Beyond Excel Sheets: The Future Of Construction Planning For Small & Medium Size Firms
Halfway through 2019 it’s amazing to see how technological innovations and automation has become a part of our daily lives.
From the ever present iphone to Google and Alexa home, humans are increasingly relying on artificial intelligence and automation to make our lives easier and more productive.
We’re even seeing the adoption of automated technology in industries that are traditionally slower to adopt, like the construction industry.
For businesses that have gotten by using Excel sheets for decades, the question is, what has prompted the adoption of software solutions for construction planning and scheduling?
To understand the increased rate of adoption, we merely need to look at changes in the construction industry over the last 10 years.
Newer companies or those with technologically savvy owners have become tough competitors; using construction planning technology to generate impressive 3D renderings, stunning visual schedules and up to the minute progress reports, even offsite.
By providing enhanced transparency, reporting and accuracy, these firms have slowly been edging out even companies that have been around for decades.
So, by necessity, legacy construction firms have had to adapt to remain competitive.
Especially obvious during the bid submission process, the need for a solution to comply with ever increasingly specific compliance requirements has become less of a luxury and more of an immediate necessity.
Excel sheets, while effective to a point, are still subject to human error and ownership and accessibility issues. In addition, they require a manual and sometimes painful process to update project schedules.
These inefficiencies, although seemingly insignificant, still eat away at each project’s profitability and the company’s ability to maximize project outcomes.
The barrier to adoption is to find a solution that will actually make the day to day workday easier and more efficient. The success of businesses that have survived through boom and bust can be attributed to staying lean and adopting technology only after a thorough assessment process.
A quick scan of the marketplace reveals that the majority of construction planning and project management software solutions fall into one of two camps; too big and bulky or too small and new.
The first set of solutions are bulky, expensive and less than intuitive to implement.
Often, they require extensive training and allocation of resources to really start to see the daily improvements of consistent use. While developed by trustworthy giants like Microsoft and Oracle, these solutions are often out of reach for the smaller and mid sized construction company.
The other type of construction planning and project management solution is at the other end of the spectrum. Often developed by new firms with technologically brilliant staff, these solutions simply haven’t been around long enough to trust with sensitive and critical data. These solutions are often too clever, in that after a few minutes of browsing a demo version, it’s obvious the engineers aren’t familiar with the daily life of a construction planner.
The middle ground is a surprisingly easy to use and robust solution out of the UK.
Popularized because of its common sense drag and drop interface that integrates with excel and the other larger PM solutions, Powerproject is currently in use by over 100,000 users worldwide.
Its pricing structure is accessible for smaller companies, yet its robust feature set is powerful enough it’s used for some of the most complex worldwide projects.
In a live free demo, construction planners are learning that it’s actually incredibly easy to use the scheduling tool and the automated calculations are repeatable, accurate and are saving hours of manual calculations in excel.
And, Powerproject has been around since 1988, long enough to have earned its chops.
In summary, Powerproject has ushered in a new era of construction planning by hitting the sweet spot of accessibility, usability and ease of adoption.