How Does Automation Save You Time on the Construction Site?
Construction is one of the oldest trades in the world. Since the Stone Age, people have needed builders. Today, construction is a 1.3 trillion dollar industry.
Even though it’s one of the most important industries in the world, it’s far behind others when it comes to automation and technology.
For example, automation has improved workflow in the retail industry by 1500% since 1954. Meanwhile, the construction industry remains stagnant when it comes to increasing employee productivity.
It’s time for that to change. Keep reading to learn how automation improves workflow and saves money in the construction industry.
What Is Automation?
Automation takes the human aspect out of repetitive tasks. Instead of focusing on unproductive tasks like emails and processing data, your employees can focus on more pressing tasks.
Automation is the predetermination of certain variables. The cruise control on your car is an example of automation. It wouldn’t work without a person operating it. But it can stay the course with minimal intervention.
Any manager will tell you that employees are expensive. The more tasks you can switch to computerized, the more money you’ll save.
Of course, nothing can completely replace humans. But certain tasks that don’t require a personal touch (like creativity or problem-solving) are better suited for automation.
Automation Improves Construction Workflow
Workflow is how information and tasks get passed down and completed within an organization. It’s the synchronization of data and coordination of tasks.
During a construction project, there are documents traded between parties and tasks assigned. Having a good workflow streamlines the process from preconstruction to closing.
- Reduces ineffectiveness.
- Streamlines process.
- Improves construction quality.
Now, we’ll discuss specific aspects of construction workflow that automation can greatly improve.
Requests for information (RFI) are time-consuming and can slow down a project if not done correctly. RFIs make less work overall by preventing reworks. They give builders the information they need to do something right the first time.
Unanswered RFIs increase the time it takes to begin on a build and become a huge headache. The best way to avoid the hassle is to refresh your RFI workflow.
Manually creating and submitting RFIs isn’t efficient. Having a single cloud-based software solution for owners and workers creates a universal space for submitting RFIs within your company.
This makes it easy for everyone involved in a project to collaborate and be on the same page.
Have an RFI Standard
Set standards for RFI documentation to reduce wasted time on creating documents. When RFIs follow format standards and use data input methods, you can easily compare other similar projects with the click of a button.
Creating a streamlined RFI process is less frustrating for everyone involved and makes more consistent documentation.
Submittals are one of the easiest workflows to mess up with human error. Usually, this process takes weeks, or even months, to complete. Someone has to enter every aspect of a project into a system. Many times it’s done manually, which leaves an opportunity for mistakes and omissions.
You can automate submittal logs with downloadable spreadsheets. Systems then scan submittals digitally and enter the relevant information into the spreadsheet, which takes a matter of minutes.
Professional builders know the importance of completing projects on time and on budget. The average project experiences dozens of change orders throughout its span.
Each project deals with different vendors, products, and systems. It’s easy for the financial situation to get murky. But, it’s important to be able to keep track of project finances. That way, management can make sound decisions based on accurate data.
Use a Construction Management Platform
Keep track of change orders and track all project spending to keep up with the budget. This organized tracking makes more transparency within your project and does not let any unnecessary charges or mistakes slip through the cracks.
Digital contract tracking puts all information about subcontractors within one folder so it’s easy to find. It also gives you a better picture of income, spending, costs, and contract variances within one project.
Tracking spending on a big project usually takes a lot of time and manual energy. By automating the process, it saves you time and stress.
Prefabricated Housing Construction
Many housing developers utilize prefabricated housing because it requires fewer workers and lower costs. Homes get built-in warehouses on assembly lines, making it the ultimate example of automation.
Instead of doing work themselves, workers operate machinery that does the work. This level of automation uses less material and less waste. Any material left over from one home build can easily be used in the next.
With construction worker shortages all over the country, manufactured home automation makes the process more streamlined than ever. Once the manufactured parts are finished, they’re transported to the construction site to be officially assembled on the property.
Automation Saves Money
Automating construction creates better customer experiences, improves product quality, and streamlines menial tasks so your crew can work on what’s important.
Better Customer Experiences
Customers appreciate transparency when you present them the bill—especially on large projects. Automation puts all your relevant information in one place. At the end of a job, it’s a simple “share folder” task.
Also, all the time saved not searching for documents is better spent building relationships with your customers.
When everyone is on the same workflow, there’s less room for miscommunication and errors that result in a rework. Also, with easy task management, you can make sure each aspect of the build is allotted enough time for quality.
As mentioned earlier, employee time costs money. If your employees are always caught up in paperwork and repetitive tasks, that’s money out the door. By automating processes, employees spend time on more productive, moneymaking tasks.