Demand is up. Labor and material availability is down. That’s the reality of what it’s like to be a home builder the last couple of years.
However, there is no magic solution. No overnight fix. No way to avoid these headwinds. They’re coming in full force – and not just for you. Home builders around the globe are feeling the pressure. So, what are they doing to stay ahead?
The Association of Professional Builders answers just that, along with dozens of other questions, within their 2022 “State of Residential Construction Industry” annual report. More than 1,000 home builders from different corners of the world participated in a survey to uncover the latest trends in marketing, sales, financials and operations. You no longer have to wonder what your peers are doing to grow their businesses – and where you stand among them.
It’s all right here. And you can download your copy (for free!) right now.
One of the most surprising findings? Many construction teams still struggle to systemize processes and increase margins because of one common problem: They’re planning and managing projects the same way contractors did decades ago. It’s pen, paper and spreadsheets instead of more intuitive and innovative digital solutions.
Maybe that’s true of your team. These methods have worked so far … why should you disrupt what’s been tried and true to builders for centuries? How do you decide it’s time to modernize business if the job still gets done? Is construction technology worth it?
Here are four signs your team needs construction project management software:
1. Disconnect between your field and office staff
Construction project managers and other administrators within a job need constant, strong communication to ensure a job is completed as expected. Collaboration isn’t just a business buzzword in the home building industry. It’s the key to success.
Here’s what it looks like when it breaks down:
- Project owners aren’t automatically alerted when issues need attention.
- You can’t easily answer client questions when they want to know where their build stands.
- Field workers have to constantly contact the office because they don’t have access to drawings or details.
- Hours each week are spent racing from job site to job site to check in.
2. Projects are taking longer or missing deadline
Deadlines are a make or break for any project. When it takes days to just get a build off the ground or your team’s fumbling around in Excel, precious time is lost. And, with demand as high as it is now, every second matters.
Does any of this sound familiar to your team?
- You always have to start from scratch when mapping out a new project.
- Schedules aren’t built to be flexible enough to allow for delays or rework.
- Finding and booking subs based on skill level and availability is a highly manual process.
3. Unorganized job details
Here’s the funny thing about pen and paper: It can’t be accessed by multiple people in multiple locations. And even the most organized file folders you can’t easily search by typing in keywords.
Here’s proof missing documents or confusion over versions might be hindering your success:
- You spend hours per week searching for the right documentation to answer even basic questions.
- It’s not immediately clear what needs to be paid and what needs to be billed.
- Some jobs don’t make as much money as projected. If you had the right information at the right time, you might have made a better, more profitable decision.
4. Errors or changes in project scope keep eating into your budgets
Nobody goes into the building business to balance the books. That’s why financials is often the area many construction owners fall short. Of course you want amazing margins on every job, but that’s just easier said than done.
What does financial management look like without the right tools? Well, a little something like this …
- Your process for tracking change orders is complicated, so sometimes you don’t collect on that extra work.
- Tracking committed costs to actual costs is manual and you often don’t know where your budget stands until a job’s completed.
- Estimates get created in excel where the information isn’t always accurate or costs are missed.
Ready to put these problems in the past? Put tech to the test
Construction project management software does what spreadsheets can’t.
It takes care of job schedules at the click of a mouse, assigning tasks, budgets and timelines to your team. As issues arise, everyone receives alerts in real time and can ask questions right in the system.
This tool brings calm to chaos. Home builds are given structure with detailed tasks, budgets and completion dates. Everyone has the information they need to complete tasks on time and on budget – wherever they’re at and whenever they need it. We’d like to see paper and pen do that.
If software seems like a fit for you, your next question might be which tech to try. The Association of Professional Builders answered that question in their annual report, too.
And, to get a better look at where the industry stands in 2022, be sure to get your free copy of the “State of Residential Construction Industry” annual report.