You just read that headline and you think it’s hyperbole – that I’m exaggerating to grab your attention, right? Nope. Sorry to say that, according to studies, the average construction company loses 56% of their potential profit on every single project, due to nothing more than the inability to communicate effectively between office and field. That is a staggering figure that none of us in this industry want to face. The worst part is that we all know it. I have this very conversation with every single construction client I speak to, but none of them knows how to fix the problem. It’s just an ongoing struggle, and part of “doing business” to them . . . mainly because they aren’t aware of that 56% number until I explain it to them, then they just about have a stroke!
The truth is that fixing your poor communication issues is far simpler than you think. It just requires a bit of flexibility, and a willingness to change your internal processes. Now, you may think I’m about to tell you there’s a “great new software package” that will solve all your problems, right? Nope. Don’t get me wrong, Information Tech is your answer, but installing yet another software isn’t going to fix anything. The truth of the matter is that you probably have too many systems installed right now, that your staff barely knows how to use, and those are aggravating this issue, not alleviating it. I know it sounds counter-intuitive for a tech guy like me to say, but most of my clients need to eliminate software, not add more.
The key to effective communication and project control isn’t more functionality, it’s a simplified process. At the end of the day, the biggest problem a construction firm faces is their own lack of IT understanding. Your staff is great at what they do (it’s why you pay them after all!). But what they do is build things, not work on computers, fill out e-forms, and update databases for BI research. Half of them don’t even know what any of that means, and they shouldn’t have to. What you need to fix the broken communication system between field and office is to review each process you have, every software you’ve put in place, and all the procedures you expect to be followed and ask the same question about each of them: “Does this make my staff’s job easier?” If the answer is either: “no” or “maybe”, then get rid of it! A useful process or software makes the end user’s job simpler, not more complex. Too many construction firms keep throwing more and more software at the problem, hoping to find the one system that will fix that 56% profit drain for them. The truth is, that software doesn’t exist and it never will. Each job is too complex, too unique and each company has their own internal needs for any single system to cover.
So what's the answer? The answer is to do a review of your entire workflow process – from the moment you get a contract to the final turnover – with an eye towards eliminating and simplifying procedures and communication. This is something ZenTek does with all our construction clients. We work to identify and remove problem areas in their workflow. We focus particularly on the field staff, looking to provide them with the simplest tools and automate as much of their work as we can. When the information from the site gets back to the decision makers in the office in minutes rather than hours or days, project profits soar. When construction field staff can collect and transmit that data automatically, without having to become IT professionals, they get to focus on their job which means problems, change orders, and disputes go away. It really is that simple. You just need to work with a reliable construction tech consultant, like ZenTek, to see what you can do to fix your broken processes and put that 56% profit back in your pocket! Why not reach out to us today and schedule a call to see how we can help?