Contractors must demonstrate effective use of capital in order to win business. Intelligent resource management, proactive decision-making, and using data to demonstrate past performance will be key benefits, and technology can help.
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The Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act (IIJA), which went into effect in November 2021, is a sweeping law designed to improve and repair major US utilities. Valued at $1.2 trillion, the bill represents a wealth of potential work for construction workers around the world. Government work, however, is much different than commercial construction.
Since contracts are funded by the taxpayer, bidders are subject to more rigorous scrutiny than in the private sector. According to the guidelines in the Federal Purchase Order (FAR), Agencies determine the provider that offers the best value for money by considering factors such as quality of work, technical expertise, and past performance in addition to price. Government contracts may also provide for additional monitoring and testing to ensure the quality of work.
Contractors must demonstrate effective use of capital in order to win business. Intelligent resource management, proactive decision-making, and using data to demonstrate past performance will be key benefits, and technology can help. Solutions like construction management software can empower contractors with digital tools to show they have the resources needed to complete the job on time and in compliance.
Intelligent resource management demonstrates value and efficiency
While the influx of labor is sure to give a boost to the construction industry, contractors are still grappling with the ongoing labor crisis and shortage of equipment. In fact, rising demand is likely to make equipment scarcer and the job market more competitive. Contractors need to be strategic when it comes to using the resources at their disposal to keep workers occupied and jobs on schedule.
Construction management software can help by bringing assets into one central location and giving contractors a comprehensive view of available labor and equipment. This not only saves planning time, but also eliminates the overbooking and underutilization that can occur with a fragmented system of whiteboards and spreadsheets.
Additional features, such as digital crew management, keep employees on the job by tracking license and certification expiry dates and notifying management in advance of upcoming renewals. It can also be used for equipment maintenance records to notify when upcoming maintenance is due, reducing the likelihood of equipment failure.
Real-time visibility enables real-time decisions
It’s no secret that construction jobs are constantly on the move. Everything from inclement weather to last-minute design changes can drastically change time frames and budgets. All too often, contractors do not receive critical information in a timely manner, limiting their ability to respond quickly.
Technologies that enable employees to collect and send data in real time, such as Technologies such as employee-side apps, device sensors, and wearable technology can greatly improve job visibility and rapid decision-making. For example, instead of learning of an equipment malfunction at the end of a shift and losing hours of planned work, contractors can receive immediate alerts from the field and revise plans immediately to stay on schedule. Data collection over time can reveal trends in workflows, allowing contractors to better plan for long-term outcomes and even improve risk management.
The tools to visualize and analyze data are just as important as collecting them. Construction management platforms and business intelligence software can translate field data into flexible dashboards that allow contractors to review data in easy-to-read formats. The data can then be sent ahead for all regulatory compliance clauses at the push of a button.
Data can prove success and create transparency
Despite the growing building technology market, building itself remains one of the least digitized industries. This means that companies using construction technologies have a significant advantage over the competition.
Contractors have a better chance of winning bids when they can back up their experiences with data. Remember that agencies are looking for the best value, not just the lowest price. Those who can provide statistics demonstrating a high level of expertise, security, resource and time management will stand out from other applications.
Additionally, the use of such technologies provides contractors with an additional layer of transparency and accountability. Data provides a comprehensive picture of the job. Agencies can review expense reports, time cards, and see how contractors arrived at their numbers. When a major change needs to be made to a design, contractors can demonstrate why a change was needed and demonstrate that they based the decision on facts.
Adding technology to your business
Technology can bring many benefits to your business, but choosing the best solution(s) and implementing them effectively is also crucial.
When looking for the technology to implement, you need to identify the problems you are trying to solve before deciding on a vendor. It’s easy to get distracted by flashy features, but they won’t be of much use if they don’t offer solutions to the problems at hand.
It’s also a good idea to choose a technology that addresses multiple pain points. Using too many solutions can result in a disjointed workflow, cause data to become siled and frustration for ground staff. Technology is not the center of the universe for ground workers; projects is to be completed.
Most importantly, companies implement new technologies and give workers time to adapt to their use before assuming government responsibilities, especially if it is a new area for the company. Even the most tech-savvy employees will experience slowdowns as they learn to navigate new interfaces and troubleshoot common issues. Adding these problems to the pressure to do the work of government calls for trouble.
It’s always important to showcase your company’s best qualities when applying for jobs, but the added expectations that come with working in the public sector raise the stakes. Companies that want to be competitive not only have to be competent in their work, but also in dealing with resources, employees and time. A technology that can use the data to demonstrate these qualities while providing opportunities to improve them is a win-win solution.