It goes without saying that a strong economy is generally better than a weak economy. For construction companies, however, a growing economy can be fraught with peril. In fact, subcontractor failure rate is three times higher in a recovering economy than it is when the economy is stagnant.

The savvy construction company, though, can avoid many of these pitfalls through technology. The many cloud-based tools available empower construction companies to get the benefits of the recovering economy, while avoiding the bad parts.

Cloud-based technology and optimizing business processes

"Construction technology" is a buzzword that is seemingly everywhere, but what does it mean? The overuse of Microsoft Excel, or manual process service providers hiding out as "technology" are not what construction industry participants should view as construction technology.

Real technology is purpose-built and capable — not shoehorned into places it doesn't fit or stretched by any attempt to scale.

New cloud-based platforms provide construction companies with the opportunity to optimize and streamline clunky and outdated business processes. There are real and significant benefits to using cloud-based software platforms to take your company into the future, including:

  • It frees up company time to focus on core business
  • It positions a company for growth
  • It empowers a company to use data to make smarter decisions
  • It allows a company to optimize and leverage business processes that used to be obstructive tasks

These benefits that can be gained through the adoption of cloud-based "smart" technology platforms, are especially important in a rebounding and growing economy, as noted above. Given the reality of the dangers of a growing economy for those in the construction industry, companies can and should leverage technology to offset some of the risks.

In fact, adopting new cloud-based technology and integrating its benefits into a company's processes can be the difference between growth and stagnation, or taking the lead and getting passed up by competitors.

What to look for

While the benefits of adopting technology platforms are real, companies should put real thought into the technology platforms they choose, and how they fit together.

If a company uses an Enterprise Resource Planning system (ERP), like Oracle, Eclipse, SAP or Infor, it pays to see which other platforms integrate with the particular ERP used. Integration between newly adopted technology and the existing ERP is a significant advantage.

This type of integration streamlines and simplifies the transfer and exchange of data. Because of this, the amount of time it between choosing a technology platform and full implementation of that platform is dramatically decreased, and the adoption of the new technology is streamlined.

It's also important to determine if a newly chosen technology can "talk" to any other technology platform. If a company chooses the right technology platform, it's not just connecting to one tech partner, it's entering into a network of all the other technologies with which that partner is integrated. This can reduce the investment needed to connect with multiple new, exiting, and relevant technologies.

Cloud-based construction technology is a rapidly-expanding market and provides companies with tools to dramatically improve both their business processes and their bottom lines. Prudent companies will adopt many of these platforms, and their bottom lines will feel the benefit.