Although the construction industry is notorious for embracing change – particularly when it comes to technology – there are signs that it’s start to come around. The options are boundless for people in the office and on the field. Everything from mobile apps, to drones, to smart tools are in place to help a professional sector that’s struggling with productivity.
As a company that designs and develops construction software, we at Bridgit always refreshing to hear about new innovations in the space. However, the flip side is this: are teams really making the best use of all that’s available to them?
According to the McKinsey Global Institute, construction is one of the least digitized industries in the world. Although it’s starting to catch on, investments in IT (information technology) are still low compared to other business sectors. This may sound obvious, but it’s best to just take it one step at a time. Some of the largest innovations began with a single action, or in this case, the addition of a single tool to an existing construction software stack.
Stay on course with file-sharing software
Sharing files is one of the easiest ways to get into the groove of using a number digital tools in the construction office or field. With easy-to-use tools on the market, like Dropbox, you can immediately share documents, reports, and photos. Since everything is securely stored in the cloud, access is seamless from your device of choice. It could be your desktop, tablet, or smartphone – the choice is yours. If these files become your single source of truth for document storage, you can set access parameters so that team members only see what they should.
4 ways to use file-sharing software:
Invoice, estimate, and budget sharing around the office
Update work schedules and grant full team access
Send information securely to your subcontracting staff
Send project progress photos to clients
Here are the top 3 biggest advantages (we see) of file-sharing in construction:
1. Bringing the field and the office together
Instead of sending sensitive information via email, you can input everything into a secure, shared folder for office staff to access. As you update files, changes will be reflected immediately, the appropriate parties will be notified (if you want it that way), and communications time will be cut down.
2. Managing your subcontractors more effectively
If you manage your subcontracting staff well, you’ll be able to guarantee quality work. Similar to your clients, it is important to keep the lines of communication open. Create a folder to house schedules and invoices. if you’re using task management software, sharing assigned and incomplete work is easy – just export a report and add it to a folder that all stakeholders have access.
3. Impressing your stakeholders
Open communication is one of the keys to strong client relationships. Keeping them in the loop on progression and quality inspections will only increase their faith in you, as well as your chance for repeat business. If your client would rather perform their own inspections or walkthroughs, encourage them to use either a task management software or Excel report. Following that process, upload that file to a shared folder, and keep it updated to show your attentiveness.
Still not convinced?
Sharing documents digitally reduces physical paperwork
Instantaneous sharing gives potential for sped up communication
Multi-editor permissions decreases back and forth, and reactive revisions
Apps for file-sharing are compatible with most devices, so teams can access documents on their preferred tablets or smartphones
Lauren Lake is the COO and co-founder at Bridgit. She holds a degree in Civil Structural Engineering and is well-versed in construction workforce management and resource planning processes. Lauren has been named to the Forbes Manufacturing & Industry 30 Under 30 and Best Of Canada Forbes Under 30 Innovators lists. Lauren has presented at industry events and conferences, including BuiltWorlds, Canadian Construction Association, Procore Groundbreak, and more. Follow Lauren on LinkedIn and Instagram.
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