Integrated technology is a phrase that is often used by software vendors who serve the preconstruction industry. Many companies boast about how their software is integrated – no more having to switch between two or three different tools, less of a chance for error having to move data between so many tools, and being able to create standardization much more easily. But what exactly is “integrated technology”? What truly distinguishes a product or application as integrated?
In the construction industry, many software companies claim to integrate multiple applications. However, they mistake integration with the ability to simply import and export from one application to another, which is not integration at all. Beck Technology’s DESTINI Estimator integrates various features such as 2D and 3D Takeoff, along with Autodesk’s BIM 360 into one unified platform. It brings in multiple individual features of estimating and causes them to work in unison with each other, complementing each other by bringing in more resources for the client to use.
Truly integrated preconstruction software allows the user to operate in one platform, eliminating the need to go back and forth between various applications, creating an organized, and efficient strategy plan moving forward.
Integrated technology is an excellent solution to many common preconstruction challenges because it streamlines the workflow and life cycle of an entire project, which results in a much more efficient decision making process, ensuring fewer mistakes and errors along the way. Technological innovations are great and have been great for the revolutionizing of the industry but if these new innovations are not integrated, or have the capacity to integrate, the value of the product dwindles.
A product is truly integrated when it is able to feature multiple applications and resources into one platform, with the purpose of letting these applications communicate to each other in order to complete a project. If the product does not fulfill the intention, then it is not an integrated product.
What are the benefits?
Integrated technology in preconstruction creates a domino effect of benefits, the primary ones being able to complete more work with greater accuracy and encourage standardization across the board, which cuts back on time spent training and hiring. Projects are completed with greater timeliness and effectiveness because all the tools needed to build an excellent estimate are within one software.
When preconstruction tools are integrated, there is greater team alignment, meaning all teams are on the same page as they collaborate under one platform. Working under one big umbrella increases communication between teams. Miscommunication is minimized as all team members are given access to the same documents, files, sketches, etc. This then minimizes the margin of error for on-field construction teams, alleviating many problems within the life cycle of a project.
To integrate is to collaborate. All with the same purpose to give deeper insights to make more effective decisions sooner with less errors.