When it comes to running a successful construction business, there are many factors that come into play. But one of the most important? Internal operations management. The back office, yard and warehouse teams are the backbone of any construction business. They analyze, manage, monitor and plan every project from start to finish. Every aspect of a project is controlled and managed by your internal operations staff- from preconstruction through project completion. No construction project could ever take shape without a successful internal operations staff.
But as times change, businesses cannot solely rely on the talent and hard-work of their internal staff. They must provide their teams with technology solutions so employees can optimize internal processes and maximize their valuable time.
Historically, the construction industry has not embraced technology with open arms. From 1947 to 2010, the construction industry’s productivity levels were practically stagnant while most other industries increased productivity and revenue with digital solutions and technology. Fortunately, the industry has moved to embrace digital solutions and new technologies in the last decade.
And as the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of technology more quickly than ever, the importance of accepting and utilizing technology is more important than ever. Industry leaders are learning that technology solutions are vital to optimizing profitability and productivity.
For executive leaders who want to improve profitability and productivity at their organization, I suggest the following 4 steps:
1. Analyze and Improve Supply Chain Management
To effectively manage the supply chain, you must have a solid grasp on all movement of resources, activity, equipment and consumables from the start to finish of a project. It is vital to track and analyze every internal process, anything from outside vendors or in-house transfers, and make sure that no step or item is omitted. Each efficiency improvement translates to an increase in your bottom line.
2. Connect Teams in Real-Time for a More Accurate Cost Review
Connect your teams and share vital information in real-time to encourage collaboration and cost-effective decision making. For a more precise costing and budgeting process, companies must have a clear idea of project costs, including the tool, equipment, materials, and consumables information and utilization. Real time data gives managers the information needed to meticulously assess job performance, increase profitability and improve ROI, all while freeing field and warehouse teams from time-consuming administrative tasks.
3. Invest in a Comprehensive Data-Analytics System
Without the proper data, it is virtually impossible to forecast and make strategic decisions with complete accuracy. Utilize a reporting system that allows you to gain insight into all company operations to perform precise forecasting and enable more data-driven management. This way, managers can help maximize tool and equipment utilization and avoid unnecessary purchases.
4. Streamline Field Requisition Processes
Provide warehouse and field staff with mobile tablets and smartphones to access information about company inventory in the field. This way, field and warehouse teams can stay on top of ever-changing needs without wasting time waiting on the phone or filling out forms. By connecting teams through mobile devices, field teams can have the equipment they need at the jobsite in the morning and throughout the day without delays, allowing them to be more efficient with their time.
The need for technological adoption in the construction industry has never been more clear. The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified the urgency to utilize digital solutions in order to improve internal process management. Supporting your internal operations staff with the tools they can access from anywhere to maximize their efficiency in the field will result in increased profitability throughout your organization.
Construction industry leaders must have full visibility into daily operations, data analytics and real-time communication to effectively plan and manage projects. When all aspects of a company work within a singular, interconnected system in real-time, all internal processes can be streamlined for more efficiency and profitability.
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