With $30 trillion in projected spending by 2030, declining project productivity and adoption of low-tech, the construction industry needs a technological overhaul. From small portable devices to enterprise software, there is a wide range of technology options available to modern construction organizations, including construction mapping software.
This article will focus on construction mapping software. We’ll explore issues with older construction project management platforms, how mapping software can help increase productivity across the board, and how to source a platform that best suits your organization’s needs. .
Decline in construction productivity and how technology can help
Productivity issues waste time and resources.
The McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) found that the construction industry could increase its value by $1.6 trillion globally by increasing productivity. In particular, 70% of megaprojects are at least 40% behind schedule.
When builds experience constant delays – due to rework, duplicate processes and miscommunication – the negative financial impact can be significant. For example, Westinghouse, a nuclear power company, filed for bankruptcy after continued delays and cost overruns on nuclear power plant projects pushed them into the red.
But what causes low productivity?
Effective project management can dramatically improve productivity
A review of the research revealed the following:
“Through our analysis of more than $1 trillion in capital projects over the past five years, we have found that improving basic project management skills offers the greatest potential for improving project performance. site.” – McKinsey Global Institute
“Most of the recommendations [for increasing productivity] was to improve various aspects of project management, including planning, communications, supervision, and personnel and labor practices. -The press of the national academies
With this in mind, project management software is essential.
However, not all project management software will solve all problems. Using the wrong software can even create problems. The right software can make your life easier and your business more efficient. It must be built taking into account the needs of the construction industry.
Effective project management software requires a map
Construction project management software should do three things well:
- Simplify processes
- Document progress
- Reduce project duration
Unfortunately, most software does not achieve these goals.
Since construction is a physical process tied to a specific location, organizing like you would for other industries – by name, date, or file number – doesn’t work. To be truly effective, construction software must be organized by location using a mapping platform.
Digital maps are the future of construction project management
Maps are incredibly powerful tools. Columbus secured funding for his trip to America with a map of the world. The Waterloo map helped the British defeat Napoleon, and a series of top secret maps contributed to the Allied victory on D-Day. Not only are the maps still in use in 2022, but they are also an integral part of our daily lives. With over a billion monthly users, Google Maps is the perfect example.
To be truly useful for construction projects, software must mirror the physical world.
Mapping software increases transparency and enables trust
Contractors and owners live in a culture of mistrust, which further degrades project productivity.
Owners have limited information about what is happening at their construction sites. So when a contractor changes the offer, the owners wonder if the changes were necessary. For entrepreneurs, that means jumping through hoops and documenting everything to prove they’re following the rules.
An underlying problem is that owners don’t have a simple overview of their projects. Another is that documents and verbal reports are subject to interpretation and therefore easy to challenge.
Build trust by providing easily accessible visual documentation
With an aerial view of the construction site, owners can easily follow their projects. With location-based organization, contractors can document work quickly and accurately.
Additionally, location-based visual records break the reliance on written records. In the event of a dispute, all stakeholders will have access to photographic evidence, precise measurements and geo-referenced plans.
With less to interpret, there is less to dispute. Communication, trust and understanding increase when everyone has access to the same digital database.
Reduce rework with real-time data sharing and communication
A study by the Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences reports that 30% of work done by construction companies is rework. Another study reports that touch-ups can cost up to 5% of the total project value. For projects valued in the millions, even 5% is a significant sum.
Rework has many causes: unclear instructions, slow design, poor documentation, unrealistic deadlines, and simple human error, to name a few.
Map-based software solves many of these problems. It speeds up communication, organizes documentation and provides quick access to vital information.
Process and store data collected in the field by connecting hardware and software
For software and hardware to work together effectively, two things must be true:
1. Hardware should be reliable, user friendly and cost effective.
2. The software must be able to import and organize the data captured by the hardware.
Sensors, drones, mobile devices and self-guided machines produce huge amounts of data.
Construction software must be able to collect and display this data efficiently. Instead of burying this data in dense folder systems, you can overlay, sort and filter this information on a map for a context-rich record of your project.
A Quick Start Guide to Buying Construction Mapping Software
As you begin to explore your software options, here are four questions you should consider:
What are your pain points?
Consider the most frustrating, complicated, or expensive part of your workday. Create a list of these problems and use it as a reference.
What’s too expensive?
Construction mapping software lets you organize and track expenses, giving you the information you need to increase your profit margins and compete effectively.
What needs to be improved?
Maybe you just want to streamline your operations and expand your project capacity. Consider aspects of your business that may limit growth.
Who needs access?
Many software vendors charge per user. If you want to integrate your entire organization, look for a platform with an open license structure.
6 steps to buy mapping software
1. Do your research
Identify your needs and create a spreadsheet listing the ideal features. Research your options and take notes on how each product meets your wish list.
2. Talk to your team
Do not skip this step! If your team doesn’t like the software, they won’t use it effectively, no matter what features it offers.
3. Get an online demo
Don’t pay for software until you see it in action. Request demos from each company. Ask them to walk you through, explain relevant features, and create a quote. Better yet, see if the software vendors offer a free trial, so you can try out the software yourself.
4. Do a cost/benefit analysis
By now you should have narrowed your search down to two good options. Analyze the cost and estimated savings to see which software will provide the most value.
5. Run it again by your team
Get feedback on the last two options. Remember, if your team doesn’t like the software, they won’t be using it to its full potential, reducing the potential benefits.
6. Try the software on a test project
Testing is essential. They allow you to solve problems in a controlled, low-stakes environment. Deploy your new software on a single project. Observe how your team interacts with it and make sure it works as expected.
With success, you can then expand across multiple projects. You may also have feature requests that you can forward to the software vendor as this relationship develops.
Ultimately, if you’re like the entrepreneurs we spoke with, you’ll see that the value of mapping software affects the bottom line — your profit margins.