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March 02, 2020

Cloud Technology Improves More than the Bottom Line

cloudtechIt may seem elementary to think that customers expect exemplary customer service when working with a construction manager. However, there are still moments in time when missteps occur, and it forces everyone involved with a building project to step back and question where it all went wrong. Further complicating matters is the role social media and online reviews play in prolonging the pain of a negative interaction. These digital tools give consumers an even bigger mouthpiece to the world, allowing them to post negative feedback or footage capturing negligence or unpleasant encounters.

This is not to say scenarios can materialize outside of a contractor’s control, but it is possible to employ business practices that help reduce the potential for a flare-up occurring. There are some basics that have been the gold standard in customer service for the construction industry since its birth, but they’ve taken on new meaning with the arrival of technology that can either enhance the customer experience or alternatively, shine a light on the consequences of an oversight.

Let’s review how contractors can keep their reputation intact by using new technologies that make it easier than ever to surpass customer expectations.

Preserving Budgets and Reputations

While finishing work on time and on budget may seem like the lowest bar to clear, it’s not as easy to guarantee this result once you’re in the thick of a building project dealing with all the curve-balls it can throw. Surprises are almost certain, especially as it relates to unforeseen conditions or change orders that must be implemented in order to keep the project on track. Telling a building owner that the schedule won’t be met or the budget blown out of its intended limits is never a pleasant conversation, but new construction technology is designed to reduce the likelihood of those scenarios happening in the first place.

How? Through improved communication between the field and home office that cloud computing and mobile field tools enable. Collaboration software that links every member of the team in real-time can help communicate potential hurdles to clear before becoming insurmountable barriers. Mobile field tools empower superintendents and foremen to provide their insights about progress in the field immediately rather than waiting to get to the home office to transcribe their daily or weekly updates. Clients will undoubtedly respond well to a team that communicates at a high level, which can help make difficult conversations less painful or eliminate them entirely.

Collaboration is truly a central part of this process, as departmental silos have traditionally hampered the efforts of project teams to communicate effectively. Whether limited by geography or role, traditional means of sharing vital project updates often meant relying on paper documents or waiting for updates to appear once a team member scanned and uploaded documents when visiting the home office. Cloud collaboration tools have made these barriers a thing of the past by automating communications and workflows from wherever a team member is based – regardless if they are an in-house estimator or the project’s architectural partner sitting in a different city. Even better are the new levels of transparency that cloud computing enables, as users share updates directly in the software, leaving no doubt as to whether key documents were distributed among team members.

Other benefits to cloud software for the construction industry include the storage and dissemination of information that is vital to avoiding negative incidents. Managing and storing compliance documents is possible via the cloud, as is the sharing of updated safety guidelines and training materials that can ensure workers in the field are staying current with the latest certifications. Real-time updates afford teams access to the most current safety protocols, which can help reduce injuries and keep teams in compliance with legal and union requirements. Plus, it’s easier than ever to disseminate useful updates like toolbox talks and other internal documents that highlight jobsites with sterling safety records or field innovations that help keep workers safe.

Information is power and putting it into the hands of employees and partners whether in the field or home office in real-time can help improve the perception of a company simply by avoiding accidents and conflicts that cause delays and budget impacts.

Construction and the Cloud: An Ideal Union

While cloud software has been deployed by businesses across almost every industry, it’s important to realize the benefits for construction companies go beyond increased productivity. Better communication tools that cut down on conflict and keep workers safe ultimately protects and enhances a company’s image and can generate more work in the future with clients that feel like their project management team is in sync.  

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