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March 18, 2017

Breaking Down Data Silos in Construction Management

For many years, construction companies traditionally saw their overhead costs absorbed by manpower among office staff, often times in accounting and administrative capacities. It’s not hard to understand why: with a culture that was heavily paper-based, most companies had no choice but to invest in home office staff to manually process and scrub through paperwork from field teams, subcontractors and project owners.silos.gif

Fortunately, many construction management firms have evolved from this approach, reducing the expense and waste of paper while also helping office teams become more strategic in their decision-making. But it wasn’t nearly enough: although construction firms adopted new technology to streamline work flows, knowledge centers still remained isolated from other departments.

For instance, software developed for schedulers remained in the scheduling department. Ditto for accounting and estimating. And while technology adoption has done much to simplify each department’s manual labor output, it has done nothing for fostering collaboration and engagement between different office teams.

The next phase for most companies is to begin facilitating data transfer between these siloed departments. While it may seem easier said than done, the key to implementing this process most effectively relies upon a robust project management software framework that facilitates sharing and collaboration between the field teams and office staff. The more your data flows between the various silos of a construction business, the greater its impact will be on improving the customer experience and becoming more strategic in forecasting and budgeting.

Modern project management software can eliminate barriers between teams and enable problem solving in real time. Not only that, it can help project teams predict anticipated costs and make quick adjustments in the event of a change order or other discrepancy that deviates from the original drawings. Although a sit-down with the engineers, architect, owner and contractor is helpful, the right project management software can give teams the authority to be even more proactive and nip potential problems in the bud early and quickly.

Just like on the jobsite, better tools usually yield better results. Isn’t it time your project management software had the same effect?

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