In 2020, Forrester surveyed 1300 Dynamics 365 users for nailing down the advantages of migrating from on-premise legacy systems to Microsoft’s go-to Azure cloud solution. Here’s what the study revealed:
- Ownership costs (licensing fees, infrastructure costs) were reduced by $7.96 million.
- Other business profits (operational gains, employee productivity) gained $8.10 million.
So, it doesn’t come as a surprise when Gartner names Microsoft as a visionary in its 2021 Magic Quadrant for Cloud Core Financial Management Suites for mid-sized, large, and global enterprises.
As it happens, the solution delivers as much for the construction sector too. From automating tedious processes to accelerating project delivery, Dynamics 365 presents itself as an all-inclusive solution to take the construction industry to the next level.
In fact, the construction sector has been a beneficiary of this cloud platform for some time now. Digitization has started influencing this industry in ever-deeper ways and is aiding companies in streamlining their business processes without resorting to expensive re-invention.
Leveraging Dynamics 365 Capabilities for Construction Projects
- 360 Degrees Resource Visibility
The construction business is perfect for a holistic approach towards project monitoring and resource allocation — a facet driven by the need to effectively administer concurrent multi-faceted projects.
Dynamics 365 Project Operations facilitate an intuitive dashboard to monitor projects along with project details, timelines, and the associated resources allocation overview for each job. Through this integrated data visualization solution, a construction company can easily and intelligently:
- Distribute resource workloads
- Match skills and equipment with project requirements
- Schedule operations as per the resource availability
- Proactive Business Intelligence
McKinsey & Company outlines that data-driven decision-making is critical to the development of smart infrastructure, servicing building-information modeling (BIM) projects, and defining high-conversion sales channels. These are all areas of key concern in modern construction projects that seek greater efficiency, impact, and competitive strength.
Considering that construction projects often spread across multiple phases, it is essential to be able to monitor the progress of the project through its lifecycle. Advanced data analytics presents itself as a great option to do just that.
With Dynamics 365 AI, delivering an integrated business intelligence (BI) function is possible thanks to the following capabilities:
- In-depth insights generation around customer preferences
- Enabling an AI future aligned with changing market dynamics
- Real-time feedback and suggestions
Dynamics 365 is perfectly capable of serving as the central repository for several crucial business processes in construction. After all, these are the projects held under the umbrella of a construction company, so it’s only natural that they have all their vital statistics centralized.
- Improved Planning and Scheduling
One of the most important aspects of construction is planning for each phase of the project. Once the design has been finalized, it’s imperative to ensure that the inter-departmental processes are managed and tracked efficiently. Managing dependencies is critical to ensure the project stays on plan.
Dynamics 365 comes equipped with supply chain management tools to effectuate the project plan and realize key deliverables. Such a solution can be tailored and implemented for on-the-go project managers or specific on-site activities using the help of specialist Microsoft Partners.
Such tools immediately influence the reporting structure by making it easier to generate real-time project updates, conduct post-project evaluations, and disseminate project lessons learned. This makes ongoing project management easier. It also makes it easier to “close the books” on complex projects.
- Improved Customer Service
A construction project involves a multitude of stakeholders across design, engineering, procurement, and MEP departments. Project clients and business partners further add to the hierarchical complexity of a highly sophisticated project life cycle. As such, managing and enhancing the experience of each entity involved is a massive challenge.
With Dynamics 365, companies have a single source that helps with:
- Assigning roles to support agents
- Helping agents with predictive intelligence
- Dedicating an application profile manager
- Defining a concrete path for routing
- Establishing an explicit pipeline for case management
- Automating case information updates
- Maintaining knowledge bases
- Facilitating omnichannel support across applications
- Using technologies like IoT for an enhanced experience
- Scheduling the resources to cater to customer service
- Improved Vendor Management
Every construction project involves multiple players, and each company has separate systems for managing vendor information. Dynamics365 has a dedicated tab within the vendor details, which allows companies to see the different facets of a vendor’s operations.
It also offers a team-centric approach along with a section dedicated to individuals working on the various projects. This way, companies can keep track of vendors and their performance on a project-by-project basis.
It’s noteworthy, however, that implementing vendor management capabilities entails an understanding of the implementation of supply chain solutions and a general understanding of procurement and warehouse procedures — something that a dedicated Microsoft Partner with experience in the construction sector can assist with.
- Real-time Collaboration
Since all the data is centralized with Dynamics 365, companies can collaborate across departments with greater ease. It’s now possible for the client to be privy to information regarding the project, vendors, and supply chain.
Not to mention that the field workers who are relaying the project information to their end-users via mobile apps can also stay inherently connected. Solutions such as Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations for project and relationship management, traceability and documentation, and financial management can absolutely revolutionize the desired coalition.
As such, the construction companies can work in concert with the client as well as workers to drive data-driven decision-making and ultra-efficient execution at all stages.
To Sum Up
It’s important to note that the collaboration capabilities of Dynamics 365 with technologies like IoT can enable a powerful optimization framework for across-the-board operations. This means that a successful implementation will only strengthen your construction business going forward.
The implementation of Dynamics 365 solutions is significant in the sense that it enables seamless business operations across industries. The specific use-case of Dynamics 365 in construction is groundbreaking because it aims to solve fundamental problems and roadblocks associated with project management, vendor management, customer service, and real-time collaboration.