Anyone working in construction operations knows how important a smooth workflow is in a project, especially when it’s time for an inspection. Managers and operations leaders can help guarantee success in their projects (and pass inspections successfully!) by improving field communication and visibility in these projects.
Supervising workers in the field can become problematic without proper communication and a consistent set of best practices. But when managers establish routine check-ins, project reporting, and a standardized set of operations, they can ensure deadlines and budgets are met in a high-quality fashion.
Common Problems in the Field
Construction operational leaders oversee multiple projects and employees at once, which makes it tricky to pinpoint where issues might arise during an inspection. It’s pretty easy for managers to lose track of a project!
When one setback turns into a handful of problems, deadlines aren’t met and budgets suffer. This is an issue that the construction industry has struggled with as a whole. More than 90% of the world’s infrastructure projects are delayed or over-budget. And that kind of deadline and budget stress can put compliance and procedure checks on the backburner for operations leaders.
Here are some of the most common mistakes that lead to inefficiency and inspection problems:
- Miscommunication between team members inhibits workflow but also leaves room for error. Without reliable methods of communication between construction managers, workers, and other employees, workflow in every area of the company will suffer — especially on site.
- Poor communication with clients can lead to several embarrassing snags in a project, especially as contracts become more complex. Managers and workers need a clear, consistent understanding of the client’s vision so there is no risk of design and material issues, or callbacks in the future.
- Project callbacks are frustrating, costly, and easily avoided! Most callbacks occur because of unprepared team members, shoddy materials, or a combination of the two.
- Without a unified understanding of project structure, teams can’t keep each other accountable, which makes it difficult to hold individuals responsible for results. Operations leaders, managers, and workers sometimes lack a clear, concise idea of their individual roles in each project. Without this proper communication, project managers may struggle to properly assign roles to workers based on their skill sets.
- Accessing information and project data can be an unpleasant paperwork headache. Many companies use legacy systems with special requirements for accessing different kinds of data. Audits, project budgets, and other forms of data are often kept on paper and poorly organized without the use of digital forms or streamlined data collection.
Thankfully the demand for more efficiency in construction has led to an increase in innovation around solutions. There are more opportunities than ever for the industry to improve and expand.
Strategies for Improving Your Projects and Passing Inspection
Construction managers can improve project success and help to guarantee that they’ll pass inspection. By following a few strategies to improve communication and streamline project workflows, operational leaders can help set their projects back on track.
- Support better field communication with technology. Projects can require operations leaders and managers to be in multiple places at once. Mobile technology supports smooth communication, streamlined reporting, and the capability of providing field service advice on a dime.
- Give team members and managers visibility at all project touchpoints. Reporting tools and similar technologies provide operations leaders with quick virtual access to detailed reports on individual areas of a project. These reports can also include feedback from managers and workers, project data, photos and videos for additional visual aid.
- Perform regular and frequent project audits to ensure you pass inspection. During large projects, it is easy for managers to lose track of certain areas of their workforce. With easy-to-use mobile audit software, the entire audit process is simplified and improved. This software streamlines forms, uses automated deadline reminders and directly communicates with your workforce-and the auditor-to save you time(and any trouble during inspections!).
- Track project milestones with software. Technology makes it easier than ever to get live updates on workflow and productivity. Managers and their workers can update progress as they approach individual project milestones, as well as log specific data individually to help improve processes in the future. This tech allows operations teams to hone in on smaller segments of a project, ensuring individuals are held accountable and small issues can be resolved before they escalate into real problems.
- Make project information and protocol checklists accessible to all team members using innovative communications software. New technology allows information to be shared across mobile devices to any department from any location. Enjoy some peace of mind by creating your own compliance checklists, setting individual reminders, and automating workflows for different areas of projects.
Benefits of Using Technology
Using data automation technology like Array helps construction operational leaders pass inspections successfully.
But this kind of software supports construction businesses in a few other ways. Array services can be used on any device and provides flexibility for individual project needs. This integrated software standardizes procedures across your company, making it easy to cut down on paper and stay organized. Every segment of construction operations can be sleeker, simpler, and more scalable.
Data recorded on paper is a hassle to dig up and cross-analyze, but construction leaders are still trying to implement more sustainable practices in the industry. Technology streamlines data tracking and makes recording new data easier and more diverse — this makes is easier than ever for managers to optimize for future projects and help avoid mistakes in past problem areas.
“Clients are looking for higher-quality and more cost-efficient solutions grounded on more productive technologies and methods,” reports business leader and consulting firm McKinsey. “Engineering and construction companies able to bring such value-enhancing solutions to clients will likely enjoy better margins.”
Construction companies are often slow to adapt and break away from traditional practices. But by using the innovations and technology available, construction operational leaders can put their business ahead of the rest.
Array helps construction operation professionals effectively communicate and improve operations visibility. Array's customizable forms and reports enable better construction site workflows by increasing project visibility and improving field communications.
To see how your construction company can have a better workflow, schedule a 1-on-1 demo with one of our construction operations specialists now.