Benefits of Integrated Platform Solutions for Construction Management
August 26, 2021
As construction companies continue their venture into technology adoption, one thing is becoming more apparent: Point solutions once regarded as leading-edge drivers of efficiency aren’t as effective anymore. Why is this? Companies are finding there’s more value to be gained in managing projects through connected data and connected systems. In a word: fully-integrated systems built to work with each other. So what benefits can be gained with today’s best integrated construction management software solutions?
Improved efficiency, certainty and accuracy
Construction management software is a broad term for the technologies that go into overseeing the different parts of a project, from takeoff, to estimating, from forecasting to inspecting and beyond. As point solutions, each of these technologies is designed to streamline its respective function. They are not, however, designed to share information with each other. This inability slows down collaboration and any real-time sharing of vital data.
If you’ve been using spreadsheet programs, for example, that house your meticulously assembled data exports and prior project scheduling information, you may have already experienced this. This is why today’s advanced construction management software solutions are created to integrate with each other.
Integrated estimating software, for instance, allows you to connect with existing details within other programs in an integrated platform and incorporate them directly into your estimate so you can more closely manage the bid phase. Consider the tedious yet critical quantity takeoff process. Those seemingly endless quantities of labor, equipment and materials is a lot to account for and calculate when assembling estimates. But when you have estimating software that can “speak” to takeoff software, takeoff data is not only fed into the initial estimate, but all updates to quantities going forward are immediately reflected and recalculated within the evolving estimate, yielding more cost certainty for you and the client.
Integration doesn’t just help streamline the processes related to the actual construction. It can also help the back office. Staying with the estimating example, cost estimates created in software that’s linked to your accounting program can help your procurement team ensure accurate materials purchasing and open up clearer communication channels around potential pricing fluctuations and vendor inventory issues.
Consolidated cloud-based data for enhanced access, decision making and continuous workflow
Cloud storage and access is what really connects data to teams. For the thousands of documents and data that go into a capital project, the cloud acts as a limitless yet organized storage unit that everyone from site crews to back office staff to owners can retrieve anytime from any wifi-enabled device.
A natural byproduct of this is that your decisions will be more data-driven and collaborative. With integrated construction management software, project teams and key stakeholders can work together by referring to the same actionable, transparent data for the conversations necessary to keep the project moving forward. So, where there was once someone in the field calling into the office to confirm the latest project details, there’s more certainty for in-the-moment planning at the job site itself. Where there was waiting for the back office to provide requested documentation, there’s a continuous workflow because everyone can access that information themselves in real time. And where there was constant redundant data re-entering (and mistakes), there’s improved efficiency.
Increased competitive advantage
Besides the operational benefits of an integrated platform, there’s the business benefit to your reputation as a contractor of choice. While adoption of construction management software is definitely on the upswing across the industry, much of it is still as point solutions. Where you could see the biggest impact of integrated construction management software is in assembling estimates for bids, forecasting for both predictive and real-time risk scenarios, and conducting safety and punch list inspections and commissioning. Essentially from start to finish, Integration enables you to offer more cost, schedule and risk-management certainty that can be reassuring to current and prospective clients.
Integration as a business necessity
Integrated platform solutions are not merely a best practice, but a must-have in order to remain relevant, competitive and profitable. And that’s especially true if your company specializes in capital projects or is in a growth phase. When you’re ready, contact InEight for a demo of our integrated construction management software and see how we can streamline your processes and help you get the most out of your connected project data.