A deep dive into the digital tools for construction management
Many of the UK’s construction projects hinge on a handful of generic and widely used software tools, in particular WhatsApp, Microsoft Excel, and emails. These tools have hugely streamlined construction project management and made communication between on-site and off-site teams faster and more effective, but as the demands of the construction sector have increased, are these tools still as effective as they once were, or do their limitations and potential drawbacks now outweigh their benefits?
In this article, we will explore the new generation of digital tools that can help streamline communication and deliver a more efficient approach to construction management. From improved security to better functionality and organisation, we will dive deep into the benefits of using dedicated construction management and project planning software in your projects.
Construction projects often involve sensitive financial and personal information, and maintaining confidentiality while communicating over digital channels is crucial to avoid potential data security risks. WhatsApp, email, and Excel are all vulnerable to hacking and unauthorised access, posing a significant security challenge to construction managers. Dedicated construction project management software, on the other hand, provides an added layer of protection with advanced security features that work effectively over mobile networks. Features such as two-factor authentication, user access management, and granular permissions can ensure your data is always safe and secure, without inhibiting seamless communication.
Dedicated construction project management software has a comprehensive set of features to meet the specific needs of construction projects. These features include customisable Gantt charts, information status tools, and scheduling capabilities to track project progress and deadlines in real time, avoiding the need to juggle multiple email threads, spreadsheets, and WhatsApp conversations to convey information and changes between stakeholders. You can also set reminders, track costs, and monitor performance metrics on a single platform. These functionalities can help you maximise the efficiency of your project and boost your productivity.
Organising email conversations, Excel files, and informally agreed schedules arranged through WhatsApp is now, unfortunately, an integral part of construction management. This is unfortunate because it means that construction managers never have the big picture when making strategic decisions, as crucial information is siloed within countless email accounts, spreadsheets, and mobile devices. With dedicated construction management software, on the other hand, you can manage an unlimited number of projects, contractors, and stakeholders from within a single user dashboard. You can create accurate task lists, assign responsibilities, and track progress updates without any confusion, duplications, and errors – avoiding endless back-and-forth communication and revisions. In addition, you can store, share, and centralise files, drawings, and documents on the cloud without worrying about losing or misplacing them, so that the ‘lost laptop on the train’ conundrum is no longer an operational risk that you need to consider.
Construction projects vary widely in scale, complexity, and scope, and the amount of data required to effectively deliver a large project can quickly become unmanageable if you are relying on spreadsheets, emails, and text communications. That's why a dedicated construction management platform, such as Milestone, provides customisation options that can scale to your needs, without becoming unwieldy. You can select the appropriate features and adjust project settings according to your preferences and make changes whenever necessary. You can add team members, set access levels, and create custom workflows that streamline your processes further.
Effective collaboration between stakeholders is essential to ensure the success of any construction project. Dedicated construction management software creates a secure virtual interface for teams to communicate, share information, and work collaboratively in real-time, whether in the office, on-site, or at home. You can use features such as instant messaging, file sharing, and video conferencing to keep all stakeholders informed and engaged throughout the project lifecycle.
Speak to our team
At Cube, we offer a range of construction project management services to help streamline and improve your project deliverables, including a construction project review service, and an innovative planning software called Milestone. To find out more, please speak to one of our team today.
Image source: Canva