Jan 28, 2022

Taking Construction to the Cloud


The Butterfly Vancouver BC

The era of whiteboards and sticky notes are numbered. As construction activity rises and projects become more complex, firms of every size are embracing cloud-based project management software to optimize their job sites and keep pace with the speed of business.

Typical cloud-based project management platforms are all-in-one virtual workspaces that provide the digital tools and data analytics to help project managers coordinate all aspects of the job, from bid management to project planning, budgeting to jobsite scheduling, health and safety to project delivery, and beyond. These platforms exist in the cloud, a secure web-based environment in which authorized users can share critical documents, communications, and updates in real-time while giving stakeholders a 360-degree view of the project as it takes shape.

There can be significant benefits to going digital. Entrusting project management to a cloud-based platform offers a host of advantages, including:

A view from the top
Cloud-based project management platforms allow stakeholders to monitor and track projects in real-time. This provides the 24/7 visibility needed to ensure milestones are being met, budgets are on track, and risks are being identified and addressed the moment they crop up.

Paper freedom
Countless documents such as work orders, bids, reports, and requests for information (RFIs) must be generated, sent, and managed to keep a project moving. Tackling this day-to-day paperwork can be challenging which is why cloud-based project management software enables users to create, share, and organize critical documents on the fly using pre-made templates and automated resources. This keeps all project elements in one secure and accessible location.

Smarting bidding
This tech isn’t just for delivering projects. Construction management software also comes equipped with the tools to manage the entire bidding process, including issuing RFIs and RFPs, collecting bids, and tracking coverage.

Stronger collaboration
Everyone is connected in the cloud. That includes jobsite workers, office teams, and project partners who share the same virtual space and communicate on the fly. The value of on-site meetings and face-to-face interactions will never fade, but cloud-based project management platforms can drastically reduce the time and effort it takes to connect and share information throughout the project.

Accountability 2.0
Having complete visibility over multiple factors such as costs, timelines, and labour helps managers ensure work is going as planned, workers and trades are performing as expected, and nothing is falling through the cracks.

Setting metrics
Cloud-based project management software collects and assesses data through all project stages (e.g., how long jobs are taking, number of delays, scope changes, worker performance, etc.). This gives project owners and managers the data-driven insights to set realistic benchmarks, establish performance metrics, and compare their activities between various jobs.

Enhanced forecasting
Another benefit of having easy access to comprehensive data is the ability to use it to inform future budgets and project planning and predict risks on future builds.

Secure document management
Projects are awash in paperwork, much of which is highly sensitive and must remain under lock and key. While a file cabinet does the trick, entrusting critical documents to the cloud is a more reliable way of making sure they are all in one place and being accessed by approved users.

Always current
Whether operated in-house or by a Software as a Service (SaaS) provider, cloud-based construction project management platforms are consistently updated to fix emerging issues or add new features, depending on the software provider.

It’s a point, click, cloud-management world, and the construction industry is plugging in. And while embedding a cloud-based project management platform may come with an upfront investment, the long-term payoffs make sense.

This article is the first in a series of Construction Technology spotlights. Stay tuned for a look at other technologies reshaping the field and tips on making any tech investment stick with your team.