Business

Impact of Effective Data Sharing and Communication in Construction

A lack of effective data sharing and simple communication can have a snowball effect on construction companies.

Take, for example, what happens when a construction manager hires a contractor to install fiberglass in a new million dollar project. The contractor, who is paid hourly based on time in the field, arrives to the construction site to install the material to a new building — only to find out that the material is delayed. Now, not only did the contractor show up and waste valuable time for a task that is impossible to complete, but the construction company is wasting costs due to their requirement to pay the contractor.

If project managers don’t notify the other contractor in time, who then becomes dispatched to install the drywall, that their timeframe is now delayed, the wasted time and costs continue to add up.

Unfortunately, this is a situation that occurs all-too-often despite how critical effective communication is for the construction industry. Communication serves as the foundation for growth within any industry, and even-more so to align the various teams and stakeholders required for construction projects.

Poor communication is one of the top reasons construction projects fail. In fact, it’s the reason one-third of the time, according to the Project Management Institute (PMI).

In addition, a recent FMI survey of 600 construction leaders found that poor communication and poor project data account for 48 percent of all rework on U.S. construction projects, totaling $31.3 billion per year in avoidable construction costs.

In the twenty-first century and an era of mobile data capture, cloud technology and emerging solutions built-on data analytics, there is absolutely no reason for project failure from poor communication or ineffective data sharing.

Communication and data sharing between teams across multiple offices and off-site locations is impossible without the right resources, workflows, and tools. Construction companies that use technology to improve visibility and collaboration in the field can transform their project and future results.

Here are additional benefits from tools that close the gap between stakeholders, contractors and construction office staff:

Reduced site visits

With the ability to view and access project and site information through the use of construction management software, project managers and key stakeholders can reduce the cost of travel and reduce site visits. Daily Log, for example, records and tracks project progression, material delivery, physical inspections, weather delays and crew clock-ins. Each member of the team can collaborate, share specific information about the project or task and communicate any critical changes or updates in real time via secure cloud technology and a mobile platform.

More collaboration in real time

Whether it’s the project manager, foreman, architect or another contractor involved in the project, construction teams can use cutting-edge technology to collaborate on site-specific information in real-time and capture changes as they occur. Gone are the days where the myriad of people involved in a project are waiting for responses captured on pen and paper, emails or physical site inspections. Through mobile-supported construction management solutions, you can bring the entire team onboard to discuss or communicate course-correcting changes from the field as they occur.  No more individual sign-offs, no more delays in communication—and everyone has instant access to the same information through one platform.

Supports detailed oversight and reporting

Although pen and paper may always have a place in the construction field, project reporting has evolved since the days of paper timesheets and hardbound log books. Integrated tech solutions and field management solutions allow daily logs, time tracking, inspection and critical delivery information to be added by any crew member and then automatically displayed, tracked and filed into the office’s document management system. Crew members, regardless of their years experience, don’t even necessarily have to know how to write a construction report, the software does it for you and formats it in a way that all members of the project team can understand.

Reduces injuries and safety issues

The construction industry is a high-risk work environment, with more than 200,000 non-fatal construction injuries and more than 900 fatal incidents reported each year in the U.S. alone. Beyond falls and trips, the construction industry involves injuries from scaffolds, electrical installations and inappropriately wearing protective equipment. Companies that improve communication through data-sharing devices can improve safety. When workers don’t understand terminology, come across safety hazards or are using a new and improved piece of equipment for the first time, they can use a construction management solution to get tutorials, immediate support from a supervisor and even live video chatting capabilities. With the right construction management software, teams can improve productivity, reduce any additional costs or project delays, and improve site safety.

Enhanced security

Through file-sharing services powered on secure cloud technology, construction companies not only gain easier collaboration but more secure file sharing. Construction management software with built-in security measures project data and make it harder for the wrong people to access sensitive information. Construction management technology must protect information when stored, transferred to others or access in the field. Role-based access and group and user permissions allow companies to assign levels of functionality and responsibility in a field management solution, like Daily Log or Time & Attendance, so that organizations can protect their contractors and themselves. Administrative control also increases security by eliminating physical theft, loss, or destruction of your data.

See how effective communication and data sharing can support you

CEM Business Solutions is now offering Daily Log at no cost to customers. Click here for a free trial or try a demo here. For pricing and packaging information beyond the free trial, please contact your CEM Business Solutions representative or click here.