Decision making on facts

There is one certain thing in construction and it is change. Not being able to adjust to change and the dynamic environment expose your projects to risk of delays and financial loss. This is why it is especially important for construction leaders to make decisions on facts and steer the business in the right direction.

Moving with the times

In the past, most construction companies used to create various reports that they then distributed through different departments so the work can continue on schedule and within budget. Not only did these take a long time to compile, but it also meant that the reports were out of date very soon after distribution. If you are still working with spreadsheets and you would like to improve efficiency, it is crucial to move with the time! Access to live reporting data in real time and from anywhere can take a huge administrative and mental burden off you and your workforce.

Coordinate field teams better

There is so much going on on construction sites and the slightest delay on one activity/task can have an incredible impact on the project schedule. Activities are often well synced, external factors are taken into account and when you think that you have got it all covered, you spend hours on the phone updating the office or communicating with suppliers. Introducing digital handheld devices in the industry is becoming more and more popular and it simplifies the process even further when they are fully integrated with the business management system. If so, the submitted updates feed the rest of your business and get immediately reflected in finance and project dashboards.

Read more: Efficient construction project management in 7 easy steps

It is clear that field reporting is one of the main elements of a successful project delivery. But how can you ensure you make the right business critical decisions in a time sensitive environment if you don’t have all the data  in front of you – accurate, live and in real-time?

Progress report

Daily reports in construction are a must. They indicate which activities have been completed, which have been delayed and help identify the best corrective actions. In construction, everything happens very fast and often at the same time. Good planning and coordination are key. However, there are times when it feels that there are not enough hours in the day for site managers to create daily reports. Then, the daily reports become weekly reports and eventually even bi-weekly. Things get missed. This is detrimental for successful project delivery. Being on top of your projects and staying there is not impossible. But for this to happen, simple and quick digital report submission should be introduced.

Material reports

Construction companies are always on the look out for the latest changes and ways to boost the building quality. Materials are highly dependent on the new trends and so are their prices. It is a standard practice to enroll in services that create reports on market and material trends listing the benefits of each building approach. Or what you could also do is to set up a list of preferred suppliers within your system. Then estimators and procurement will refer to the same information which will improve cost planning and project predictability.

Cost-to-complete reports

Cost to complete reports are very popular and extremely useful in construction. They show the amount spent to the current stage of the project and should give a clear idea about the budget needed for labour and materials to fully complete the building. Arguably, this is the most important report – it includes data from the other ones but also allows you to run a reality check on the projected margins at the initiation phase and ensure that your business remains profitable. Cost to complete reports are not new. Unfortunately, they are still far too often manually generated. They are very time-consuming activity and, sadly, by the time the report has been submitted to construction business leaders, it is already out of date. With all-in-one digital systems, these reports can be created in no time and minimum effort while reflecting the latest data.

Take a look at some of the areas where you will see considerable improvements once you go down the digital route in our blog ‘What if you do not digitise‘.

One source of the truth

Involved in major projects? Construction companies cannot afford to prepare and produce project reports in a reactive manner. Data-driven decision making is necessary today to identify warning signs early, to analyse the situation, identify the best way to tackle it and perform corrective actions. After all, you would not choose to drive your car with the lights off at night, would you?

For more information read the whitepaper about managing risks in construction.

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About the author

Paul Broderick | Paul has developed a keen eye for seeing specific customer requirements and recommending solutions to deliver business benefits and returns-on-investment. In the last three years Paul has focused this experience and knowledge specifically on the Construction industry, where digitisation is now the hot topic in IT, which has evolved and matured to become most relevant in today’s construction industry.