04 May Separate roles, separate systems
Building companies have been experiencing rapid growth over the past few years and will continue to for at least the next few. With companies who had previously been building 15-20 homes a year now completing 70-80 homes, the demand for building companies is high. This is in part due to the Canterbury rebuild and the response to the Auckland housing crisis.
With these rapid expansions comes pressure on systems existing within the companies. More and more people are utilising them and expecting more and more from them. Where a project was easy to track and manage when it was one of five, it is increasingly difficult to do so when it is one of 15.
Within the company, there are multiple roles that need access to specialised systems such as QS software, accounting systems, a CRM application for the sales team etc. But everyday there are situations where having access to an overall picture of the business would make processes and collaboration a lot smoother.
A new sales person would be able to perform their job more effectively if they knew whether a new potential customer has been in touch with the company previously and what conversations had been held in the past. Communication with new and potential home buyers are often held in emails, notebooks and the memories of sales people. Without a central repository to record these communications, sorted by client name, it is incredibly difficult to deliver an experience which quickly converts prospects into customers.
When customers ask for regular updates on their ongoing build this is the perfect opportunity to delight them with photographs and notes on the progress. However, without a smooth flow of information through the company’s systems it can be difficult and time consuming to deliver updates to customers on a regular basis.
Pre-construction has its own challenges, such as preparing packs and issuing purchase orders in a QS system, or worse, through spreadsheets and then manually emailing them to suppliers and contractors. At the same time the accounting system is often isolated from the orders being generated in the QS system. Having these systems connected would save time, ensure an even spread of work across different contractors and suppliers, and also have them paid on time.
Mobile apps and paper based systems are widely used for audits on building sites, but that’s where they tend to stay, unlinked to the rest of the company’s systems. In an ideal world those responsible for managing audits and performing remedial actions would receive automated alerts when those actions were due. Similarly, photos of the site and the building progress are often taken on phones and tablets but aren’t linked to the job and can’t be accessed by other staff members or viewed by clients.
Integrating building and construction systems and apps creates a clarity and consistency around information that is vital in a fast paced working environment like those that the building industry is currently facing. Being able to have complete oversight of a project in a single application ensures that pieces of the puzzle aren’t being missed and the company is delivering on their promises.
To find out more about the issues facing a rapidly growing building company and the ways in which they can achieve information clarity, download our free white paper “The foundation for business growth”.