Traditionally, the construction industry has been slow to adopt technology into its workflows and processes. This has been especially true within preconstruction. But recently, within the past few years, this has dramatically started to change. More and more general contractors are embracing new softwares, systems, and processes, and are more willing than ever to pioneer new ideas or ways of doing things. This begs the question, of course: why the sudden change? What’s the inspiration behind these trends towards the innovative and forward-thinking in the industry? And more importantly, what impact have these trends had on the industry so far?
One of the biggest reasons behind these trends is simple: trying to solve the age-old problem of doing more work in less time. Estimating departments are constantly being asked to produce a plethora of results under extremely tight deadlines. They are asked to provide higher volumes of estimates, more information along with the estimates with even greater accuracy, all with less amount of time given to complete estimating and budgeting activities. In the past, this was often a difficult request to fulfill; multiple tools and manual calculations opened up lots of potential for error. For example, having separate 2D and 3D takeoff tools is functional and operational, but it’s not a very efficient process. As a result, general contractors sought to find ways that they could automate manual calculations and bring more of their tools under the same platform, resulting in several different processes and softwares that strive to accomplish this goal.
Previously, many estimators without an integrated platform to work with resorted to importing and exporting their files and documents through various applications, creating a highly disorganized workspace. However, with integrated technology now at the forefront of preconstruction, estimating departments are able to do more than ever before.
The impact of general contractors adopting integrated technology can easily be seen in the positive results it provides. A major one has been better communication amongst teams in multiple offices. For example, an estimator in a Texas office can go work at a California office of the same company and be part of their team with minimal onboarding and orientation. An integrated platform will enable a seamless transition for that estimator because he/she will be working with the same database, same estimate, same output, same organization, mitigating any risks. All this is possible because when all estimators are working on one unified platform, they will be speaking the same unified software-language
Mitigating risks in the workflow and using the time saved by implementing integrated technology, allow for more time to analyze data and evaluate trends in preconstruction.
The impact is also felt on the backend. Mitigating risks in the workflow and using the time saved by implementing integrated technology, allow for more time to analyze data and evaluate trends in preconstruction. Integrated technology will continue to give preconstruction teams more time to do more problem solving, be more creative, and find more innovative solutions to a projects problems.