As general contractors push to do more with less, optimization tools become a project managers’ best friend.
While finalized plans serve as a play by play manual, flow of information and its changes can become a mess when handled the old-school way. A recent Construction Today article, “Game Changer” by Stewart Carroll, covers how the use of cloud technology to aid in a smooth, all areas covered construction project management.
When data and plans are available to all construction project stakeholders in a cloud-based storage tool, teams are in touch with shared, common information—in the palm of your hand on the go. Instead of a PDF file on a flash drive, historical price information can be maintained and referenced to keep record of any notable trends from project to project.
During times when there are questions from owners, this information eliminates the need for constant communication disrupting attention toward number crunching requiring some heavy attention. Carroll points out a valid point in his article: during a time when answers are available at the click of a mouse on Google, there is an expectation for the same instant feedback from a client’s construction manager. This is now feasible.
The tough part—the cost is a bit hard to swallow for small firms intimidated by the pricing. The billing structure comes with a price tag a bit higher than your average software license, but there isn’t much of a comparison from an offering standpoint. As Carroll frames it, “In exchange, you will get unlimited, centralized updates and a vendor who handles all the technical issues and date security, freeing your IT team to do other things besides update and fix software on machine after machine.”
Although cloud computing can mean different things to different people, combating the inevitable change of construction projects with updated information is a huge value add. Especially given all the different venues information is used in construction (job sites, client locations, or a headquarters office, etc.), there is opportunity for a secure and organized continuity of business.
As positive as this technology can be, making the transition can be difficult if handled too quickly. A construction management software, Sage, poses the same thought:
“Should your construction company scrap current investments or practices to leverage cloud technologies? It makes more sense to extend and leverage the applications you use already and invest in the cloud where there are obvious advantages to doing so, furthering your technology footprint across your field operations.”
However these applications relate to your process, there is some strong efficiency potential worth exploring.
March/April 2017 Issue of Construction Today, page 10