Workflow Management – the 4 phases of CDE
A Common Data Environment (CDE) is essential to the smooth running of any construction project. In this article, we explain the functions of the 4 distinct phases of the CDE workflow.Read more
Construction companies require agile, flexible systems to manage the operations and workflow of their business.
Managing task-based workflow, interacting with countless subcontractors, and orchestrating complex approval processes requires a system that is easily customisable and reliable.
It is through cloud-based platforms like Zutec that this instantaneous collaboration is made possible. Workflow automation allows construction managers to get through a job swiftly with ease and accuracy.
Most people have more things on their to-do list each day than they have time for – and building contractors are no different. The urgency of project deadlines and budgets means that builders must do everything they can to stay on schedule.
Without some kind of digital assistance, processes and inspections are very time-consuming and can easily become bogged down.
As Zutec business development manager Daniel DaSilva says: “Before digital solutions were created, inspections were all done on paper. Someone would walk around and complete a paper form checklist and sign it off, and then hand over the paper to a different party for them to go out and make sure that it has been done.”
Contractors deal with the potentiality of extensive problems and risks in their line of work, from the financial and legal side of the business, all the way to protecting themselves and their field crew from physical harm. They have building permits to complete, inspections to schedule, licensing requirements to meet and insurance prerequisites to file, as well as all the accompanying paperwork that goes with each.
In addition, spending a significant portion of a day chasing down forms or searching for documents means losing precious time. Unfortunately, contractors often remain stuck in the pre-internet era of paper filing systems and faxed work orders. This highly manual process means many opportunities for human error in the workflow.
Similarly, the challenges of managing and communicating the workflow of large numbers of workers, spread out across different physical sites and involved in a wide variety of roles and disciplines, means that problems, confusion, delays and errors can often arise.
Utilising technology to streamline workflows can ensure smoother processes and greater efficiency, ultimately reducing costs and preventing wasted time.
Thomas Heery of Zutec says: “With a digital solution, you’ve got your paper trail and evidence. Digital solutions will also help you with fast resolution of issues. You can raise issues fast and you can resolve them fast. And as a result of this it actually should improve safety, quality and time on a project.”
In the context of a construction project, incorporating technology will simplify many of the tasks and responsibilities, regardless of what stage of the project is being completed at the time. Greater access to plans and documents, easier communication and the digitisation of inspections lead to better collaboration, easier data collection and smoother workflows for all.
And the fast-evolving nature of digital technology means new efficiencies regularly come on-stream, so making yourself open to using digital methods now will benefit you more and more into the future.
For example, one new innovation allows site personnel to utilise speech-to-text to make notes about site conditions. This saves time by allowing the worker to capture their notes and observations quickly and easily in real time, without even having to type as they go – or when they get back to the office.
Better accuracy and speed, instant-sharing and access to documents, combined with a safe and secure data back-up, illustrates exactly how technology can be used to streamline workflows.