Construction Use Cases for Process Automation
Contractors and specialty contractors everywhere are looking for new ways to solve age old problems. There is still a big ‘paper trail’ full of inefficiencies in the construction industry. Many progressive companies have seen incredible improvements in business processes and profits through process automation. Intelligent analytics platforms are using process automation to freeze overhead costs, free up their most valuable people, and maximize efficiency in day-to-day construction workflows.
Here are three examples of how automation has helped some of today’s most successful contractors. (Contractor X,Y, and Z are real clients of Briq, whose names have been changed for confidentiality.)
In the past, when Contractor X won a new project, someone on their team spent 60 hours setting up a single project across 15 different pieces of software that the company used to manage their work.
Their smart analytics platform automated this process so that it:
- Logs into their CRM software
- Notes awarded projects
- Extracts all the relevant data
- Creates the project for them directly in their construction management software, and any other necessary platform (in their case, 14 others)
- Validates data and even awaits approval (where necessary) from key stakeholders
Now, no time is wasted on data entry and project managers have accurate data in real time.
Automation has saved this client dozens of weeks worth of work by eliminating data-entry tasks. Contractor Y used to get their budget from their project manager or estimator in a spreadsheet, and they had a team dedicated solely to manually entering that data into their accounting system and construction management software. Now, they load this spreadsheet directly into their smart analytics platform. The process automation tools fast-track this process by:
- Extracting the data
- Logging into their construction ERP system
- Creating the budget (all the line items, all the cost codes)
- Quality checking the data by comparing the budget in their ERP system against the total budget from the initial spreadsheet
If there’s no match, it means someone overwrote a formula, or made a mistake on the spreadsheet, and the total budget of the project is not what they thought it was. In this case, the automation stops, flags the error, and alerts the user. With this automated process all the data falls into place and allows you to prioritize time toward resolving anomalies and moving that project forward.
Contractor Z was at the early stages of a large project. The problem they faced: Inefficiency. Their team uses a different PM software than the architect uses. To submit an RFI before process automation, an email would be sent to the architect from the client with initial questions, images, etc. Someone would then manually enter that information into the architect's PM system, and when the architect came up with a formal response, their system would send it to our client via email. The client's project manager would then have to manually enter the information from the email into their own PM software. Today, their analytics platform has been able to integrate these two systems. Now, every 15 minutes, the automation:
- Automatically logs into the client’s PM software
- Checks for RFI’s
- Extracts all key details required
- Inputs them directly into the architect's PM software
There were so many inefficiencies and risks, from manual data entry errors to the time wasted waiting for emails to be received and opened. Now, data-entry errors and wasted time is a thing of the past. To date, thousands of RFI’s have been automatically processed for Contractor Z.
Briq is the first data analytics platform built specifically for construction professionals. By automating repeatable tasks, connecting your disparate software, and analyzing historical data, we enable construction companies to be smarter, more efficient, and drive more profitable outcomes into the future.
Briq accomplishes this with the most modern technology available, and hundreds of years of construction experience, combined into our data analysis models. Briq joins your financial and operational data, all in one platform, empowering you to make more informed decisions, faster.