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Adopting the right technologies can help mechanical and other trade contractors deliver better quality, especially when those technologies are integrated to enable automated data transfers so everyone on the project has synched, up-to-the minute data. Mechanical contractors can take the lead to enhance construction workflows and drive greater collaboration among the stakeholders on a construction project. With end goals of improving productivity and quality at lower costs, achieving these three significant milestones is key: 

  • digital transformation;
  • technology integration; and 
  • optimizing workflows, processes and collaboration.

Organizing and Making Sense of Data

Shapiro & Duncan mechanical contractors use digitized technology to connect design, fabrication and field teams. They estimate savings of $100,000 per year by shifting to digital among pre-construction, the VDC department, fabrication shop and field teams, where deliverables are assembled. In the fabrication shop, users have monitors and tablets that provide instructions on fabricating. Shapiro & Duncan migrated its paper time sheet tracking to digital and substantially reduced administrative work, eliminating misapplied time and inaccurate timesheets.

Mechanical Contractors Need Integrated Technology

Adopting technology for teams will not solve all problems. If each department is using a different technology to solve their business challenges, that in itself can pose new challenges, including lack of integration and the ability to transfer critical information to the next team so they can accomplish the project's next milestones. A collaborative mindset for selecting technologies across the entire company must include the ability to integrate. This automates the ability to transfer data between applications, simplifying data management and project-specific deliverables among project partners. For example, the design team's platform needs to integrate with the fabrication shop. Without both solutions integrating, teams will not be working off the same proverbial page. Everyone can remain focused, collaborate and make decisions that increase productivity and mitigate costly mistakes.

Optimizing Workflows for Mechanical Contractors

The panacea of optimization is drawing insights from critical data collected within the department, inter-departmentally and across partner workflows. Digitizing operations increases efficiency, quality and reduces cost of project delivery.

A top priority is to achieve a project's digital footprint in one common data environment. This is where the team can quantify and assess operational performance to the smallest detail. They can analyze metrics such as win ratio, ideal customer profile, safety scores, efficiency and productivity, and top risks. Equipped with actionable insights on strengths and weaknesses, companies can win more business and improve profitability while significantly enhancing each team's work quality.

Don't Fall Behind

In the reality of today's evolving construction market, trade contractors must adapt and do more with fewer resources. Increasing demand for more construction infrastructure coupled with the difficulty of finding skilled specialty contractors and safety, financial and supply chain restrictions will continue to impact the marketplace.

Adopting technology to digitize an operation, integrating with other solutions and optimizing workflows are a business survival strategy and not another cost to budget this cycle. The current market dynamics are requiring it, so do it right. The result will be better quality for clients.

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