By Daniel Bévort
For many construction companies, the struggle is real when it comes to completing projects on and time and within budget. Due to the lack of standardization and integration within their project business processes, these companies are not as productive and profitable as they could and should be.
Construction companies that fail to recognize themselves as a project business (a company that provides products or services for their customers through projects) can run into many problems that impact business performance.
Recognizing that projects are core to the business, and should be addressed before other needs are prioritized, will create unprecedented opportunities to improve the business. Identifying as a project business better enables you to analyze what systems need to change and what solutions are possible to improve efficiency and productivity.
Once you recognize that projects are core to your business, here are the three steps to take to structure your company for success.
Companies in traditional industries such as retail and manufacturing have standardized processes and data that allow them to govern their business effectively and produce reliable, consistent metrics to measure business performance.
However, construction companies are not set up the same way. Since business processes in construction are not uniform, oftentimes processes are left up to individuals who take extreme liberties with them. This makes it difficult to control business functions and establish standard metrics to measure performance.
With that in mind, it is critical for construction companies to standardize processes around best practices and data to produce consistent metrics. Standardized processes and data will lead increased control and reliable metrics on project, portfolio, and company performance.
To drive efficiency and productivity throughout the business value chain, construction companies need to understand that today, more than ever, it’s critical to integrate those processes and data.
Construction companies typically utilize a host of disparate tools and applications to run their business (project management, time and expense, project accounting, ERP, etc.). Sound familiar? This fragmented setup means these companies have no way of integrating and structuring their data in a way that gives them greater control and better visibility over their projects.
Construction companies need to structure their organization in a way that sets them up for success, meaning the profitable delivery of projects. How? By unifying and integrating workflows across all departments and business units.
When all the project functionality normally managed in multiple applications and tools are integrated into a single source of truth that everyone can rely on, the organization becomes aligned. Strategic objectives are achieved more effectively through an integrated approach.
Oftentimes, construction companies do not know if a project is truly successful and profitable until 30 to 90 days after it is complete. To be fully aligned as an organization, it’s important to know exactly how your projects are performing at all times. Therefore, this final step is about systemizing the first two steps.
By capturing all processes and data in a single system:
- Best practices are codified, and error and bias are eliminated through automation
- Data is normalized and made compatible
- Processes that are normally manual can be automated for instant alignment
- Data is consolidated, centralized and made easily accessibly
Project businesses that follow these three steps create an effective company-wide, collaborative environment because everyone is always on the same page. Front-line workers in the field know exactly what needs to be done next, while project managers and executives have reliable, real-time insight into the status of their projects.
Ultimately, this new environment enables you to deliver more projects on time and within budget, which allows your business to become more efficient, productive, and profitable.
For more information visit: http://www.adeaca.com/
This material appeared in the July 2020 issues of the ACP Magazines:
California Builder & Engineer, Construction, Construction Digest, Construction News, Constructioneer, Dixie Contractor, Michigan Contractor & Builder, Midwest Contractor, New England Construction, Pacific Builder & Engineer, Rocky Mountain Construction, Texas Contractor, Western Builder