Gone are the days when multi-million dollar projects could be handled with spreadsheets and emails. To stay competitive, construction companies require more efficient workflows. Today’s organizations are using software tools to support their workflows and gain visibility into every aspect of project tasks to ensure highly profitable outcomes.
The Foundry MarketPulse 2022 survey asked the leaders of over a hundred construction organizations about the current state of their workflows and the rate of digital adoption. Here are 5 takeaways for construction companies that might surprise you.
1. Lack of visibility is the number one challenge
When asked about their primary business challenges, 70% of construction firms agreed that lack of visibility into materials availability and delivery status is the number one challenge they face.
However, a lack of visibility in certain areas and processes proved to be the main cause of daily challenges for construction firms. For example, 42% said that a lack of real-time information about project status and margins was one of their top challenges, and another 39% cited a lack of visibility into all project-related information as one of the more challenging aspects of daily work.
There are numerous moving parts that must all align for construction projects to finish on time and within budget. Without a clear view of active workflows, dependencies, and bottlenecks, tasks fall through the cracks, contractors are left out of the loop, and deliverables are pushed back to compensate.
2. Safety management workflows are leading to inefficiencies
Safety management is a top priority in the construction industry, where many things could go wrong and cause a serious accident. OSHA and other health and safety agencies have regulations in place to ensure safety for workers and citizens, and construction firms are required to follow specific guidelines and regularly report to their governing authorities.
But out of all the tasks that can cause a project to fall behind, the survey found that safety management workflows were the number one cause of inefficiencies for 45% of construction firms. Other major causes of project delays include spend management (42%) and scheduling (42%).
3. Firms use multiple types of software to solve similar issues
Today’s construction firms have several tools at their fingertips that can help with project management, turnover, and purchasing. For some organizations, it seems like every task uses data from a different app or even more than one. 61% of firms use multiple software tools, and 25% use specific software for individual workflows.
Instead of wasting time searching for the right application or trying to remember which tool has the data necessary to complete a task, 13% of firms rely on one software platform that manages all their workflows.
4. Schedule management is the most popular automation
Schedule management is an area that causes a series of inefficiencies and delays for construction firms, which is why 48% use software tools to automate scheduling tasks. Workflow automation is crucial in construction. It has the power to make complex projects more efficient by coordinating and executing tedious tasks involved with scheduling, budgeting, resource management, and reporting – tasks that otherwise must be completed by numerous individuals across an organization.
Construction firms can optimize workflows by automating tasks and activities, including scheduling, estimates, and bidding. Project managers should look for project management tools that come with critical features, such as detailed reports that can be created on a schedule automatically so that teams never miss a beat.
5. Firms in the construction industry seek better technology solutions
When asked how often firms seek out new solutions and software to help improve processes, only 3% responded that they only look for technology when they’re desperate. For everyone else, using new technology solutions is key to the success of their organization. And 30% of construction firms said they are always looking for better tools to improve workflows.
There is a significant need for software solutions that construction firms can use to benefit their organizations, but they are often general products that lack customization or job-related features. That’s why many firms are turning to low and no-code software tools that even non-IT employees can use to build tailor-made programs to gain control over their workflows.
The bottom line
Digital transformation in the construction industry has been slow, but firms are realizing how tools and technology can help improve visibility into every aspect of a construction project, from pre-planning to quoting, all the way to closeout. Leveraging technology enables in-house and on-site teams to communicate seamlessly in real-time, improving workflows and producing more successful outcomes.
While more construction firms are turning to software tools to help automate workflows and reduce inefficiency, there is still a need for unified software that can be customized on a project-by-project basis.
Quickbase helps construction firms carry out complex projects with easy-to-use no-code technology. Without any prior coding experience, construction team members can create unique workflow automations to set firms up for success.