While there are many tool tracking and accounting-based programs on the market, most focus on data that is input manually. Manual data entry is time consuming and highly error prone. In addition, the information tends to be outdated since there is a delay between when it is written down and entered into the system. Enterprise-wide construction resource management systems include features such as automatic data collection to eliminate errors and streamline the reporting process. Add to that software and tracking devices for warehouse, shop and field personnel, and construction resource management systems offer companies a complete solution.
Here are some specific features to look for in a system:
- Technology: Powerful technology can improve data collection, but technology for technology's sake benefits nobody. Make sure that your systems uses technology in appropriate ways to help your business grow. Looks for bar codes, RFID, GPS (global positioning system) and other enabling technologies.
- Construction industry specific: You'll reap the greatest gains when you work with a company that understands the unique challenges of your industry. Look for a system with features that fit your business.
- Easy to use: Your workforce will be more than likely to accept using a new system when it is intuitive and applicable to their industry. System experts that train your staff will further increase its usability and acceptance.
- Centralized access: Having a system with one central database for information offers access to users at the corporate office as well as those working from remote locations, such as job sites and satellite offices.
- Security: You can ensure the security of your data by implementing a system that assigns different levels of permission for multiple users. Only the employees that need to see senstive information such as company financials will have access.
Construction companies must find methods to differentiate themselves from the competition by increasing their operational performance. The trend toward using construction resource management as part of the operations process is quickly becoming the method of choice in this aggressive business environment. Implementing a construction resource management system streamlines the operations process, driving efficiency throughout the organization and increasing customer satisfaction and the bottom line. More and more construction companies are realizing productivity gains, reducing losses and improving financial performance by implementing a construction resource management solution that fits their business needs.
About the Author
Don Kafka is the president of Denver, Colorado-based ToolWatch Corporation, a technology company offering construction resource management systems to organizations of all sizes. Its applications use the most current and reliable technology to manage resources including tools, equipment, materials and consumables for maximum utilization and productivity throughout an organization. ToolWatch's customers include 30 percent of the top 400 general contractors on the ENR400 list and 28 percent of the top 50 specialty contractors on the ENR600 list. For more information, visit www.toolwatch.com or call 1-800-676-4034.