Business Intelligence (BI) software provides a fact-based, real-time, singular version of the truth, empowering construction companies to build and maintain a competitive edge. Project managers who use BI have immediate access to critical information about their projects such as labor, scheduling, suppliers and detailed financials. BI software aggregates information from multiple data sources, transforming it into actionable insights that project managers can use to steer their projects towards success.
Time is critical to the success of construction projects, and delays usually translate into dollars. Project managers can use BI software to quickly analyze data and develop reports that lead to more strategic decisions. In the past, the analysis and reporting was likely managed by an IT department that was likely focused on more IT-centric needs of the business. The IT department can be a bottleneck and cause delays to the field, leaving project managers to make decisions on gut-feel or intuition rather than true intelligence. Intuitive BI puts the onus of data analysis and reporting into the hands of those in the field who need the data the most, and want to make quick decisions based on fact. Project managers use BI to decide how to prioritize project workflows, allocate labor, schedule equipment and supply deliveries, and manage costs and risks. The ability to use data and manage reporting for their areas of responsibility has tremendous impact on whether current and future projects are successful
Labor can be one of the biggest variables for construction projects. The better it can be managed and anticipated, the better chance project managers have of controlling their costs and turning a profit. The jobsite is traditionally a wide array of activity with contractors and subcontractors, and materials and equipment coming and going. Data is coming from all parts of the operations, and by aggregating and analyzing the information, project managers can quickly identify areas where labor can be reduced and or allocated to increase efficiencies, improve productivity and or drive completion. Project managers can also monitor the effectiveness of labor, whether it’s his or her own staff or contractors and subcontractors. Keeping and comparing labor with project timelines, supply and waste and other aspects of the jobsite can help project managers identify sources of labor that they will want to use on future projects.
BI can help project managers to identify problem areas and opportunities and make decisions that will refine their projects’ efficiencies. For example, nothing slows a project down faster than if the crews run out of supplies or if shipments are delayed. Project managers can use the data analytics to better understand when and how much materials need to be ordered and when to ask suppliers to deliver them. Ordering too much product can impact project budgets, while also creating challenges for how and where to store any excess. With better visibility into project data and workflows, a project manager can make better decisions on what suppliers to work with to keep things moving forward. Knowing supply ordering and delivering patterns, along with the best times, prices, and quantities to buy, also allows project managers to negotiate the best pricing tiers to increase profit margins and capitalize on every opportunity.
Executives can use BI to make decisions based on statistical facts. These facts can guide choices about future growth by evaluating a long-term view of the market and competition. Executives can use the data to help decide where to focus growth, how to streamline processes, identify productivity levels among staff and suppliers, monitor cash flow and project profitability, among other ways. While managers can use the actionable insights to determine the most effective strategies to improve individual projects, BI allows Executives to see the bigger picture, funneling all of the facts from across the portfolio of projects to make crucial operational decisions.
Business Intelligence offers a real-time picture of a project’s financial risk, cost variance, cash position, change orders, AR retainage, AP aging and profitability of the job. Top-notch BI allows project managers to drill all the way down to individual transactions to get instant answers to money-saving opportunities and cost concerns. By examining incoming and outgoing finances of the present and past, construction companies can make decisions based on future financial status. Breaking down costs by job give project managers the information that is relative to them. Customizing the BI dashboard allows project managers to track key performance indicators (KPIs) that enable effective financial oversight and management.
Aktion Analytics business intelligence for construction professionals makes it easier for project managers to access the information they need to better understand their project’s past and present performance in order to make the right decisions to increase the chances of success in the future. Companies will be better positioned to make successful strategic decisions when they analyze data and monitor critical business operations from a single source of truth.
To learn more about the value of business intelligence for your construction business, download this white paper.
As Vice President of the Construction & Real Estate Division, Steve is responsible for leading a team of sales, application consultants and IT professionals in delivering ERP software, services and support to mid-market companies in these industries. An experienced business executive and software consultant with unparalleled expertise in the Construction industry, Steve is a respected voice in the Construction and technology community.