We have noticed a new trend for smaller construction companies. They are focusing on being efficient and high-tech from the start. This sets the company up well for growth, as their technology-enabled processes make it easier to onboard newcomers than manual ones. This also helps attract the young talent that views paper processes as being old and outdated.
“Having a library of resources and costs is a huge step forward, instead of working on old Excel forms with canned crews,” said Shawn Hampton of Rawso Constructors, an excavating and demolition contractor in Murfreesboro, Tenn. “Having that library and being able to pull production data allows the new guys to almost teach themselves.”
Hampton said Rawso has better communication between the field and the estimating staff thanks to the interaction between the estimating and field management software.
“Guys in the field can at least understand what the estimators were looking at, and vice versa,” he said. “And as far as growth, it’s been a huge tool to help us stay lean in the office and the field.”
Some contractors, like Rawso, adopt the model of first-things-first, focusing on getting the estimate right before looking at operations. This method has its benefits, as your estimating processes really are the driving factor for growth and the center of your company.
Others dive in with both feet and get as much technology implemented as quickly as possible. While this can be risky because so much is being changed at once, it can be successful if led from the top, with all the right people involved who can make decisions fast.
However you implement, the competitive advantage is obvious. While larger, slower-to-adapt construction companies still deal with the old school problems that come with using spreadsheets to estimate and paper to manage plans, time cards, meter readings, and safety, you can be efficient from the start using software technology.