Providing construction workers with the data and real-time insights they need to do their jobs has become a vital component for ensuring projects are completed with maximum efficiency, compliance and safety.
“Implementing fully integrated field-service solutions and services can improve operational efficiency and quality of service, while streamlining work procedures”
As a result, field workers across the sector are increasingly using mobile technologies to capture a wide range of essential details, from job status and labour hours to materials usage. By collecting these data points across their projects and presenting them to workers and management in highly visual, interactive dashboards, construction organisations are benefiting from significant efficiencies.
For instance, today’s most effective mobile solutions allow management to receive jeopardy alerts that show if projects are performing below agreed thresholds. This end-to-end visibility of project performance quickly translates into an ability to proactively mitigate the risk of project failure, helping to maximise profit margins.
In the context of current economic challenges, these are becoming increasingly important considerations. Take fuel prices, for instance, where an organisation that had budgeted for an annual fuel expense of around £500,000 less than a year ago could today be spending anything up to twice that amount.
And when margins are tight, organisations across the sector that continue to use low-tech or legacy systems to determine work schedules, for example, are now at a distinct disadvantage to those that can deliver more agile – and by definition, more cost-efficient – staff-scheduling solutions.
Tech-led innovation holds the key
Given construction businesses operate in dynamic employee-scheduling environments that are subject to change across the board, innovation holds the key to developing more agile and adaptable business models and processes.
Implementing fully integrated field-service solutions and services, in particular, can improve operational efficiency and quality of service, while streamlining work procedures. To address issues around capacity waste that can impair the productivity and revenues of organisations across the industry, for instance, technologies that can centralise communication and resource management can deliver significant benefits in the short and long term.
This also helps businesses focus on the performance requirements that underpin contractual obligations and compliance standards, as all relevant information is captured and tracked as work is carried out and completed. In addition, today’s cloud-based solutions not only enable construction businesses to manage all the work activity of their own workforce, but also that of subcontractors to ensure consistency of service and visibility across all users. This is essential for auditing purposes and compliance, as information is recorded and readily available.
Driving these efficiencies and business benefits isn’t just about taking costs out. Implementing a field-service software strategy helped one organisation, for instance, to reduce its fuel bill by £2 million a year, and at the same time, significantly improve its carbon footprint.
In focusing on these priorities, it’s important that construction businesses work with partners and suppliers that can empower continuous innovation and improvement. This ensures field-service organisations can evolve their processes to achieve tangible improvements throughout their implementation strategy. Ideally, construction organisations should take a rounded view of their use of field-service technology solutions and services, working with a partner that can help them meet their current needs and also plan how their business can develop in the years ahead.
Despite the current economic climate, where organisations are increasingly focused on driving additional efficiencies, forward-thinking businesses also have an ideal opportunity to review the effectiveness of existing technology and processes to focus on improvement. By doing so, they can bring about efficiency, productivity and performance gains that will help improve the bottom line, both now and into the future.
Gerard O’Keeffe is managing director of utilities and infrastructure at Totalmobile
Learn how Totalmobile can help your organisation to deliver services that are enriched by data and focused on compliance here