Top 3 Reasons to Consolidate Your Construction Tech
February 07, 2023
From mobile apps to cloud-based software, you have more tools at your disposal than ever before to help you manage the many facets of your projects more efficiently, whether it’s estimating, scheduling, managing risk or commissioning.
You may have several in your own construction tech stack. They were likely chosen to perform a particular function more efficiently, meet demands by owners to deliver projects that meet all their requirements, or scale your business to be more competitive.
With so much on the line, the kind of construction technology solutions you use can make or break a project.
So can the number of them you have.
Because while it may be tempting to continue adding to your existing tech stack to address evolving project and business needs and fill in gaps, such a pieced-together approach — commonly referred to as Frankensteining — is counterproductive.
That’s because continuing to rely on multiple systems to manage your projects ultimately is costing you time and money — the more you have, the more time you’ll spend managing them and the more money it’ll cost to maintain them. Plus, these systems often lack integration capabilities necessary for users to share information efficiently.
The way around this is with construction tech consolidation.
In broad terms, this less-is-more approach is about simplifying your tech lineup. More specifically, however, it’s about integration. There’s a slow but sure shift among construction companies toward consolidation by migrating to a single-vendor integrated platform instead. And this trend will only grow as contractors look for efficiency and productivity gains from their technology investments. Should you do the same? Here are three reasons why this would be a good idea.
- Data plays a key role in managing capital projects, making consolidation necessary to ensure data access, consistency and usefulness.
Data — or rather access to reliable data — helps keep projects on track and optimizes internal processes by providing real-time information about cost and schedule performance, risk exposure, profitability and more.
Siloed systems compromise this.
While it’s common for construction companies to use software from different vendors for different purposes, there are often gaps among those tools and applications, gaps that can get bigger as more tools are added over time and make it unnecessarily harder to manage that data.
This leads to duplicated efforts, wasted time and frustration among those who need access to information from different systems. It also results in poor data quality because there may be no single source of truth for information for anything, whether it’s bid documents, change orders or safety compliance records.
By bringing your construction data into an integrated platform, you, your project team, and other stakeholders gain visibility and access to more information than ever before. And with that consolidation comes more consistency in data structure and integrity, and therefore more accuracy and reliability. Having all that valuable data in one place allows it to be analyzed and leveraged for insights into how the project is evolving and what decisions or actions can best keep it moving forward.
- Given the dynamic nature of capital projects, construction tech consolidation affords more control over planning for and mitigating risks.
You already have enough risk factors to anticipate and plan for without a disconnected tech stack being one of them.
When you have multiple systems in place, each with its own unique way of handling data, such a lack of integration makes it more difficult to get a clear picture of the status of a project, which then makes it harder to control for risks as they arise.
Being able to predict and manage risk is a must, especially given the scale and complexity of capital projects. The more you know about your project before it begins, the better prepared you’ll be to adapt to or mitigate any issues that arise during its execution.
And the best way to do that is by having visibility into your project data — specifically connected data in the form of cost and schedule performance metrics. These metrics, which an integrated platform can consolidate from both real-time and historical project data into online dashboards, are an accurate reflection of the health of your project.
They’re also highly responsive to risk factors. As those risks occur, you’re able to see in real time how and to what degree a particular factor is affecting your project outcomes. Similarly it can predict potential outcomes when forecasting risk impact for contingency planning. This is where the platform becomes a risk management tool, enabling you to identify potential issues early on so you can act before they become major problems.
Not only that, having a single point of entry into your data makes it easier for you and your team to find what you need quickly and allows you to collaborate more efficiently so you can make faster, better-informed decisions. Having such an edge in planning for and managing risks gives you greater control over costs and schedules — and ultimately your profitability.
- Project owners are holding contractors more accountable and demanding more visibility, efficiency and project certainty.
Construction tech consolidation makes it easier for you and your team to access and view the full range of project data that details status, performance, trends, issues and more. And owners want that same visibility.
They want to see progress, evidence that certain milestones are being achieved. They want to know where and how project funds are being spent. In some capital projects, these kinds of metrics are mandated.
Besides the metric-based information, owners also want to know when things go wrong, and why they went wrong. If something happens — like a change order or an unexpected delay — they want to know about it immediately so they can be involved in making decisions about how to move forward or resolve the problem as quickly as possible. And they certainly don’t want any surprises when it comes to budgets or schedules, especially given that overruns are more the norm than not. Owners want certainty.
An integrated platform serves as a single source of truth not just for you and your project team but for owners who want to be in the know. It can easily show compliance with owners’ requirements by providing them access to up-to-the-minute data and centralized documentation related to scope, cost and schedule.
Despite the obvious value of this information sharing, all this transparency into the inner workings of your capital projects may seem unfamiliar, if not a bit uncomfortable.
Yet this may have unexpected, yet welcome, knock-on effects. It can free up your team from hunting down information and producing reports to keep owners apprised of project status and developments. And perhaps more importantly, when critical decisions have to be made, collaborating with owners who are well-informed about the project can lead to productive, consensus-style discussions.
The logistical benefits deliver a budgetary benefit: these types of instances alone, which could have resulted in potential delays, wind up saving valuable time and, therefore, money — because time is money.
Is construction tech consolidation the right decision for your business?
Look at the data now and consider how such consolidation into a single-vendor integrated platform might be able to help you better manage costs and schedules, mitigate risks and relay information. With the right implementation, you can expect better control over your projects going forward.
Curious how this can work for your construction company? We’re happy to discuss this with you in a brief consultation.