Office 365

6 Ways To Transform Construction Operations With Office 365

construction operations with office 365

Timlin’s focus is on helping customers with their digital transformation journey.  Although we have worked with clients in several industries, our work in the Construction industry has illustrated some notable opportunities to transform business operations using the tools in the Office 365 platform.

The Construction Lag

The construction industry currently lags other industries in the implementation of technology.  Technology advancements could boost productivity and operational efficiency through more effective communications, collaboration, business process automation, business analytics, and project management. Employees could be more empowered, optimize operations, and identify and address inefficiency.

It’s time for construction organizations to embrace technology, else they may find their peers gaining a competitive advantage. Consider that there are over 273,000 open jobs in the construction industry.  Also, consider the average age of a construction employee is 43, and one-fifth of the workforce is over 55.

As companies replace their workforce with younger staff, they are going to find employees with expectations of higher-level digital tools and capabilities.

Opportunities to Achieve Digital Transformation in the Construction Industry

In our experience, we’ve found several areas where the tools in Office 365 can transform construction Operations:

In our experience, we’ve found several areas where the tools in Office 365 can transform construction Operations:

1.) Enable employees to access critical job-related information, regardless of location or device

Bandwidth can be an issue at construction sites, but a well thought out approach allows on-site and remote employees to access to information they need quickly and easily on a phone or tablet. This information typically includes from CAD files, design specifications, contract information, and project plans and schedules.  The mobile applications available for Teams, SharePoint, or OneDrive all provide access to all the documents you may need to get the job done.

2.) Optimize – and even automate – business processes

Job delays are problematic and all too common in the industry. One of the biggest ways technology can transform operations is time savings from optimizing – and even automating – business processes. Employees in offices and in the field can move from manual processes, often using paper, to more effective document management, sharing, and security.

Such efficiencies can extend to supporting departments as well. HR can automate vacation tracking, employee reviews, or expense management. Legal can more effectively organize and secure documentation for faster claims response. And that’s just a start. All of this automation can be provided through the implementation of Microsoft Flow workflows and PowerApps forms, and they are available to the desktop, tablet or phone users.

3.) Improve internal communications

With a large number of remote workers, it is critical to bring the team together, communicate key news, and reinforce your company culture. As you move to a younger workforce, this type of communication is going to be assumed.

A SharePoint intranet makes it easy to access and share information and documents, regardless of where employees reside. It does not have to be too elaborate but it should be kept up to date with effective communication.  The result is an improved sense of community that allows you to enforce your brand and culture through electronic communications.

4.) Enable efficient and secure project management and collaboration

Microsoft Project Online and Teams are tools to enable efficient project management and collaboration. These tools allow your internal and contract resources to work together, and your IP is protected through proper security measures. The structured nature of Project Online also allows you to more effectively resource your projects, track your variances, and get projects done on time.

5.) Increase and improve business analytics to make better, data-driven decisions

Power BI is a powerful reporting tool that can be used to build dashboards that present the KPIs you need to track and act on to improve operations.  Dashboards that present your gross revenue, profit, and other project financials in real-time ensure you act on these metrics quickly and are not surprised by actual results.

6.) Eliminate time-wasting activities

Construction operations produce a lot of documentation. And, as mentioned, it’s often paper-based documents. With highly-organized document repositories, employees can access a document based on its content classification, if it’s specific to a project, architecture, engineering, supply chain, vendor, or another category.  With proper content classification, you can set up powerful search capabilities that eliminate wasting time looking for documents.

Timlin has successfully implemented the tools in Microsoft Office 365 for several construction companies. For example, read our case study about we helped The Middlesex Corporation achieve digital transformation with Office 365.

And contact us if you’d like to have a quick conversation to see how we can help you as well.