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  1. Technology Strategies to Better Manage Construction Projects

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    Technology Strategies to Better Manage
    Construction Projects


    A fundamental goal of all construction businesses is to minimize risk – whether it’s tied to schedule, resources or other key costs – during a project’s lifecycle. As the complexity of construction projects continues to grow in today’s market, the level of risk grows as well. It takes an exorbitant amount of time and resources to ensure the project is operating as efficiently as possible without compromising performance in any key operational areas.

    Now, construction firms are using technology to get a “leg up” to maximize profits and preserve margins. Technology is helping increase the speed of collaboration, dramatically improving visibility to key data and reducing costs associated with antiquated, often paper-based processes. In the quest for zero setbacks or losses on any project, technology is helping companies in the construction space take significant leaps – and greatly reduce risk.

    There are three key areas where a focus on the right technology solutions can reap big rewards for construction companies.


    All construction projects track quantities – a universal necessity. The best companies have technology systems in place that can capably track, manage and report quantity consumption, such as labor, materials and equipment, across all phases of a project. A good quantity management system also should maintain open connections to the back-office management system or Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) platform. This will allow teams to manage a project or portfolio level consumption of quantities with the same cost structure used for budgeting and purchasing. A quantity-focused system lets everyone speak the same language across the project.


    Estimating can often make or break any project. Unrealistic estimates will almost always (and quickly) lead to reduced margins. Strong technology systems should be able to give project teams greater access to historical benchmarks and when combined with a strong quantity management system, can help ensure more accurate, realistic estimates. Comprehensive access to historical benchmarks also allows teams to more deeply analyze risks and better forecast anticipated productivity levels to provide a broader view for every estimate. Over time, each estimate can get more accurate and predictable than the last, helping construction businesses win jobs at the best price.


    The ability to view current data on quantity consumption and to compare that data against estimates is essential. Equally important is the ability to continuously measure labor performance against the original plan – something technology can greatly enhance. With better access to performance information, plan adjustments can be made early enough in the process to have a meaningful impact on overall project results – helping meet or beat an estimate. With a robust project performance toolset, project teams can realize measurable benefits by limiting risk earlier in the lifecycle.

    Mobile applications are the last piece of the puzzle, arming those in the field with near real-time information so they can make more timely adjustments to plans faster and smarter than ever before.

    With technology strategies and tools focused on quantities, benchmarks and performance, construction business have the ability to better manage risks – and get closer and closer to maximum results and profitability. Start building your technology game plan today.

    About the Author

    Brad Barth is Chief Product Officer for InEight Inc., where he oversees the product management and product marketing departments. Prior to InEight, Brad was vice president of industries for Hard Dollar Corporation, where he was instrumental in transforming the company from a start-up software developer into one of the world’s leading solution providers for project-driven enterprises.
  2. 3 Reasons You Need a Mobile Solution to Collect Jobsite Data

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    As daily reliance on mobile technology increases, so should use of technology on the jobsite

    Think about your daily activities. You wake to the sound of an alarm on your mobile phone. Electronic meeting reminders help you stay punctual and remember important events. Your phone and tablet allow you to stay connected to news and information when you’re away.

    We plan and manage our lives on mobile devices, so why should construction jobsites be any different? Mobile devices can be used to collect and view project data wherever you are and whenever you want — in the office or out in the field. Project managers, planners, executives and owners want to know what is happening in the field as quickly as possible, and mobile devices can accommodate those demands. Here are three fundamental reasons you need a mobile solution to collect construction job site data.

    1. Provides immediate visibility into job site activities

    Software with field data collection applications enables users to link information from job sites to field offices and vice versa. This provides better visibility into job site data, such as hours assigned to tasks or information on safety incidents — all with the click of a button. Gone are the days when project managers in field offices had to wait for crews to return to the office each evening and manually input information before they could view reports.

    2. Creates efficiency by eliminating paper process

    It’s easy for details to get lost in the paperwork. Paper gets misplaced. Handwriting isn’t legible. Coffee spills onto reports. A lot of things can happen when you’re bound to one hard copy report — not to mention the poor staff member who is going to have to enter the paper documentation into the system anyway. Avoid the time drain. Mobile applications eliminate the paper process, making field data collection more efficient. Today, construction crews can use mobile technology from practically anywhere. Even when connectivity is a problem, some advanced mobile applications allow data to be entered in offline mode and synchronized later.

    3. Shows real-time performance and keeps the project on track

    Extending project systems with mobile technology can provide instant access to key performance details. By learning of problems when they occur, rather than at the end of each day or week, you can more quickly solve problems and keep your project on track.

    Maybe you’re thinking, “I get all of that, but it sounds complicated.” You’re not alone. Research shows that one of the primary reasons construction companies hesitate to implement new technology is the fear that it will be too complex for crews to learn and use. After all, even the best technology solution in the world is useless if people can’t figure out how to use it. This is why the best mobile applications are “battle tested” by construction crews early in their development cycle to ensure that user-friendly functions are actually user friendly.

    As our reliance on mobile technology increases in our daily lives, so should our use of mobile technology at the job site. Mobile technology isn’t a trend or a fad. It’s a reality. It provides instant visibility into job site data, creating efficiency and connecting key stakeholders in real time. To stay current and competitive in this industry, mobile technology solutions are no longer just nice to have, they’re must-haves.

    About the Author

    Brad Barth is Chief Product Officer for InEight Inc., where he oversees the product management and product marketing departments. Prior to InEight, Brad was Vice President of Industries for Hard Dollar Corporation, where he was instrumental in transforming the company from a start-up software developer into one of the world’s leading solution providers for project-driven enterprises.

    *This article was originally published on: Construction Business Owner