Increasing Your Construction Team's Productivity with Low-Code
The construction industry has always struggled with achieving and maintaining high levels of productivity. In fact, this industry is actually less productive now than it was in the 1960s. When you dig deeper, you can see why: a recent McKinsey report ranks the construction industry as one of the least digitized sectors.
Today’s perfect storm is only accelerating the industry’s productivity challenge. With construction supply inflation, supply chain constraints, complex material tracking, resource constraints, increasing interest rates, gasoline cost and so much more - Excel spreadsheets are no longer a viable tool to manage construction projects.
This lack of digitization is the main driver of low productivity in the construction industry. After all, if you're using spreadsheets to manage workflows in your construction business (instead of workforce management systems) it's going to be a tedious process.
Still, project managers cling to dated workflows and manual processes that challenge their effectiveness. The good news there is a way forward that can rapidly and efficiently transform legacy tools to solve today’s challenges.
The good news there is a way forward that can rapidly and efficiently transform legacy tools to solve today’s challenges. Only by improving your processes can you eliminate waste and increase your construction team's efficiency.
Dependency on manually maintaining spreadsheet data no longer needs to be a productivity constraint.
Low-code offers a simple intuitive approach to delivering solutions for any size construction business that wants to rapidly improve its team's productivity.
Why Low-Code for Construction Process Improvement?
With an ever-changing landscape, construction project managers face a plethora of obstacles. Workflow management challenges. Compliance issues. A lack of reliable subcontractors. Miscommunication between teams. Supply chain issues. Ever pressing deadlines. Increased material and labor costs.
Managing construction projects isn't getting any easier.
Low-code offers an affordable solution for construction companies looking to digitize their processes with integration to spreadsheets and internal systems with built-to-fit applications that automate processes and provide visual-based decision points.
All without forcing you to dedicate huge chunks of time or resources to digital improvements. This approach also takes the pressure off a construction business’s limited I.T. resources and long-time lines to deliver innovative product solutions.
Low-code/no-code platforms are visual interfaces that allow you to quickly drag and drop bits of code or visual icons into a workflow to create the custom solution that you need. They're quick-to-learn and easy-to-use platforms for custom application development. Plus, they're a SaaS solution, so costs scale with use.
In short, if you're a growing construction business that's still relying on (damaging and risky) spreadsheets to manage projects, you need to consider low-code. It's your ticket to rapidly redesigning your business to reduce costs, increase efficiency, and remain compliant without overworking your staff.
8 Ways Low-Code Can Improve Your Construction Team's Productivity
1. Low-Code Improves Workflows
Improving operational efficiency requires the right approach. It starts with mapping out your workflows and processes. After, you identify opportunities to automate tedious, manual processes.
For example, rather than use Excel to manage construction projects, you can build out a custom workflow management system using a low-code platform. This will allow you to streamline numerous processes, increasing productivity on your team.
With low-code, you can automate and streamline everything from contractor evaluations to managing inventory. Procurement processes, employee onboarding, workforce management, if there's a workflow in your construction company, you can likely automate part of it (or all of it) using low-code.
You simply build the workflow into the low-code platform with the appropriate triggers and guardrails. Then, you integrate the various systems and applications needed to support the process. Once everything is set up, the platform will automate your workflows. This will save your construction team tons of time in the end.
With menial processes automated, you'll also experience fewer data entry errors and the increased cost, risk, and time-loss associated with them as an added benefit.
2. Low-Code Ensures Compliance
Low-code can "supercharge" your data compliance by setting up certain guardrails designed to keep your business in check. This means you'll spend less time worrying about data security and regulations and more time focused on growing your business.
Here are three areas where low-code supports data compliance:
Better Manage Personal Identifiable Information (PII)
Low-code uses embedded platform layer protection. These protections offer an error-free way to safeguard and maintain sensitive data.
Business analysts can flag a column as PII when configuring a database. This protects the information at the application level. Additionally, it filters that protection to all records that use the PII columns.
Decouple Run-Time Security from Application Development
Despite adhering to secure coding standards and code reviews, even the best developers can miss something. (Your overworked development team can't catch everything.)
Low-code builds protections into the underlying platforms once, protecting all your custom applications.
When compliance regulations change, only the platform layer needs updating. This ensures compliance for all applications as well as high-quality security. Additionally, it eases the burden on the development team.
Meet Global Compliance Regulations
Tailoring applications for use in different countries is tedious and time-consuming. There are numerous data regulations depending construction teams may need to navigate when working with clients, including:
- ISO 27001
Low-code makes data compliance easy by allowing you to set up secure databases that store your sensitive data properly.
And unlike spreadsheets that can be easily hacked, low-code platforms are more secure. It's easy to set up compliance guardrails on the platform. This reduces the chance of data breaches (from internal team members or external threats).
3. Low-Code Allows for Real-Time Data Collection
The proliferation of smartphones, tablets, and other devices provides a unique opportunity for real-time data collection. A recent study found 75% of small to mid-sized construction firms in the U.S. and Canada use a mobile device to access work-related information.
Another report revealed that 82% of contractors use mobile device apps to capture field data. The report also states that "Contractors are also increasingly using technologies like drones, cameras, sensors, and wearables on the job site."
This access to real-time data provided by technology allows project managers to adapt quickly when unexpected events happen on the job site.
Low-code, mobility-enabled solutions reduce Excel dependency. They enable insights into real-time material tracking. They provide better connectivity to supply chain partners. And they establish optimized workflows.
But if that data sits in an app all day, not connected to any main system, then it's slowing down your construction team's productivity.
Project managers can leverage those insights and that real-time data with low-code. With low-code, you can build a centralized database and integrate applications with ease.
As a result, you'll break down those silos so your team can upload information in real-time. This will empower you with better insights to manage projects more efficiently.
4. Low-Code Improves Team Communication
Low-code can streamline communication between your teams by keeping everything organized on one platform. Rather than sort through email threads, texts, and even written messages, you can effortlessly track communications on one, single platform.
This will lead to fewer miscommunications. And it'll make it easier for your team to find and verify information such as guidelines, deadlines, and invoices. As a result, your construction team can work faster and more efficiently.
5. Low-Code Makes Material and Project Planning Easier
Project planning is a tricky task. Project managers must juggle several projects along with the resources, labor, priorities, and a host of other tasks. Low-code solutions help guide you through the stages of the project lifecycle with real-time data insights.
Low-code can automate your workflows, reducing human error. Additionally, real-time dashboards help project managers catch costly mistakes quickly. As a result, you can adjust your supply chains and workforce management to ensure productivity remains high and projects finish on time.
6.Low-Code Makes Workforce Management Easier
To successfully manage workflows in construction, you need to have the right people and right supplies in the right place at the right time with the right systems and tools.
Low-code this happens by streamlining workforce management. Rather than using a spreadsheet to manage people, you can easily build the custom solution you need to automate those processes.
With a workforce management solution built in low-code, you can ensure your employees show up on the job site with the correct certifications. And you can make sure they have the right materials at the right time so they're never standing around waiting for what they need to build.
7. Low-Code Reduces Costs
Low-code improves efficiency and productivity. That makes for better margins, significantly reducing costs. Low-code makes it easier to spot potential issues and risks, avoiding costly mistakes and delays. Audit trails are automatically created, making it easier for the team to stay on top of projects.
That’s not all.
Low-code improves bug remediation and code errors. This cuts down on development time, giving you and your team more bang for your buck. Plus, you can leverage the time and resources saved to complete more projects faster, further increasing your team's efficiency.
8. Low-Code Promotes Mobility
As mentioned earlier, mobile devices like smartphones, smart tablets, drones, and wearables are more common on job sites. These tools help your team work faster.
But, those tools need cross-platform functionality. Otherwise, you end up with data siloed in systems and bottlenecks that slow your team down.
Low-code allows you to embrace true mobility by making it easy to integrate these disparate tools. Simply drag and drop integrations into place, then watch data flow seamlessly between platforms. And as your tech stack grows, you can scale your systems with it.
That means your construction team can leverage new technologies with new features to deliver results faster, improving their productivity across projects.
How Can Your Construction Team Increase Productivity Faster?
As more industries adopt technology to automate processes and streamline work, customers and clients expect more. They want the fast service and clear communication they get from other interactions in their lives.
Additionally, your employees will expect these features, too. The faster they can work, the more productive (and less stressed) they'll be. That means better systems and workflows will lower burnout and attrition.
That's why you need to adopt digital solutions to keep your construction business productive and profitable.
But, your business doesn't need to rush out and dump all of its IT budget into an expensive custom application built from scratch (and then wait 9 - 18 months for it to finally go live). Instead, you can leverage low-code and low-code developers to quickly build out the tech solutions you need.
This means you can get powerful enterprise-level applications without the enterprise-level price tag.
At Quandary, we work with construction companies to build the applications and integrations they need using low code. And we do it faster and more affordably than any internal team.
The results speak for themselves: lower costs, increased productivity, reduced risk, and a better business overall. We focus on rapidly solving business problems and enabling businesses to constantly respond to changing conditions while remaining competitive.
Check out our case studies below to discover how we've radically transformed productivity for construction companies.