Ask any construction managers what their office workflows were like ten years ago and most will tell you that paper was king and collaboration happened freely – if you were standing in the same room as your co-collaborators. Needless to say, inefficiencies were common and data was housed in disparate locations, forcing team members to scramble and inaccuracies to be more common than not.
A recent meeting of construction industry leaders convened at the annual Associated General Contractors (AGC) meeting, which in 2016 coincided with one of the industry’s major tech conferences, ConExpo. Front and center of many presentations and discussions was the explosion in BIM usage (Building Information Modeling) on all types of projects, and the importance of maximizing BIM benefits with field technology software that enables anytime, anywhere collaboration.
At United Solutions, we understand the importance of investing in construction technology tools that help drive greater efficiency while eliminating waste, both from the landfills and from within a company’s approach to project management. In fact, new software solutions not only help teams work more collaboratively, but also ensures those teams are adhering to the latest principles of lean construction management.
Building Smarter, Not Harder
Experts agree: tools like BIM are increasingly the norm rather than the exception. Although a handful of users at every company still rely on hard copies of blueprints and drawings, the number of those individuals is dwindling as more teams embrace the benefits of BIM as their go-to collaboration tool. Not only that, but technology-based applications like BIM are having a profound effect in other areas: winning new work.
It’s not surprising. As the economy chugs along, companies considering major building projects are wise to consider the technological acumen of the construction manager or general contractor they are considering hiring. This can make all the difference between a team that operates in perfect harmony or one where it feels like the arms and legs don’t know what the head is doing. Perhaps most significantly, construction companies stand to generate worthwhile cost savings as a result of their collaboration software investment.
Take Providence, Rhode Island-based Gilbane, a USI/Sage Estimating user: their teams have decreased their average labor hours per project by 35 percent. Credit modern construction management technology tools and BIM for sparking the reduction and allowing teams to cross tasks off their list directly from the field.
To understand why this convergence of technology is so significant, you have to dig a bit deeper. It’s not just the efficiency, or the ease of information access. It’s the removal of silos, or other barriers that have kept project managers from being completely in sync with architects or subcontractors – or worse, their clients. With greater access to information across all layers of the team, it becomes possible to create one, coordinated approach to project management. Collaboration isn’t some abstract concept – it’s a tangible application your clients will demand and expect.
Achieving a Tech-Driven Approach
Fortunately, the technology landscape for construction managers, general contractors and subcontractors has been changing rapidly to offer a range of software applications that can help teams reach the highest level of collaborative project management. Some of the most exciting innovations include:
As companies like Gilbane continue to realize significant cost savings as a result of their software investment, adoption of technologies like the ones above is expected to continue to accelerate. With the added benefits of greater collaboration, reduced paper wastes and ease of information access, it’s clear that programs like BIM are just the tip of the iceberg as it relates to the range of applications that enable construction companies to win more work and drive costs down.
SAGE ANNOUNCES… Navisworks Integrator!
Navisworks Integrator is an add-on for eTakeoff Bridge that enables Estimators to provide seamless integration between Autodesk Navisworks and Sage Estimating.
This means that Estimators can now use the familiar ‘drag & drop’ functionality provided by eTakeoff Bridge to automate the transfer of quantities and measurements from Navisworks 3D Models directly into Sage estimates!
Navisworks Integrator allows estimators to:
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