It is not an overstatement to note that today’s successful construction companies depend on their IT systems as much as they do any hammers and nails. Successful contractors find integrating the role of a quality IT partner critical to meeting budgets and deadlines while maintaining profitability.
It’s All About the Right Information at the Right Time
Information Technology is a catchall term for a combination of powerful and complex computer-based resources. However, just like an important tool, you don’t want to worry about how IT works or even why. You just want to be confident that your IT partner is managing and providing you with the information you need in the most efficient, timely, and cost-effective manner possible.
Rather than creating management challenges, the quality IT partner will help you prevent problems and assist in solving those that do arise. This is critical to you as the one that is responsible for getting the job done, especially in today’s demanding environment.
There is hardly any aspect of the construction process that well-deployed and effectively managed IT cannot enhance. This includes such disparate areas as:
- Bidding and proposals
- Project scheduling and process management
- Compliance and regulatory requirements
- Inventory management
- Communications among all participants
Each of these areas of the construction continuum require the proper IT approach. Moreover, these individual components must integrate into a useful whole that provides needed information and controls from the conception of the project to its conclusion.
No Longer an Optional Tool
The right IT partner will help design, install, maintain and manage the proper information technology infrastructure. While these capabilities can provide competitive advantages when properly utilized, they are also essential basics in the hyper-competitive construction industry. Just as your competitors can buy the same tools you can access, it is how they are put to work that makes the difference.
As the use of the Internet and computing migrates into all aspects of the construction industry, you find everyone from customers to vendors to regulators expecting companies to utilize efficient IT methods and resources. It is increasingly impossible to meet those expectations without the right IT partner to handle the many intricacies involved.
Managing the Ongoing Evolution
You know the construction industry is constantly changing and introducing new materials, methods, and processes. There is a similar reality in the IT world, and the changes often come even faster. Whether it is tracking the latest software updates or moving information between local computing devices and the cloud, IT is managed in an ever-changing environment.
Achieving the right partnership will allow the right division of tasks and responsibilities so the IT process facilitates every component of the job to be accomplished. When properly implemented this infrastructure will be largely transparent other than the results it provides. The characteristics of any solution offered by a competent IT partner will include:
- Detailed and customizable real-time reports and information flow
- Full access to systems onsite and remotely on multiple devices
- Integration of data between different applications
- Flexibility to modify requirements to reflect changed orders and schedule modifications
- Comprehensive analysis, estimates and updates to facilitate management decision-making.
Managing a Dynamic Process
There is no one-time solution to the properly designed and functioning IT equation. Managing and monitoring the flow of data and inputs across multiple applications requires a robust and dynamic approach to the challenge. Your IT partner must provide a scalable solution that works in the pre-construction process as well as in the midst of the most intense construction phases.
Achieving this result requires the melding of trained and experienced personnel with the right hardware, software and networking resources. It is that competence you find in your best subcontractors. Even more, this partner is not just handling the one component a subcontractor might be tasked to accomplish. Rather, they are in the seat with you coordinating both the overview and the infinite details involved in the entire project.
There was a time just a few years past when the IT component of the construction industry could end up being somewhat of a hindrance. It often seemed that the computer made your job tougher rather than being a productive assistant.
With a qualified IT partner, that is certainly a reality that is in the past. If you understand the importance of the right partner, you won’t settle for one that can’t deliver the total solution. Once that carefully selected partner is on board and working alongside you, you’ll never tackle another project without them.