From concept to completion, effective communication is a crucial aspect to the successful delivery of any construction project.
For a job to go as smoothly as possible, it is imperative that project information is up-to-date and easily accessible to all shareholders so that no detail or change goes unnoticed.
Effective communication, collaboration and document-sharing among the different players on a building job is made easy with a cloud-based platform such as Zutec.
Construction teams currently communicate through a variety of methods, few of which are efficient or reliable.
Long-established processes for daily communication, on-site and beyond, have significant flaws. Technology such as mobile phones, email, voicemail and texting have all simplified construction communications in their own ways, however, they have also caused communications to become fragmented, sometimes delayed and always unreliable, and at times have caused necessary documentation to be disregarded altogether.
To this day, massive amounts of paper documents are used in construction sites and operation of buildings – again this can be very difficult to manage, unreliable and inefficient as a source of data-sharing, and incurs significant costs in terms of handling and storage.
A project team’s objective is to facilitate a flow of information between multiple parties in pursuit of a common goal through effective communication. But in order for communication to be effective, it should be accurate, timely and available at everyone’s fingertips.
Poor communication on a project can lead to a range of problems at different stages of the job and among the different stakeholders.
If collaboration is not successful, what should be a team, all singing from the same hymn sheet, can become a collection individuals operating in isolation to the detriment of the overall project goals.
Failure to communicate clear instructions, or stakeholders working from out-of-date information, or a breakdown in the sharing of relevant data, can all lead to delays, cost over-runs and inefficiencies such as duplication of work – not to mention accidents or poor execution of work on-site.
The various groups involved on a construction site (project owner, architect, engineer, general contractor, subcontractors, suppliers, etc.) all come and go at different times and often have different priorities. This makes effective communication and documentation a complex job for the main contractor. If all stakeholders aren’t on the same page, details get missed and information is lost, wasting time and costing money.
“This is a big problem in construction at the moment – traceability, transparency. We even see Whatsapp as being one of the biggest forms of communication on sites, which is going to be a disaster in construction,” says Zutec’s Thomas Heery.
Zutec’s construction management software is one of the most effective ways of communicating between designers, office staff, and on-site workers – so that all team members have exactly the information they need, precisely when they need it.
Through an efficient, cloud-based system the entire project team is always in the loop – they can access all the job information and specification they need, with immediate updates and instant tracking. This means more teamwork, fewer change orders and even better project margins.
“The nature of construction is that people are not working side by side,” says Thomas Heery. “They could be many floors apart or long distances, it could be difficult to get from one to the other. So the digitisation of communications will be huge.”
The paperless approach even allows users to mark up, edit and make suggestions to plans and specs in real-time, from where ever they are. It simplifies the life of the main contractor as the complexity of gathering documentation becomes baked in to the work done on the site by all stakeholders, as they input data on the go.
It also removes the huge headache and cost of dealing with and storing all those mountains of paper.