One of the most important things to manage on any project you work on is your workflow. No matter how small or big a project is, workflows play an essential role in how well your company gets the job done. If you’re not maximizing construction workflows, then your missing out on critical efficiencies. Losing these key efficiencies can jeopardize your company by setting you behind competitors and missing out on significant opportunities.
How can you understand workflows, separate the good ones from the bad ones, and save time and money? And why is this important? In our last BuilderChat, Fred Guitton, our Chief Revenue Officer, broke down construction workflows, and we’re highlighting the key points below.
Commercial Construction Has A Lot Going On
If you’ve ever worked in construction, you know that a lot is going on. A lot of information flows back and forth between the owner, design team, GC, subcontractors, material providers, rentals, and even within your organization. Information is exchanged between your field team, office team, and accounting that it can get a little confusing and messy. You want to make sure that everyone is on the same page and all information exchanged between any party is correct. The whole workflow concept is essential for your company to work efficiently and effectively.
Here are some tips to help you better understand construction workflows that save you time and money.
Set Clear Goals
What do you want to achieve? You need to be clear about what you are trying to accomplish in order to maximize your workflows effectively. Here are three important goals to have along with the other goals you set for your company.
1) Reduce Inefficiencies. Optimizing construction workflows is a crucial method of reducing overall ineffectiveness step by step. Inefficiencies are often tied to habitual behaviors, things that have been done a certain way for many years and have never been questioned or challenged to be done a different way.
2) Reduce the Risk of Error. What are things you are dealing with other than workflows? What mistakes are being made? You need to figure where those errors are coming from and check workflow processes that may be creating errors. Time is often the cost of error because there is so much energy spent in documenting, tracking, and organizing, calling, emailing, and more that puts a strain on your time resulting in more mistakes made. Automating forms, whether through a large-scale small-lightweight workflow program saves building professionals time when completing projects.
3) Improve Quality. Fine-tuning workflows also means you can provide better construction quality. That in turn means happier clients, less rework, and repeat business. Quality ties back to having the right materials, having the right equipment, and having enough time.
When it comes to goal-setting and what you’re trying to accomplish in understanding your workflows, be more clear with your intent. You can always follow the SMART method: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-Bound to help you set clear goals for efficient construction workflows.
Dig Deeper Into Your Workflows
When you start doing your workflows, it’s not just a simple map with arrows, buttons, and saying something will happen. Dig deeper. Think about, who does what, why do they do it, when do they do it, how much time do they spend doing it and how much risk is associated with the way they do it? Start quantifying your workflows and asking the right questions. By digging deeper you’re going to be surprised at what you find and you might find some inefficiencies in current workflows.
The number one obstacle for companies is change. You need to be sure “is my company open and willing to change for better workflows?” It’s not just up to the leadership of the company. Your team needs to be open as well in order for productive change to happen. Never underestimate change because it can be crucial to your company being successful.
Some Questions You Need to Answer to Understand Workflows
- How can I increase my efficiency through workflow optimization?
- What can I do to work with my teams from anywhere at any time for maximum productivity?
- Cloud-based software, like RedTeam, is extremely beneficial to helping construction companies collaborate and work effectively from anywhere and at any time.
- Where are the bottlenecks?
- Where is the time going?
- Is my team ready to challenge their thinking?
This will always be a challenge. It’s hard to get a team to buy in to change. But if you say, “Hey if I told you that we could make this customer happier and limit the number of phone calls you get from them by changing this, would you be open to talking about it,” will encourage your team to be more open to change.
Improving Workflows Through Software
The construction industry is becoming rapidly digitized with increased mobile and app usage. It’s no surprise some companies are moving to cloud-based software to keep up with the digital transformation while having a secure place to store documentation.
Automation can help your workflows by allowing your company to do a lot more with less; less time, less money, and less mistakes. You can send information more seamlessly, have cleaner reporting and optimize efficiency more quickly.
How RedTeam Offers Automation for Workflows
RedTeam thinks about manual processes as unreliable and leads to inevitable consequences. We cover four core problems seen in construction companies. Here’s how we fix them.
Incomplete Contract Documents. Document formation is often inconsistently managed. With RedTeam you have template management, accurate document formation, and permission controls.
Communication Breakdowns. Without centralizing the communication workflows companies lose track of their projects. Our cloud-based software offers interactive sharing, a complete platform to securely store documents, and maintain integrated workflows.
Poor Document Tracking. Not knowing the status of all documents and their history is costly. That’s why at RedTeam we provide a collaborative console so all team members can be on the same page, metadata capture that records who see documents and where they go, and robust reporting.
Information Silos. Lack of integration creates silos causing a lack of visibility for the teams. RedTeam offers accounting integrations, unlimited data, and access control so you can see everything going on from anywhere at any time.
RedTeam supports workflows to create, administer, and settle construction contracts. Our construction software was built by contractors for contractors to have peace of mind. We also offer TeamPlayer a subcontractor collaboration app that improves collaboration among team members by providing comprehensive access to project information, streamlining communication, and facilitating critical workflows. FieldShare is another mobile application by RedTeam that connects the office to the jobsite where you can take real-time photos, track vendors, and much more.