Companies with robust technology solutions excel in building connected, resilient teams.
Everyone in business knows the value of a strong, connected team. Working together builds trust, inspires creativity, and breeds empathy among divisions, and all of these factors lead to higher productivity and improved profitability.
There are many ways to foster cohesive teams and build better connections, and one of the most important but lesser considered ways is with a robust, cross-departmental software platform that integrates tasks and outcomes.
Traditional corporate culture can find people stuck in a divisional mindset where they think of their work as existing in one division versus the other, rather than all divisions working toward a common goal, which is completing a project on time and on budget. A connected software solution reiterates that everyone is on the same team.
“When you connect everyone, it makes a difference in how you view your role in the company,” says James Beveridge, CEO at BuildCentrix (BCX). “It forces you to take the blinders off and think, ‘Yes, I am in the shop, and it can be challenging to receive a rush order from the field, but since I can see all of the data and understand why it is required, it changes my mindset’.”
Connecting departments eliminates the mystery employees sometimes perceive about what happens to their work when it leaves their department. Employees who have a firm understanding of the workflow—because they can see their work at all stages—are more productive, proactive, and empathetic if something goes wrong. And from a management perspective, being able to overview any part of a project in one place can help save time, money, and frustration when changes are necessary.
The ordering process
BCX is unique in that the platform manages everything according to labor, so every order from VDC is budgeted by labor, including the time it took to produce it. “In terms of managing the fabrication, the shop always has the ability to pull a report and view the dashboard or calendar,” Beveridge says. “They don’t have to do calculations or pick up the phone. They can make changes and requests on their own and everyone gets notified.”
Once an order is scheduled, the person who makes it receives a notification and can immediately view the order content and key dates. Subsequently, that person will automatically receive notification if the order’s status or date changes. At the next stage, the shop processes the order and, once complete, the status updates again.
“There are two status options: Manufacturing and Shipping,” Beveridge says. “The order moves to the floor and people there input the time and status. Once the order is complete, it gets assigned to a truck and put into a Delivery Window.”
Next, the field person is informed that the manufacturing is done, and the system notifies the field that the order has shipped and when it will arrive. The order is installed, and the order status moves to Archived.
“There is a place on the dashboard page where the accountant can create a biweekly or monthly report, including material by job, which includes the type, weight, and products used,” Beveridge says. “From an administrative overhead perspective, this is much more practical than typing out an email containing the work order, possibly accompanied by hand drawings. In that case, there is lost productivity, and nothing is connected. The same thing happens if an order comes from VCD with a spool for a model project and it is going to the shop—once you do that, it is in an inbox somewhere and you lose visibility.”
Answers in real time
The ultimate BCX advantage is that order updates and status are available across the platform and change in real time, so everyone is on the same page. There is also the surety factor in that the ability to see the process ensures the order is correct.
“I don’t have to reach out to answer questions about the materials or how it was ordered and why because the orders are standardized and sent to the shop,” Beveridge says. “No one should ever be left thinking, ‘I wonder what’s going on with my material’.”
Accounting and finance
The benefits for the financing and accounting departments are immediacy and accuracy. In most companies that are not connected with this kind of technology, the payroll team is waiting for someone in the shop to get back to them with a stack of timecards. With BCX, the person can sit at a desk and process the timecard for the week prior without the delay. “The process is all automated and they are not re-entering the data,” Beveridge says. “The accounting person can generate the report on their own and aren’t waiting for other people.”
Generational views on technology
When implementing new systems, there can be pushback from employees who are risk adverse or uncomfortable with change. Although we tend to assume the younger generation is more eager to take on the tech, Beveridge says that in many trade construction companies, it is the long-tenured employees in construction roles who best understand the need for connected technology.
“The younger generation has expectations around technology, communication, and access to information because they grew up that way, but it is often the older generation that asks for it,” Beveridge says. “They are the biggest advocates because they have struggled for so long. Having accessibility and communication opens avenues for connection, and they have always wanted continuous improvement.”
Suddenly, employees are no longer emailing or calling around to get the information they need. Instead, they are managing and staying focused on training, operations, and growth.
“They like a system like this because it automates administrative tasks so they can spend their time on bettering productivity,” Beveridge says.
This sense of connection is essential to a thriving, productive company because, besides improving profitability and workflow, it helps people enjoy their jobs.
“Having access to information helps people see how other divisions are performing and it is motivating,” Beveridge says. “No one likes to be compartmentalized. Having that visibility among orders makes a big difference.”
Ready to connect your team? Visit buildcentrix.com today and schedule your free demo.