25 Apr The restrictions to residential building growth
How your systems and processes might be restricting your company’s growth
The building and construction industry has experienced rapid growth over the past few years, largely in response to the Canterbury rebuild and the Auckland housing crisis. With residential builds being completed at a rate of at least double what it was four years ago, businesses are going through substantial growth to meet the demand.
Unfortunately growing a business successfully isn’t as easy as simply increasing productivity and hiring more staff. Systems and processes also need to be adapted to match the pace of growth. Systems such as spreadsheets and the time required to complete manual tasks can significantly restrict a company’s ability to grow.
If building activity increases but project management systems can’t be adapted to match this growth oversight of projects can be lost resulting in budget blowouts and/or scheduled completion dates being missed.
Spreadsheets are often a major factor in restricting business growth within the building sector. When the number of projects being built simultaneously is low it can be easy to keep on top of them using a spreadsheet. However, when the number of projects increases it becomes increasingly difficult and time consuming to manage them with a spreadsheet.
The lack of integration and accessibility across multiple spreadsheets can result in missed information, errors in data and delays in accessing information. It can also mean that information is siloed in different areas of the business, restricting the visibility across the team, adversely effecting efficiency and the ability to collaborate effectively.
Spreadsheets typically have one owner; the person that updates and looks after the information within that spreadsheet. Issues often occur if that person is on leave or leaves the company as no one else has access to it or doesn’t understand the information in the spreadsheet. On the flip side of that, when a spreadsheet can updated by multiple people errors are virtually guaranteed to occur.
While these factors can restrict growth within themselves, the biggest restriction can be the application itself. Spreadsheets are great for analysis and data manipulation but their lack of integration and the high risk of human error means that once get past a certain size they become a risk to business.
The other major restriction to growth, and it may seem obvious, is time. Employees only have a set number of hours in a day and as project numbers increase, so does the time it takes to complete tasks and processes.
Managing documents is relatively easy when there are only a few projects on the go at any one time. However once the workload increases and multiple projects are being built simultaneously managing documents can become a cumbersome, time consuming process. Likewise, issuing documentation, matching documents to records and communicating the status of projects to clients etc. can become a job in itself. As more projects are added to the mix, the processes become more and more time consuming and complicated.
While spreadsheets and time are major factors restricting the growth of building companies, there are ways around these issues.
Scalable applications that feature integration and automated functionality can remove these constraints and allow systems and processes to grow at the same rate as productivity. By implementing a system that can interface with information from multiple sources, whether this be pre-existing applications, spreadsheets, or a combination of the two, and consolidate it into a single application, the time required to manage multiple spreadsheets and documents is eliminated. An added bonus is that the risk that spreadsheets pose to business is also eliminated.
Efficiency is also gained thanks to the system managing, storing and sending information rapidly; in comparison to a manual system which can tie up valuable man hours that could be better used elsewhere.
Integrating spreadsheets into a robust application and allocating time wisely are two key ways to ensure that building companies can grow without restriction.
For more information about iViis and how we can help solves these issues in the building sector check out our website www.iViis.com