The publication of the Construction Leadership Council’s ‘Modernise or Die’ report this year highlighted a range of areas in which the sector needs to adapt to the future if it is to remain fit for purpose. Given the lingering effects of the economic crisis and the uncertainties of Brexit, it would be unwise for any sector to imagine it could carry on in a ‘business as usual’ fashion.
Of course, having a workforce with the right skills is important. Similarly, it is imperative to continually consider more efficient ways of working. The ‘Modernise or Die’ report highlights many ways companies are seeking to be more effective on-site, by considering pre-manufacture for example. However, the industry should also take a more holistic view as there are undoubtedly efficiencies to be gained in the back-office.
The most forward-thinking offices will take the opportunity to do this by adopting new technology, such as back-office software applications which are now available to make life considerably easier. Just as the tried-and-tested ways of doing things in the past on-site are no longer fit for purpose, the same can be said for back-office processes.
For example, paper documents are now a thing of the past for many firms. Electronic documents are increasingly in use across the supply chain, with these being easily accessible at all times. Similarly, smart offices use new software to keep tabs on all their subcontractor applications, ensuring it is easily visible and trackable.
Saving time and money is essential and many companies are discovering how the right software tools can make a major impact. More and more companies are no longer using spreadsheets to create estimates for example, or manage expenses. Instead they are using tailored industry-specific software that offers more accuracy, control and speed in managing the whole process. Even the business of chasing up late payments can be managed more quickly and in greater volumes by using the right kind of dedicated credit control software packages.
Cloud-based ERP solutions are also coming to the fore; these can be used to enhance commercial, operational and finance processes right across the business with agile and powerful tools such as real-time reporting.
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