The construction industry is undergoing a data transformation as contractors are modernizing operations and implementing data-driven technologies.
The construction industry is in the midst of a transformation. Although once hesitant to embrace change, in the past few years, contractors have digitized their operations and moved to cloud- based technologies in order to stay competitive among tightening margins, rising costs, increasingly complex projects and labor challenges—and even unforeseen global events.
Now the focus is on connection—specifically connecting modern construction technologies with a single set of data, a single suite of interconnected solutions, and ideally, a single vendor. This has not only taken the technology management burden off the shoulders of contractors that are better suited to build rather than administrate, it has opened the door to turning massive amounts of project data into real, actionable insights.
Yet, too many contractors are still burdened by a reliance on multiple, disconnected software systems to handle different construction needs like accounting, project management or field management — this locks up data and prevents contractors from using it to understand their business performance—and grow.
As one of your most valuable assets, the data you need to run your business today isn’t what it once was. It’s evolving and so are the mechanisms to gather, analyze and act on it.
Disconnected systems and manual processes have long prevented contractors from truly understanding their projects as they're being built.
The Construction Data Disconnect of Legacy Systems
Your company is probably among the thousands of contractors who, in the past few decades, have invested heavily in ERP software and other construction software programs to help manage their business better. Yet, the same pains that have held your business back remain: lack of timely, accurate data available to all project stakeholders.
Disconnected, locally-hosted systems mean data is inconsistent, unreliable and can’t be shared in real time across project teams without heavy customizations or tedious manual reporting methods that require IT, analyst or expert help. This inability to accurately capture data in real time from the office to the field has a far-reaching ripple effect. Reports are not consistent and it’s cumbersome, if not impossible, to glean valuable insights from data.
The situation is compounded as additional third-party point software solutions are used as band- aids to fill data and workflow gaps that continue to widen. Before long, separate systems are running estimating, project management, accounting, labor tracking and many more functions, and you're stuck using inconsistent or inaccurate data to evaluate projections and make important business decisions. Year after year, your executive team can’t access forward-looking data on business performance and instead, they continue basing decisions on instinct and reactive data.
Usually, we hear that the time and capital invested in the on-premise ERP and other standalone technologies makes it difficult to justify making another technology leap, so contractors stick it out with what they have in place—until one day, they realize the business is in trouble and something has to change. Sound familiar?
Whether you're hesitant to make a change or you're chomping at the bit to become a modern, data- driven contractor, it can be a struggle to understand the best path forward, but it doesn’t have to be. Leading-edge technologies and data-driven vendors like Trimble Viewpoint make it easy for today's contractors to democratize, standardize and analyze data in real time—without having to be data scientists themselves.
With connected construction solutions, data-driven contractors have access to information on demand and the tools needed to quickly and easily make sense of project data.
How Connected Construction Fuels Data-Driven Contractors
Let's face it, as a contractor, data drives your business, so the concept of data-driven contractors is nothing new. What is new is that today's connected construction solutions are making data aggregation, analysis, reporting, and data-informed workflow automation not just possible, but easy.
Built on secure, hosted cloud platforms, connected construction suites deliver the real-time computing and data processing power that just wasn't available before. Whereas entire teams of construction professionals labored hours, days, even weeks through manual data processes and workflows to arrive at often incomplete findings, connected construction solutions are automatically connecting disparate teams and synchronizing data so everyone is working from a single source of data truth.
All of a sudden, there is a whole new world of information you can use to manage jobs effectively, among other huge benefits:
- Information is at a push of a button, and your teams waste less time re-entering data or waiting for data from the field
- Secure data protections and permission structures ensure only the right people are seeing the right information at all times
- Self-serve your data needs in just a few simple steps to answer questions, generate accurate and timely reports, or monitor project activity and performance
- Reliable, accurate and real time data makes it possible to better analyze in-progress project data to get ahead of potential issues before they lead to costly rework, or uncover new ways to boost productivity (and profitability).
- Predictive analytics help forecast future projects, issues and profitability, letting you know which projects are worth bidding on and which are not worth the hassle
- Accurate data analysis helps discover new opportunities to grow and diversify the business
Get the Inside Scoop
With a suite of connected, cloud-based construction solutions like Trimble Construction One, contractors have the power to transform their operations and take business to the next level.
A Long-Term Technology Partner
In order to accomplish the above, you can see why selecting the right technology partner is one of the most important decisions you’ll make on the path to improving your construction business.
- Your technology partner needs to have both lived in the dirt and thrived in the back office—with solutions specifically designed for the construction industry
- Your technology partner needs to have intimate knowledge of your real-world construction challenges and the experience and know how to build solutions to solve them
- Your technology partner needs to be invested in your company's long-term success, actually partnering with you instead of selling to you
Trimble Viewpoint can check those boxes and many more. For nearly five decades now, we have lived on the leading edge of the construction technology evolution and have helped thousands of clients leverage modern tech to help their businesses thrive by connecting and scaling their operations.
That's why we built Trimble Construction One on a modern cloud infrastructure platform,
Microsoft Azure, as well as some additional powerful tech infrastructure solutions that allow us to focus on creating simple user experiences and adding data computing horsepower. And with single sign-on, Trimble Construction One is your gateway to a complete universe of connected Trimble construction solutions—all right at your fingertips.
Trimble Construction One is easy for your whole organization to use, but also has the power to store and analyze massive amounts of data and can lead customers to cutting edge insights into profit fade, safety, subcontractors and more through sophisticated data models.
But this is not just about “construction data,” it's about understanding how and why to track the right data, and using data as a tool to make real, actionable decisions today, as well as properly scale your business for success for tomorrow.
To learn more about how Trimble Construction One can help your construction company thrive, connect with us today for your own personal evaluation.
Posted By Andy Holtmann
Andy is Marketing Content & PR Manager at Viewpoint. He has worked in the construction software arena since 2011. Previously, he netted multiple awards as a newspaper and trade media editor.