The economic crisis experienced worldwide a few years back has given business owners a few good lessons, like how to maximize their resources and how to explore other options in order to continue their operations. One industry that was significantly hit is the construction business. With a big cut off on profits, home builders had been left with no choice but to lay off some employees in order to sustain their operating expenses and avoid dissolving their business. With a few people doing the same amount of work, strategies have to be implemented in order to keep the operations running smoothly and finish the projects on time. This is where technology stepped in to save the day.
Obviously, small to middle construction companies have been accustomed to doing everything the conventional way. Floor plans, designs, computations, material orders, and other tasks were all done in paper. With all the necessary documents that revolve around a single project, you can just imagine the amount of paperwork that becomes accumulated overtime, project after project. These methodologies require huge amount of time to do and they also increase the margin for error since everything is done manually. With a few employees, time has literally become gold, and mistakes are something home builders want to prevent in such desperate times. This is when home builders decided to ditch conventional methods and apply new technologies to improve their efficiency and productivity.
From Paper to Laptop
Instead of wasting paper and time creating drafts of different designs, clients can now directly plan various designs straight to a computer, which will then be turned into a final draft by the engineer or architect for approval. The demand for a paperless office even higher due to the environmental movement that is sweeping the nation. All of these can be saved in the computer, ready to be sent to all concerned. Basically, all transactions have been transferred to a computer database, including bid proposals, material order, and even time card records. Having a central storage system has greatly improved the organization of files without the fear of losing information.
The Power of New Devices
Laptops, PDAs, tablets, and smart phones have been a great support in improving the communication within a company. Site engineers can now simply access their office database through their devices instead of wasting time traveling back and forth from the project site to the office just to retrieve some data. These powerful devices have also helped construction companies to keep their meager workforce productive. A project manager can send important drawings, documents, and plans while sitting in his office, whereas conventional practices would require hiring a messenger to do those jobs. Savy home builders are taking the initiative and using the latest technologies when building your dream home.
These new devices also aid in improving client relations. If clients cannot visit the site to personally evaluate the progress, a web camera installed on location can help them view it from wherever they are.
Today, there are several software applications specifically developed to aid the construction sector. Bid management tools come complete with everything needed to start and complete a bid process, from qualifying subcontractors to inviting bids and generating feedback of bid results. Construction management software can help with the overall management of a construction company’s daily operations, which include finance, accounting, scheduling, document management, and many more.
The curve towards learning the use of these technologies may be challenging for home builders who have gotten used to the old practices. However, all the efforts will be worthwhile when they start reaping the benefits that come with the new system. (265)