In a game of word association, if you said the word ‘construction’, the word ‘tech’ probably wouldn’t be the first one to spring to mind.
Often perceived to be a bit of a buzzword, tech is only really associated with the material side of construction – it’s rarely thought about in terms of how it can improve the administrative and managerial side of the industry.
But whether it’s refurbishment & fit-out or structural work, the construction industry is increasingly emerging from the proverbial dark ages when it comes to improving project management through tech.
At ITC Concepts, we made it our mission a few years ago to proactively incorporate tech developments into our managerial practice, and the results have led to better streamlining and efficiency across the board. Here, we’ve outlined some key ways in which others in the sector can look to embrace tech too and incorporate new offerings into their daily practice.
The power of video content
You might not think creating a video is an element of a project kick-off, but we find it indispensable when it comes to clearly briefing subcontractors on topics such as compliance and safety standards. Simple, bespoke clips that are cost effective to produce can greatly improve subcontractor understanding of key deliverables during inductions. Messages delivered in video format are much more powerful than those outlined on a handout or PowerPoint. This means you can be sure that your most critical points of information are really hitting home at the outset of every project, preventing problems occurring further down the line.
Digital project management platforms
Financial wastage so often results from miscommunications or a mismatch of resources. Using PM software can make sure everyone is on the same page and working from up to date information. At ITC, we’ve been using PiP our information system (powered by Deltek PIM) for a few years now and it’s made a massive difference in streamlining communications and speeding up decision making, whilst preventing information silos from forming. Going paperless with our project management process also means everything is in one place and can be updated in real time, future proofing our most valued information sources.
One of the biggest barriers to implementing tech solutions is the sheer number of colleagues who don’t spend their day at a desk. Mobile apps which can be used on the go and whilst on site are therefore incredibly useful. We’ve recently rolled out a mobile application to help ensure quality across all our sites. The app is now part of our quality management system and ensures that any defects are reported and dealt with as effectively as possible, whilst also keeping everyone up to date on progress.
Quick chat software
While face-to-face conversations and phone calls are best when it comes to short term problem solving, with multiple project stakeholders it can often be difficult to get everyone together at short notice. We use text messaging and WhatsApp to dramatically reduce email traffic, freeing people from their desks and allowing them to spend more time where they should be – on site.
Overall, technology has played a major role in ITC’s continued growth in the construction industry and our commitment to innovation will enable us to take advantage of all new and emerging technologies going forward.