Productivity in the construction industry can be found in countless headlines over the past few years. Everyone wants to improve it, but how many companies can even measure it? And we all know, you can’t manage what you can’t measure. This is why good construction data is so important.
The construction industry is hyper regional and hyper fragmented. Even within very structured organizations, processes may require variance due to regional laws and regulations. And within every region there is a different group of local contractors, both general and specialty trade, competing for work with thinner and thinner margins. We all agree something must give. But owners want things built faster, for less money and with tighter controls. And let’s not forget the other headlines making constant news, the labor shortage. How can contractors survive, much less thrive in this environment?
One way is to optimize their performance. Over the last two decades we’ve seen construction companies consolidate and streamline back office functions. But the field, the area which generates all revenues, has been largely unchanged. Why is such a ripe area for improvement stagnating?
There are several contributing factors, but two key ones include; lack of tools built to manage the complexity of constantly changing jobsites as well as end to end processes spanning multiple stakeholders who would be impacted by change.
Riskcast makes construction data capture easy and effective
Riskcast and the Power of Construction Data
Riskcast was borne out of experience within a large civil constructor and designed specifically to solve these two issues. E-J Electric Installation, their first enterprise customer, believes that the simplicity of their data capture tools makes Riskcast a huge success. Once the data is in ‘right’ passing it from function to function, such as Payroll, becomes a simple exercise.
"The value of Riskcast isn’t just one thing, it’s so many things. It’s a timesaver across multiple departments. It’s a live view for project managers and management into the health of their project. And it provides us the ability to review our production to bid and build better moving forward.”
Anthony Mann, President and CEO, E-J Electric installation
Just buying a proven reporting tool to extract data from your accounting system won’t ensure good results. As Project Manager Mike Rascona states, “if you don’t know that your data going in is any good, how can you trust the data ‘coming out?’
The key would seem to be foundational data. Not just data, but the very core information that is captured by craft labor with pen and paper on almost every jobsite across the country. This data is transferred from paper to accounting systems, often passing through excel along the way. Aside from the time wasted on duplicate entry, this introduces huge opportunities to introduce errors in data that is the foundation of project forecasts and projections. This data should be the primary focus of every contractor managing labor and equipment in the field. Productivity, the measurement of work in place against the resources required to put that work in place, is after all what construction companies are trying to manage isn’t it?
If you don’t know that your data is good going in, how can you trust the data coming out?
Capturing Good Construction Data
If foundational data is the key, then capturing that data accurately should be the focus for any system. Riskcast takes a simple approach to capturing this information. Minimize change. Riskcast’s timecard module allows Foremen to mimic most of what they do today on paper in one easy to use application. Without logging in and out of multiple screens or applications, Foremen can record any number of daily activities including employee hours, quantities put in place, equipment usage, daily notes and delivery tickets. Riskcast can often then eliminate multiple paper reports being used on site. Because that data is only inputted once, it can also save Foremen and Project Managers a little time.
But the big win is real-time productivity data. The very essence of what Project Managers need to orchestrate the complexity that is their jobsite. Think of what would be different if project teams had real-time access to simple information like who was on site, how many hours they worked, what they worked on, how much they got done and what equipment was then used. Now, what if that information was connected to other key information like budgets and CPM schedules and teams had instant access to reports they currently wait days and weeks to get? What if companies could harness the power of data as work happens on site?
Regardless of technology, construction companies need to make time to improve their processes. There will always be too many things to do and new fires to put out. However, how long can field productivity go without improvement?
Contact Riskcast Solutions at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about their current systems and to find out how they tackle the third key factor, “you’re just too busy.”