Construction is an industry that thrives on communication. Construction work isn’t just fieldwork. It’s a collaborative effort between office and field workers. Connecting these teams through cloud-based tools helps projects to run more efficiently, make communication seamless, and keep all the players collaborating effectively to more quickly complete a project.

Cloud-based collaboration to connect field and office along with general contractors and subs is here. It’s no longer a “new concept” and it offers many benefits to those who embrace these systems. These benefits are more than worth the learning curve and cost of implementing cloud-based software and collaboration today.

Here are some of the major benefits companies are experiencing as they add these productivity-boosting tools and techniques.

Ease of Access For All Teams
One of the biggest benefits of cloud-based collaboration is the ease of access to files and information including plans, change orders, etc. Teams in the field and in the home office can collaborate and stay current with information. If there is specific information like a plan or drawing needed onsite, it can be accessed from a mobile device, or even a VR headset, immediately.

Document Controls
Cloud-based collaboration means easier control over documents. Whether your team is in the field, or back in the office, they can have access to, and edit documents. If something needs to be edited, modified, or changed in a field note or RFI, teams in both the office and the field can make the changes based on permissions. This is a true cloud-based collaboration.

Improved Communication
Along with easy access to information, cloud-collaboration improves communication. Many systems allow users to receive notifications or track edits by saving the latest version of a document including who made the last edit. Documents can be saved with comments, notes, and other relevant information. In fact, most systems integrate communication directly into their system, meaning all emails, notes, and changes are kept within the project folder. This is a great way to verify the information and keep all of the project members on the same page.

Improved Project Check Lists, Punch Lists, Change Orders Etc.
Collaborating via the cloud is a great project management tool. Project checklists, client punch lists, change orders and more can be shared and updated in real-time. When a piece of information is shared with the project manager, they can implement changes and verify steps. When they understand the exact work a subcontractor is doing or planning they can ensure that the scope of work is understood. Along with shared communication, improving checklists are two of the strongest reasons cloud-based collaboration is crucial.

Centralization 
Cloud-based collaboration is the perfect way to eliminate gaps between the back office and field, estimating, design, subcontractors and everyone in between. Using cloud-based systems ensures that all of the data and information is stored in a single location, with authorized access. Everyone can work with the most accurate drawings and designs, everyone is connected. The Foreman can see drawings, budgets and construction schedules and make informed decisions based on the latest information available.

The bottom line… A recent study by the McKinsey Institute found that a lack of communication is one of the biggest problems facing the industry today. This lack of communication and information sharing makes projects less efficient, and 22% of companies surveyed said that poor or outdated information caused increases in rework. Cloud-based collaboration on projects can improve communication, and decrease many of these common issues.