Construction businesses can stay ahead of the competition through digitization by making their operations more efficient. Suppose you haven’t implemented digitization in your construction company. You could be missing out on many benefits, such as broader client reach, high return on investment, and new business opportunities.
Prepare for the future by kickstarting your digital transformation journey. And as a good start, prioritize major IT infrastructure considerations and embrace innovation in your construction business.
Furthermore, this post will outline a five-step plan to help you digitize your construction business and help achieve company goals and objectives. Read on to learn more.
Step One: Assess Your Digital Needs
The first step in digitizing a construction business is to assess your digital needs. For instance, you may be looking to eliminate repetitive, manual administrative tasks and automate them. Examples include construction worker scheduling, payroll, attendance monitoring, cost calculation, etc.
If you’re expanding your construction business, you might need a centralized information hub that in-office and field employees can access for more efficient operations. That said, assess your needs by meeting your core employees to discuss the operational struggles, gaps, loopholes, security risks, must-have features, and other concerns.
Step Two: Use Digital Forms
Most successful construction companies are now digitized and utilizing digital forms to improve data management and boost productivity. If you’re a contractor, using digital forms can help digitize the documentation process and give you the ability to capture information using your mobile device. The most common digital forms for construction businesses include log forms, safety forms, work order forms, timesheets, checklists, and inspection forms.
Below are how these digital forms can help digitize and manage your construction business:
- Log Forms: Use log forms to enter all details from the construction site through a mobile app for reporting purposes.
- Work Order Form: A work order form automatically dispatches construction workers to the job site. This form streamlines the work order process and eliminates manual work.
- Timesheet Forms: Timesheet forms allow contractors to track employee hours. Construction workers can complete this form using their smartphones or other mobile devices. Furthermore, you can integrate digital timesheet forms with your existing HR and payroll applications.
- Safety Forms: Safety forms enable real-time monitoring and reporting of safety program progress. This form can help safety managers plan and strategize the best safety policies to improve workplace safety and reduce risks and liabilities.
Step Three: Invest In Construction Software
Construction software can help meet construction project management needs. This digital tool can capture and communicate live information from construction job sites to design professionals and project owners.
A construction software program allows field teams to access and capture construction data through maps, geo-portable document format (PDFs), two-dimensional (2D), or three-dimensional (3D) computer-aided designs (CAD), etc. Moreover, field teams can capture project updates, run inspections, customize forms, and flag issues using this tool.
However, tech investments, like construction planning software, usually require huge capital. This is where financing options like construction invoice factoring can help. Unlike conventional loans that require good credit and collateral, invoice factoring is usually more flexible and requires less paperwork. Using this financing option to digitize your construction business can help with its sustainability and growth.
Step Four: Strengthen Cybersecurity
While you’re doing your best to digitize the operation of your construction business, don’t forget to deploy cybersecurity solutions to keep your data and network safe. The top cyberattacks in the construction industry include insider attacks, business email compromises, data breaches, and supply chain attacks.
That said, create a cyber-physical system security strategy to holistically manage the Internet of Things (IoT) and the industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) properly. In addition, secure on-site and cloud-based backup environments to minimize the potential occurrence of downtimes.
Step Five: Migrate
Once you have digital forms and software systems in place and you’ve ascertained your cybersecurity resilience, it’s time to migrate fully into digitization. This means letting go of your old systems and business practices and shifting to the latest and most advanced business processes using digital tools and methodologies, such as cloud-based solutions.
Before migration, you must ensure that your employees, job site workers, subcontractors, customers, and other stakeholders are ready and equipped with the right knowledge to utilize such tools efficiently. That said, it’s essential for your frontline workers, who will be using digital tools and systems, to undergo training with the help of your tech solution provider.
Digitizing your construction business entails careful planning and assessing your needs and client demand. This can help you determine the appropriate tools to make your operations and construction sites safer and more efficient. Furthermore, don’t hesitate to consult experts in the industry and technology professionals as you plan the digitization of your construction business to ensure successful outcomes.