Construction data—the stuff that profitability, efficiency, successful bids, and productive labor are made of. But what does it mean, beyond head counts and material prices? Collecting data that measures and records every aspect of your operations, bids, and projects is the number one thing you can do to improve your business. The number two thing is actually do something with it.
Although construction firms have historically been slow to adopt new tech, today, nearly 70% of construction firms have digitized, and that number is steadily growing. That represents a lot of change and even more data. Of those collecting data, less than half routinely analyze the information they collect and even fewer actively make changes based on the results of that data. This is a waste of the firms’ potential. If collecting, analyzing, and implementing the results of construction data is not on your to-do list for the rest of the year, change the list and read on for the most valuable data your team needs and how to make something of it.
Estimation and productivity review
Looking back at estimating data and whether the estimate accurately reflected the cost and profit helps managers identify bid win and cost estimate trends. Understanding the bid/hit ratio, or the ratio of bids placed on projects to the bids won, makes estimating data vital to sales and to the procurement process.
Companies using cloud-based drawing and estimation software to render their projects are collecting data that is helpful to the designers, estimators, shop staff, and field workers. This real-time, accessible data gives each team member a clear representation of the site and promotes collaboration across teams. This allows each department to control its scope and prevents conflict with measurable steps, goals, and tracking for each project phase.
Operational, logistics, and efficiency
The data yielding the most potential for analysis and productivity/ cost improvement is operational. That includes anything that relates to project execution, including materials and resources, logistics, and productivity. How are fluctuating material costs affecting your bottom line? Do you have the right equipment and software in place, or could your system be more efficient? How can changing your delivery schedule affect productivity?
All of this information translates into robust financial data that can be carried forward to more accurately predetermine the overall cost of a project. Going beyond labor and material costs can help you determine a custom cost and productivity profile for each job that can be adjusted to reflect the availability of labor, changes in material costs, adjustments based on logistics, and technology or equipment upgrades. Most importantly, this information can be used to make changes on future bids, increasing the profitability and competitiveness of future endevors.
While keeping the accounting team on track with a clear vision of a project’s financial implications, real-time data collection also allows them to anticipate common roadblocks and adjust the budget accordingly. This prevents project delays and overages, and making the data available across the team means project managers and department leads also have up-to-the-minute feedback and can adjust accordingly.
You’ve collected real-time, practical data on actual shop fabrication time, field labor, and materials—now what? This information is a gold mine of opportunity, but it is a common problem that contractors stockpile the information and fail to analyze it for future implementation. At this point, it is essential to analyze this data and determine the real versus estimated costs of the job. That total—whether bang-on or riddled with discrepancies—provides valuable direction for bidding your next projects. Learn more about what kind of data you could be collecting at | buildcentrix.com