The construction industry has always been wary of adopting digital technologies. But this past year has been the catalyst for a fourth industrial revolution, prompting businesses to embrace modernization as a way to streamline outdated processes, improve productivity and boost profitability.
So how can companies ensure they nail the landing of their digital leap? Choosing your technology partner is an important step of the process. Equally important is to follow best practices when rolling new technology out—no platform will be successful without proper implementation. Here are some best practices to consider.
Stay focused on your goals and determine your “must-haves”—top pain points and areas with the biggest potential for return on investment. Ask your teams what processes, issues or communication pipelines commonly cause delays. Their insights could reveal day-to-day problems that management might otherwise overlook.
Here are a few questions to ask: How best to facilitate communication among internal teams? Are there barriers to maintaining productivity for field teams? Any time-consuming tasks that could be streamlined? A need for more data for job costing, billing and forecasts? How to get better insights into your many assets?
Next, review the integration partners of any system you currently use for potential fits. The most successful technology platforms facilitate enterprise-wide collaboration. While start-ups can look impressive, be mindful. If they don’t have experience in construction or a robust support team, implementation can be difficult and day-to-day issues could stall your progress. Platforms that have a thorough implementation process, training programs and designated support staff will make all the difference.
You will want to select a partner that can grow as your business does. Pick platforms that value customer feedback, make updates consistently and are dedicated to innovation. You can request demos, recommendations, case studies and even industry articles from potential partners. Be upfront about your budget, goals and company history with technology. Inquire about the security of each platform. Lastly, weigh costs against the expected ROI of the software.
Once you’ve picked a partner, preparing for implementation is crucial. Collaborate with your new platform provider on a rollout plan that targets who will be most affected by the new technology, when teams will be trained and how to phase in the platform. Training sessions should include your entire leadership team.
Lead by example and make sure your entire organization understands the value of the new technology. Encourage those with influence to be enthusiastic about the new platform. After implementation, evaluate progress and analyze the data to determine if you’re headed in the right direction. Gather constructive feedback from all affected departments. Draw positive attention to employees utilizing the new technology and its advantages. Make it easy for your entire team to contact customer support staff and don’t forget to ask about their ability to help solve problems.
If you’re concerned about progress, reach out to your provider and recalibrate so you maximize the resources available to you. Remember that the value of a technology partner lies in the improvements in internal processes and workflows. You should soon see ROI emerge in improved productivity, efficiency and accuracy.