The construction industry has been reluctant to embrace the benefits of IT in site offices. This is leaving a large proportion of their workers disconnected from head office and with little or no access to corporate information.
But things are changing. According to PwC, 19th Annual Global CEO Survey - “88% of engineering and construction CEOs plan to make changes - and nearly half plan to to make significant ones - in how they use technology to assess and deliver on wider stakeholder expectations.”
Several factors are now encouraging the industry to make the leap and adopt a more collaborative way of working. Managing a largely mobile workforce is very challenging, in particular when faced with skill shortages. The financial penalties of overdue projects and the complexity of mixed site projects make it riskier to invest in building land. The time spent on joining the dots between contractors and suppliers has a negative impact on productivity and profit margins.
Being able to collaborate more closely with colleagues at head office as well as the architects, engineers and subcontractors involved in the project, help to remove some of the practical issues - delays in receiving drawings, use of outdated data and inaccuracies caused by human error.
Here are 6 ways to improve productivity in the construction industry with cloud technology:
1. Deliver construction projects on time
Collaborating on projects in real time means you can improve performance, operational efficiencies and communication. Use easy-to-use a cloud project management and collaboration tool for simple tasks or complex processes. You can instantly change dates and create task dependencies, ensuring stakeholders always have the latest schedule.
2. Share information with all key stakeholders
Create intranets using Google Sites so all the relevant project information is available to anyone from anywhere. Review project drawings and share all associated documents that are usually too large to send by e-mail. Share relevant plans and checklists with clients and your supply chain, helping you to improve relations, deliver on time and differentiate yourself from competitors.
3. Default to video not telephone calls
You build much stronger relationships when you can read someone’s expressions. Hold face to face meetings with multiple people, anytime, from any location and on any device. Carry out meetings across multiple sites to broadcast announcements, or hold debriefs with head office, whilst on site using Google Hangouts.
4. Efficient processes for site and data collection
Capture all the relevant site data using Google Forms, helping deliver projects on time. Collate the results instantly into Google Sheets and share them with all stakeholders, including site managers and project managers.
5. Provide technology that supports productivity
Remove the need to send large files and wait for them to download - just store them in Google Drive and share them with the relevant teams or employees. Enabling employees to spend more time completing the job at hand and delighting customers.
6. Protect workers with up to date health and safety information
Make it easier for your mobile construction workers to access corporate information such as job sign off forms, site permits, safety procedures, health and safety records and updated site plans. Create a social network to learn from each other or feedback on projects or share useful information, using Google+.