Construction projects can easily get off track if stakeholders, general contractors, subcontractors, crew members, and other parties involved can’t work efficiently together. Remember that the site isn’t the only workplace in construction. There is also the office where the contractor stays to manage the admin side of the project and there’s also the office of the client. Oftentimes, these workplaces are far from each other, making collaboration a bit of a challenge.
Construction Software for Improved Collaboration
But with the use of construction project management software, connecting with anyone in the team is possible in real-time no matter how far they are apart. It allows field and office employees to collaboratively work on a project in real-time by adding field notes, photographs, and progress reports as if both parties are sitting across from one another in a meeting room. Without the need to travel, they can still discuss matters thoroughly, making the abrupt implementation of solutions to issues possible. And one of the leaders in producing software that allows this work to be done is Pro Crew Schedule.
The construction software management of Pro Crew Schedule is a perfect collaborative tool for subcontractors. It allows for virtual team connection which saves time and money in the delivery of messages. It also allows foremen and other field staff to complete construction daily reports and time logs straight from their laptops and mobile devices. And the best part is that all reports and files can be saved for years without the need to erase them just to free space for new and incoming files. The cloud can accommodate them all with its safe and unlimited storage and allows members to view the files on a real-time dashboard.
So what does this mean?
Project managers can view daily work reports submitted by field personnel without having to physically visit a site every day. Even when they visit the site, they need to bring along a lot of important reports to check on possible issues and it can be a huge hassle to bring along blueprints and other hard copies of documents. Sometimes, they can even forget something behind and they’ll need to travel again just to get it. With the Pro Crew Schedule, they no longer have to miss anything. Browsing files through tablets is also more practical and convenient and it is possible with Pro Crew Schedule.
Since construction project management software allows site staff to transmit field notes and photos instantly, project managers can then give directions and assignments back to the field quickly. The result is quicker response times, and faster correction of safety issues.
Facts and Benefits of Real-time Collaboration
Apart from the benefits we mentioned above, Pro Crew Schedule’s real-time collaboration feature delivers a lot of other advantages that are already proven by its users.
- In a study, 91% of general contractors and project owners would agree that real-time collaboration greatly reduced risk on construction sites. Because instructions were given at the right time, crew members are guided to safety and risk issues are resolved immediately.
- The use of construction project management software and Building Information Modeling (BIM) improves multiparty communication and a better understanding of the project through clearer communication channels and 3D visualization.
- In another study on managing uncertainty in construction projects, owners, contractors, and designers agree that more integration and coordination between design and build parties during the early stages of the project significantly reduces the level of uncertainty that may cause disputes, delays, and over cost.
However, despite these benefits and widespread agreement about the value real-time collaboration in construction, the industry still struggles to be collaborative and this is because some firms are still hesitant to employ management software in their operations.
Those that are still on pen and paper or on excel stay at the bottom of the competition because they can’t improve the simple but very vital aspect of collaboration. But for those who are already on software, they continue to rise above the others and their concern now involves choosing the right platform for their collaboration.
Cloud-Based Collaboration Software for Construction
We’ve mentioned in a previous blog that construction management software may either be cloud-based or on-premise. While both have their great advantages, we find cloud-based more useful on the site where laptops and a network of cables can’t be installed anywhere.
Cloud-based collaboration in construction works to connect the field and office as well as general contractors with subcontractors. This is no longer a new concept and the world already knows about the benefits that cloud technology offers. Some of them include:
1.Ease of Access
Create files on any device whether you have a laptop or a mobile device on hand. Send them immediately to the appropriate personnel via the cloud where the other party can check them in real-time. You can even watch others edit the document making files always up to date with new information. If there’s a specific plan that you need from the office, you can simply request the admin to post them on the cloud and you can already view it in a few minutes.
Send documents to appropriate personnel without leaking information by controlling who can access the file you are posting on the cloud. Attach passwords or codes that only you and the right receiver know. This increases the privacy and security of your sensitive data that’s vital in keeping you on top of the competition.
Since file sending is done in real-time, you can also post comments along with the file so that the recipient will know about your concerns or suggestions and can work on them immediately. This makes communication between the office and the field more effective.
Many platforms have ways of integrating communication into their system too like emails and texts. Use them in your cloud-based construction management software too. Having all of the communication in one place that can be accessed from other devices is one way to ensure that everyone knows what is happening. It also is an excellent way to verify the information.
Some firms want a checklist or survey attached to daily reports to make checking progress a lot easier. And collaboration through cloud-based construction management software is a great way to improve project checklists. When the checklist is shared with the general contractor or project manager, they can suggest changes and verify steps. When they know the exact work that their crew members or their subcontractors are working on for the day, they can make sure that the work scope is completely understood. Likewise, subcontractors can send checklists to let the general contractor know what he needs to complete so they can carry on with their work. This makes communication and collaboration stronger between the two parties.
5.Eliminate Data Silos
Cloud-based construction project management software can eliminate silos between the back office and field. By storing documents in one place where everyone can access them improves knowledge sharing hence making stakeholders and crew members well-informed and better equipped in doing their share of the job. When the accounting and estimators can work with the most accurate drawings and designs they can ensure the most accurate estimates. When foreman can easily access project drawing and budget, they can make the best decisions based on data. When the subcontractor is connected to the designer or architect, they can do better outputs.
Collaboration is vital in construction and using cloud-based software for this can do wonders in your construction firm. Not only are the benefits compelling, but they are for the best of the construction industry. A previous study done by McKinsey Institute showed that one of the big issues facing construction is a lack of communication. And when there’s a lack of communication, the project has a high chance of failing. A lot of companies closed because they don’t want to be collaborative using the available technology which is a relatively inexpensive investment. Communication is vital in a workplace that’s so huge and people can’t see each other too often. By increasing cloud-based collaboration on projects, many companies can see a decrease in the rework, delays, and other common issues in construction.