Published: Thursday, 20 February 2020 08:24
Simplify Project Data in Construction
4 Ways to Turn Project Data Chaos to Clarity in Construction Businesses
Shannon Corgan, Director of Marketing
Getting your arms around project data in your construction business can be a daunting task when you consider the volume of data pouring in from so many different sources. Everything is in constant motion on construction projects because your employees, tools, and equipment are moving between projects each day. Getting the project data in your construction business to the office can be a bit chaotic. Although labor costs are a top data point to manage your projects to profitability, there are additional project data points in your construction business that you need to keep your eye on to keep your projects on budget and schedule. As you’re winning new bids and adding new projects, your financial project data in your construction business needs to be constantly updated so that your field employees are accurately capturing the project data you need to keep your construction projects profitable. The most important project data in the construction industry are Project Performance Data (Schedule and Cost), Payroll and Manhours, Productivity Data, Safety Data, and Equipment Tracking Data based on the Dodge Analytics SmartMarket Report, Improving Performance with Project Data.1
The best way to streamline all your project data in your construction business is to have employees or supervisors work from a mobile app that connects to all of your business applications. WorkMax makes it simple to collect, organize, and share project data across multiple projects with or without service and gives global visibility to the project data in your construction business all from one mobile app. WorkMax collects project data in your construction business the way that fits your business. We all know employees want to get paid, right? So we made WorkMax an integrated platform to prompt them to collect the project data you need in your construction business in ONE app that integrates with the top HR, accounting, and ERP systems in real time. We also made sure that you could collect the field documentation you need with powerful mobile forms to provide you with the safety and daily log reports you need. Here are four ways WorkMax can simplify your project data in your construction business to turn it into actionable insights:
1. Do you struggle with getting safety reports, maintenance forms, and daily log reports completed promptly? Are your reports inconsistent, hard to read, and lacking the necessary details? With WorkMax, you can prompt employees to complete their safety checklists, injury reports, maintenance forms, and daily log reports as part of their clock IN/OUT process. If there’s anything we know about employees, we know they will clock IN/OUT to make sure they get paid, right? Employees can add photos with markup, video, and audio notes to the mobile forms to know what’s going on without being there. Based on their answers on the mobile forms, you can also prompt employees with follow-up forms to get all the project data you need.
2. Never know who has your tools and equipment? Is your asset inventory out-of-date? With WorkMax, your asset inventory is always up-to-date when employees check IN/OUT equipment as they clock IN/OUT each day. Do we see a pattern emerging when you collect all your project data for labor hours and asset management in one app? With WorkMax, they don’t have to check in a piece of inventory back into the equipment manager before anyone can check it back out. With WorkMax, employees can transfer tools and equipment from their mobile devices without involving the equipment manager at all.
3. Tired of employees allocating their labor hours to archived projects or the wrong tasks? The project data in your construction business will be more accurate than ever before with WorkMax. WorkMax syncs the data from your accounting or ERP system to make sure only active projects and tasks appear on their mobile app. You can even make sure that field employees only chose the right tasks based on the project cost structure from your accounting system for the ultimate job cost accuracy.
4. Never sure how much work has been completed on your projects? Are the units of measure not in sync between your different business systems? When you prompt your employees to enter how much work was completed with the right unit of measure as they change tasks throughout the day and at the end of the day before they clock out, you’ll easily be able to see how much work was completed that day on that project. Collecting just labor hours isn’t enough for your construction business. That’s why we made sure WorkMax didn’t just collect labor hours. WorkMax tracks tasks that align to cost codes in your accounting system and every time your employees switch tasks, they’re prompted to enter their production. The production and job costing data syncs with your accounting system to provide you with real-time production and job costs. With WorkMax, you’ll know as soon as your employees switch tasks how much work has been completed on a project. Here’s just another example of how we created WorkMax to work the way you work all in one app to make it simple for your field employees.
To learn more about WorkMax, schedule a demo now.
1 - Dodge Data and Analytics SmartMarket Report, Improving Performance with Project Data; How Improved Collection and Analysis Is Leading the Digital Transformation of the Construction Industry.
Data Collection for Construction
4 Reasons to Change Data Collection for Your Construction Business
96% of engineering and construction firms don’t use the project data they collect.1 Yikes! That’s a pretty startling statistic. What’s even more shocking is how much potential predictive intelligence is hiding in the volumes of data you’re collecting.
The first step in simplifying the project data in your construction business is that you have to understand how you’re collecting data for your construction business. Once you understand how the data is being collected, you can look for ways to automate and improve the data collection process for your construction business so you can spend more time analyzing the data instead of merely collecting it. There’s no point in collecting project data in your construction business if you’re not going to use it, right? So, let’s take a look at how you’re collecting the project data in your construction business.
According to the Dodge Analytics report on Improving Performance with Project Data in Construction, the project data collection in the construction industry is typically done in these four ways:
3. Custom-Designed Software
4. Commercial Software
There are several reasons why you should consider changing your project data collection in your construction business. You may be thinking if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Your current projects are profitable and you’re meeting your scheduling deadlines. But what if I told you that you could increase your profit margins and do it by simply making a few small changes in how you collect the project data in your construction business? Would you want to know more? You should. In a recent report, when data collection was improved for construction projects like yours, contractors found that they were better able to complete their projects at or under budget.2 Contractors that improved data collection for their construction projects also saw increases in productivity, profitability, safety, and the ability to win new work.2
Two of the biggest issues with data collection for construction projects are the use of both paper and spreadsheets. In a 2019 study, 42% of respondents were still using paper or spreadsheets for data collection for their construction projects.2 Project data collection in construction is plagued with paper making it difficult to analyze project data in your construction business. A piece of paper is only useful to the one person that has access to it at that time. To make the project data in your construction projects useful, you have to manually enter it into either a spreadsheet or software, which inevitably leads to data entry errors. It also doesn’t help that 88% of spreadsheets contain data errors, based on research from multiple studies. In a recent report, paper also ranks lowest for timeliness.2 It makes sense because your field supervisors have to collect the paper forms for time cards, safety reports, daily logs, and asset tracking from their employees and drive them to the office when they’re working at remote job sites.2 It may only be once a week that supervisors can get to the office to drop off forms.
Contractors were also least satisfied with the accuracy of the paper forms compared to spreadsheets, custom-designed software, and commercial software.2 The project data in your construction business that’s gathered on paper is certainly going to be much less accurate for several reasons, which explains why improving your data collection for your construction business will improve your project performance. Illegible handwriting tops the list of reasons your paper forms are inaccurate, with calculation errors coming in a close second. This doesn’t even take into account the 5-6 minutes it takes for your payroll employee to manually audit the time card for any computational errors. Also, when you’re using paper timesheets, your employees are just estimating the hours they worked, and typically fill out their time card at the end of the week. They may have forgotten that they arrived late one day or left early another, which certainly explains why contractors are least satisfied with collecting project data in construction on paper.
To find out how easy it can be to collect real-time project data in your construction business with an all in one app for time tracking, asset tracking and mobile forms that also integrate with your accounting, payroll, or ERP system, schedule a demo now.
1 - Hill, Brian L. “Digging for the Big Data Gold in Today’s Construction Projects.” Xpera Group. 2017
2 - Dodge Data and Analytics SmartMarket Report, Improving Performance with Project Data; How Improved Collection and Analysis Is Leading the Digital Transformation of the Construction Industry.