of each New Year, we generally like to commit to personal goals, or resolutions. Most likely it’s the classic lose weight, eat better gist, and some years it’s more of a mental commitment. Success or fail, resolutions keep us focused on the larger picture—overall improvement. In our jobs, having goals is critical to our organization and productivity, as well as improves our company’s bottom line. Just as we like to invest in new personal tools in the New Year to help us with our resolutions, 2018 construction software and technology can be the key to helping us move the needle on our professional ambitions and targets.
There’s no better time than the present to utilize software for your company. This year, no matter where you are in your 2018 construction software journey, we encourage you to commit to one (or more) of the following resolutions to help improve your overall productivity for the New Year. By taking even small steps today in your journey with software, you can start to build a robust IT program that makes your team’s year (and coming years) easier and your project’s run more productively.
For Companies New to Technology
If you’re very new to construction productivity technology or 2018 is the year you plan to make the jump, ease into it. Yes, technology will for sure make your teams more productive over time, but only if it’s implemented correctly for your organization. So, start with creating a plan for implementing and distributing software to staff and try a few integrations to begin with before making huge commitments.
If you and your company are novices to technology, try one of these beginner goals:
- Determine your software needs and invest in the right construction productivity software for your teams and project—preferably powered by cloud computing.
- Designate a representative from each of the following groups to form a technology task force or committee (e.g. field management, executive management, IT, marketing, etc.).
- Create a software roll-out plan for your staff. Figure out your strategy and determine whether or not you will release to key staff first or the whole company.
- Establish an onboarding program to get workers to understand and use the technology properly. Bonus points if you can get external trainers and staff champions to help ease the transition.
- Get staff buy-in with support from your leadership team. Also, keep employees excited about software’s time-saving potential so they know how it can make the difference in their jobs.
- Shift your document management system from paper to cloud-based. If you have the manpower, consider adding all your historical blueprints to the cloud (you’ll thank us in the future).
- Determine who needs and how staff will exactly use construction software—setup controls accordingly and invest in mobile devices for the field if needed.
- Start small and begin to use one or two functions of construction software like updating blueprints in the field with markups, RFIs and hyperlinks with mobile devices.
For Those Starting to Get Comfortable with Technology
Have you already started implementing technology and are now getting comfortable with the basics? If so, make 2018 the year to dig a little deeper and get more analytical and tactical with your approach to using software.
Spread your wings a bit and try one of the following intermediate tactics to up your 2018 construction software game :
- With software in place, start building up your IT structure and team to provide more support.
- Create comprehensive schedules and plans using software and distribute to project stakeholders.
- Plan a software refresher course. Your staff may have been using software for a while, or you may have new additions, and a new training session will go a long way to keep people using and benefiting from the software.
- Evaluate how your construction software is currently serving you. Do you need more support or additional features? How can you optimize? Your needs might be changing so don’t let your technology solutions lag behind.
- Start to use material management software to track and locate materials across the supply chain.
- Take advantage of multilingual language platforms to support all your workers, especially useful for construction’s growing Hispanic workforce.
- Use cost estimating and bidding software to increase your precision and efficiency.
- Choose better 2018 construction partners and prequalify and evaluate project using a subcontractor or vendor selection software platform.
- Track project performance measures with the help of construction workforce management software and start to optimize based on tracking insights.
- Update and track live punch lists across projects to increase the efficiency of project closeout.
For the Old Pros
Been there, done that. Do you have a high functioning team who is comfortable using and maximizing construction productivity software? If so, don’t stop now. Stay ahead of the competition with the most innovative technology offerings out there.
For your 2018 construction tech and software goals, take things to the next level and try some advanced and new technology to get more value out of your current programs:
- Maximize your efficiency and set up templates—whether it’s for contracts or bids.
- Find a technology solution that works on an enterprise level. Include everyone from your field workers to your finance team on board.
- Establish a software “master class” for your core users. Empower them to be champions to help train and support new employees.
- Establish a full IT support program with staff, MDM and program support.
- Track your crew’s performance and productivity. Reward top staff and rehire most efficient crews.
- Adopt building information modeling (BIM) to provide more detailed information and documentation to project stakeholders.
- Incorporate 360-cameras or VR for site progress photos to inspect a work area remotely and completely.
- Use drones for site inspections, analysis and modeling.
- Utilize technology to track and report safety issues and occurrences across your jobsite. Use this information to improve safety on your job site.
- Start to use predictive analytics for projects and system management.
- For finished projects, use software to record facility performance to provide operation and maintenance support after closeout.
Have You Made Your 2018 Construction Resolutions Yet?
Wherever you are in the process of implementing technology, commit to moving forward this New Year with one if not more of these 2018 construction goals. Even if you just take one more step with tech by your side, you have the potential to make serious improvements to your bottom line. With more dedication to improving your productivity with software, your workers, project and business will all be toasting you when 2019 comes around.
Have any more software based goals for your construction company that we are missing? Share them in the comments section below.