Why access to real time data matters
The uptake of digitisation is widespread across many industries in Australia, the construction industry however performs with a much lower rate of adoption. This is driven by a strong focus on project delivery, an industry wide caution when spending on IT related technology and a heavy reliance on multiple software solutions. A slower rate of IT technology take-up limits some construction companies access to consolidated, business critical real time data. This often results in less foresight, rigor and control when making business decisions.
With its highly mobile workforce, the construction industry is an ideal candidate to take advantage of the benefits of digitisation, primarily around the automation of business processes and the sharing of real time data across multiple devices, users and locations. Industry specific software with real time functionality is now widely available for businesses both large and small. By taking advantage of technology focused on delivering timely, accurate and integrated data, construction businesses achieve greater visibility across the organisation and regain full control by reducing costs, eliminating risk and adding value.
The value of real time data.
The major benefit of accessing data in real time shows up in how you use that data to make more informed operational, strategic and business management decisions faster. If you consolidate information collected across all business functions, including accounts, payroll and project management, your ability to analyse data, manage change, delays or trends, as well as avoiding duplication of effort is exponentially increased. The best part is that it can be done anywhere, anytime on any device. Some of the key business processes that are enhanced with access to real time data and business analytics include:
- Accounting – debtors and creditors balances, cash balance, remote PO approval
- Timesheets and Payroll – daily timesheet submissions and approvals
- Project Management – budgets, forecasts, WIP, scheduling, delays, resource utilisation
- Management Dashboards – improved visibility across business functions, single view of all projects, enhanced issue management and resolution.
Integration equals visibility. Visibility equals control.
As a business grows there is a natural tipping point for older or less proficient software to quickly reach a state where its ability to manage and service that growth is compromised. Most construction companies already have multiple software solutions in place to manage core functions like accounts, payroll or project management. Where there are multiple solutions in place, they are usually not integrated, leaving critical business data both disconnected and scattered across silos within the company. There remains no single view of the entire business, and therefore no access to credible real time data.
Visibility across multiple projects and activities becomes more difficult for owners and management to access and control. Without an integrated solution in place providing access to data from a single source, project, purchasing and budget control becomes a real challenge.
With an integrated solution in place, business process and automation ensure any activity is measured and controlled in real time. This allows interventions and controls to be put in place much earlier, which ultimately improves the accuracy of job information for improved profitability and sustainable growth.
Using technology to fuel growth. A modular approach.
You don’t have to do everything at once. The best approach is to start with an integrated technology that is modular and can be implemented in phases to suit the business. Start with the areas in your business that will deliver the greatest benefit from automation today and implement new modules as you grow.
Accounting and payroll functions are a logical place to start. By using a single system to streamline and automate all your finance functions, there will be controls in place to manage payroll, purchasing and budget controls that greatly reduce risk.
A solution built specifically for the construction industry will provide more functionality specific to your business requirements. For example, being able to automatically assign labour on-costs to jobs direct from timesheet information based on workplace agreements will save time, minimise data entry errors and provide more accurate information about your labour costs. This means you can achieve the benefits of an integrated software solution in a short space of time.
Construction companies need to deliver multiple projects on time and budget, with a focus on efficiency, quality and safety. An industry specific solution will deliver critical business insights in real time, wherever you are, allowing you to focus on delivering core business activities, and give you the peace of mind knowing your information is accurate and reliable.