Materials and labor are the two most important inputs of any construction project. That’s why the pricing of these two ingredients plays a big role in the overall construction cost. Every contractor aims to stay within the boundaries of their construction budget. Yet, without information systems, it is nearly impossible to achieve this goal.
Although information systems have always played an integral role in the construction world, the industry still lags behind in some key aspects. This is likely to change soon as the industry is now embracing big data analytics. The construction industry is now moving to areas such as real-time analytics.
Here’s how businesses can use construction information systems to grow.
1. Better Planning and Budgeting
For commercial companies, there is a need to access the right data at the right time. This will help assess sub-contractors working on a project. The right data and analysis help determine the reliability of a potential partner.
Construction companies collaborate with various other companies to deliver all the required materials. You need appropriate data to assess the risks associated with every partner. Predicting outcomes is a key component of data analysis. If you’re able to able to predict potential outcomes of a project then you can plan for different outcomes.
Through simulations, you can learn potential problem areas and plan for it. These analytics help you recognize the real-world limitations of your project. This will help you reduce the possibility of problems sprouting unexpectedly.
2. Improved Tracking and Organization of Projects
You need data on business, weather, traffic, and community around your project. This data helps to determine the phasing of the project. As you work on the first phase, determine if you need more equipment for the second phase.
How can you do that? You need sensor inputs that show idle and active time on machines. This information can draw conclusions between increasing and reducing of the construction equipment. Sensor inputs also help in defining fuel consumption. This will help you track the cost of the project.
Analytics also provides you with reliable and easy to comprehend status updates of the project. With such regular updates, then you will be able to make better decisions. This also provides the avenue to analyze the progress of your project. Data analytics will also help to analyze the impact of factors such as humidity and temperature on your project.
3. Risk Mitigation
Analytics play a significant role in improving the safety of site workers. Construction sites have started to use smart clothing equipped with wearable devices and electronic sensors. They transmit images and information to main databases. Some of these smart clothing are equipped with automatic time logging functions. This encourages efficiency. Some new inventions in this sector include ‘smart hard hat’. These helmets measure the body temperature and heart rate of site workers.
The information systems also help remote operation capabilities. This means your site workers are no longer needed to be available in hazardous areas. Some telematics devices track factors such as frequency of drifting out of lane or breaking habits. This will give your fleet manager insight into drivers’ habits.
4. Tracking Assets and Inventories
Information systems play a role in tracking assets and inventory. You can connect over 10,000 construction machines to your system. This way, you can remotely supervise real-time performance of these machines in the site. This prevents misuse of these machines and helps you generate predictive capability data that will help you maximize the value of your assets.
Tasks are broken down into packages. Every machine is allocated a package depending on its power. This will help in mapping expectations and setting deadlines. Connecting the different parts of your management process gives you an opportunity to have ‘one single view’. One single view enables you to keep all information in one electronic file rather than different spreadsheets. You can now easily manage your inventory. You can also easily build a budget and control your annual spending on machines.
5. Cost Analysis
Even with the industry boom, few construction companies are able to make profits. This is because businesses aren’t able to evaluate their project expenditure due to difficulty in collecting accurate historical data on every aspect of a project. This information is not only important in reducing costs but also for bidding on new jobs.
Construction information systems help you collect data on operators, tools, vehicles, and equipment. This information is necessary when it comes to planning and budgeting. Analyzing the aggregated data reveals a trend. This offers you the opportunity to compare estimated and actual costs. For instance, you can overlap your fleet’s historical telematics with geographical information. This reveals the impacts of local aspects (e.g. topography, weather, and fuel prices). Idle machine hours can hurt your cost minimization efforts. Be sure to look into how every machine is utilized.
Further Insights on the Importance of Construction Information Systems
The biggest advantage of construction information systems is that the dormant underutilized data can also be evaluated to obtain relevant insights. Your business stands to benefit even from unstructured data.
Predictive analysis can utilize upstream information data to establish if your bottom line is in the right position. Multiple simulations built on the likeness of a project can be used to create estimates. Hence, you can develop categories to define optimistic and pessimistic estimations.
For more information about how construction information systems are important to your business, feel free to contact us.