“What’s going on?” This phrase or some version of it are typically the first words in a conversation. Just as it’s a priority for people to understand what’s up with friends and family, owners and management want to know what is going on with their company.
And if you are an owner or manager, you don’t want to have to wait till the end of a quarter, completion of a project, or any other arbitrary period to know what’s going on with your company. You want up-to-the-minute project visibility. Having access to project information in real time is critical because without it, your company is proceeding as if blindfolded. Decisions, adjustments, and shifts are based on feelings and glimpses rather than on hard data.
Let’s do a deep dive into why it’s important for owners to have real-time project visibility.
Single Source of Truth
A single source of truth (SSOT) is like the holy grail of construction. Just about everyone recognizes the importance and value of an SSOT, yet it typically remains elusive. Software company Process Street proclaimed “the single source of truth as [is] the pathway to data enlightenment.”
Why is an SSOT so valuable? “… having a single source where a user can find accurate data would promote timely and accurate information, which in turn leads to predictability,” says Intelliwave Technologies, a materials management software company. While predictability in construction is a stretch, accurate and timely information is priceless.
The word automation strikes fear in the heart of some who worry machines are coming for their jobs and will leave them useless and ultimately unemployed. In reality, automation has indeed reduced the need for employees in some areas. Yet, automation has also enabled some employees to become more valuable because they are able to focus on higher level tasks and responsibilities. The construction industry has seen both scenarios play out. Employees in the back office, in particular, have seen a shift in their work due to automation. And automation is a key to offering owners real-time project visibility.
According to McKinsey, there are a few opportunities for automation in construction including the, “digitization and the subsequent automation of design, planning, and management procedures, as well as the vast efficiencies those can create on-site … it makes the on-site execution more efficient, allowing project teams to eliminate mistakes and better coordinate the workforce.” All of this, of course, translates to an increase in the bottom line.
It’s been stated ad nauseam that construction projects run over budget. And the larger the project, the greater the likelihood it will go over budget. Much time and analysis has been spent trying to understand why construction projects so often go over budget. Let’s boil it down to one sentence: Each construction project is unique and includes many elements and multiple players.
Another challenge related to construction projects is time. The more variables and the further into the future a forecast is made, the less likely it will be accurate. This is true when making any type of forecast, even the weather. “When it comes to weather, in general, the accuracy rate for a 24-hour forecast is about 95 percent. For a three-day forecast: about 86 percent. And for a five-day forecast: about 75 percent,” reports Spectrum News.
Briq’s financial forecasting and intelligence platform can run project forecasts in half the time and at triple the accuracy of the systems used by most general contractors. When running a forecast is less burdensome it happens more frequently. In addition, owners can feel confident they are looking at accurate data, thus enabling them to come to relevant insights, proceed with confidence, and drive better outcomes. With real-time project visibility, financial professionals can quickly make decisions that help them attain the financial goals they are expected to meet.
Just how relevant is cloud-based software to construction? Autodesk puts it this way: “While a construction app or software might look like it has all the bells and whistles with a sleek interface, without being powered with cloud computing, it’s a lot like using a pen without the ink.”
A 2019 study from the Associated General Contractors of America found that “firms appear to be increasingly comfortable with moving data to the cloud.” Why are firms turning to the cloud? “The top ways contractors … use mobile software is for daily field reports (44% of respondents), accessing customer and job information from the field (40%), employee time tracking and approval (40%), and the sharing of drawings, photos, and documents (38%).” All of this equates to getting information into the hands of those who need it in real time.
But cloud-based software has other valuable benefits. It helps people in the construction industry use their time more effectively.
Owners and management want to know what’s up with their projects. Providing them with real-time project visibility is a challenge for financial professionals who must manage a huge volume of data that comes from a multitude of sources.
Briq, which handles nearly everything construction finance, offers accurate and real-time forecasting abilities, automated workflows, and interconnected systems. With Briq, financial professionals can improve the speed, accuracy, and efficiency of every report or forecast they produce.
To read our full ebook on the importance of real-time project visibility, head here.