Construction projects are underway throughout Greater Phoenix. According to local commercial brokerage firms, the Phoenix metro area has more than 46 million square feet of industrial construction and 870,000 square feet of office space in progress. While the construction business centers on the action at a job site, a significant part of the operation takes place at the office. Moreover, the inner workings of a construction company involve multiple departments that rely on technology tools to get the job done.
Building structures may be the core function of the business, but managing finances, marketing and project communications is imperative to a construction company’s success. While power tools rule the job site, technology tools empower the business to minimize cost and maximize efficiency.
Tackling the Challenges
Communication breakdowns between stakeholders can be a significant challenge — especially when operations don’t take place under one roof. Today’s technology tools are changing that reality. Tools in cloud computing, advanced mobile devices and project management software solutions enable the various stakeholders to communicate and collaborate easily. It allows teams to share information and coordinate efforts from anywhere at any time.
Tracking project timelines and scheduling is another common challenge construction companies face. The growth of machine learning platforms helps companies manage workflow, site planning and project timelines and identify and address potential delays. Many solutions also now include built-in AI capabilities, which enhances automation capabilities and helps construction companies control costs.
Customer Outreach and Communications
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software provides companies with the ability to better manage customer data and customer interactions from lead generation through final sales. CRM software solutions allow construction companies to capture and track customer communications, empowering sales and marketing teams to identify opportunities and follow up seamlessly. In addition, the software can integrate with other platforms to execute more effective and targeted sales and marketing campaigns.
Like most businesses, construction companies must continue to build their pipeline. Digital marketing, including social media and email marketing, are becoming more valuable to the B2B sector. For construction companies, these tools are being used to expand online communications, showcase projects and increase online presence to help reach a wider audience. Utilizing integrated marketing software tools also increases brand awareness, generates more leads and, ultimately, leads to more sales.
Accounting and Finance
Construction accounting software specifically designed for companies in the industry helps with job costing, project billing and financial reporting. With construction accounting software, companies can manage their finances more effectively and make better business decisions.
Automated invoicing and payment tools can help companies streamline these functions and processes, reducing the risk of errors and delays. This can also improve cash flow and reduce the administrative burden on accounting staff.
Equipment and Material Management
Construction companies often have a large fleet of vehicles and equipment to manage. Fleet management software can be used to track the inventory and management of vehicles, which can help reduce maintenance costs and optimize the use and longevity of the equipment.
In addition to managing equipment and vehicles, construction companies must manage the inventory of materials and supplies. Software specifically designed for inventory management will monitor inventory levels in real-time, help companies forecast demand and optimize the ordering and purchasing processes.
Integration of Operations
Integrating software solutions is one of the most valuable steps to improving operational efficiencies, and yet it is often overlooked. When solutions are integrated, it enhances operational efficiencies and allows users, management and executive leaders to gain a more accurate picture of the organization’s inner workings and output. This information can then be used to make decisions in real time.
Just as a construction project requires a blueprint plan for erecting a new building, construction companies need a technology roadmap for developing and integrating the necessary technology tools for taking operations to the next level. Partnering with a consulting company can help with designing and executing that technology roadmap.
|Kyle Aulerich is principal at Wipfli LLP, a national top 20 CPA and consulting firm.|
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