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By Erica Konieczny
April 12, 2016
How much is information management costing you?
How much of your company’s overhead costs are spent on information management? Construction firms have traditionally relied upon administrators and office personnel to capture, organize, and store data, as well as use that data to create a seemingly endless array of documents and reports. These tasks are expensive to companies, even when all is going well. And in reality, despite everyone’s best efforts, inaccuracies inevitably creep in and become amplified as they travel through the system.
In addition to expenses related to office staffing, inefficient information transmission in the field can result in lost profits. Cost, payroll, and schedule data are difficult to capture on paper during the fast pace of a typical day on the job site.
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Significant efficiency gains have been realized as project management and related administrative tasks move to computerized platforms, facilitating a more immediate and frictionless transfer of information. For the most part, platforms arose as a natural outgrowth of existing knowledge silos, that is, scheduling software was developed for schedulers, estimating software was developed for estimators, and accounting software was developed for accountants. Existing departments within your company have probably been using software programs to simplify their daily routine for years now.
The next step, is to improve knowledge transfer between silos as well as between the field and office. Gradually, a greater number of team members are gaining access to a greater amount of information—and getting it the moment they need it—reducing costly delays and miscommunications.
You may be thinking, “that's really not part of my job..." Hundreds of individual data categories feed into project management, dramatically influencing a project’s overall productivity and outcomes. Matters ranging from contractor compliance to employee time collection can be handled more effectively in the field, in real time. Rather than filling out paperwork and having it processed later by support staff. Real time, accurate cost data gives project managers control over project budgets, allowing them to accurately forecast project costs, and provides them with better insight into the financial impact of a project. Remember, too: the construction phase of a project is not the time for creative planning. While much value-engineering and cost savings can be accomplished during a project’s pre-construction stage, once construction is underway, the goal is to adhere as closely as possible to the schedule and already established design details—because any deviation has the potential to cause delays. And unfortunately, late-stage changes and miscommunications tend to have a domino effect.It is best, therefore, if real time tracking and data input, facilitated now by user-friendly software and mobile devices, is leveraged to promote adherence to drawings and to the construction schedule, as well as enable quick course correction when things do go wrong. You no longer have to bug accounting or wait until the once-a-month forecasting effort to glean project insights. You get them every time you log into your software, without the need to manually aggregate separate data sources to see the full picture.
To read the rest of the eBook, "Uncover the Hidden Cost of Project Silos," click here.
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