Alerts: One way to stop firefighting and get proactive

Published · 2 min read

You’ve been so focused on the jobs at hand that you just noticed your current project backlog is less than you need. Time to scramble!

A key deadline on a project comes and goes before you realize it. Got to get back on track . . . quick!

A critical change order hasn’t been approved yet and the project manager in charge of it is on vacation. Now what do you do?

Not many people or businesses like to operate in firefighting mode. It slashes productivity, sends stress levels soaring, and takes a toll on your bottom line. Many construction companies are looking for ways to move away from firefighting and become more proactive in their project and business management. One way to do that is to use automated alerts.

An alert system works by actively monitoring the data housed in your accounting and operations software. When one of the tracked events occurs—for example, an invoice becomes overdue—the system triggers an email, desktop message, or text message notifying the appropriate personnel of the issue so they can take action.

Alerts can be set up for simple to more complex monitoring. For example, you can use an alert to monitor:

  • Employees who are approaching overtime hours. This is taking on more significance with the Labor Department’s new proposed overtime rules.
  • Issues affecting cash flow such as jobs that haven’t been billed and invoices due to be paid.
  • Project management concerns such overdue RFIs, submittals, and change orders; cost codes that have gone over budget; or approaching contract-critical deadlines.
  • Expiring subcontractor insurance certificates.
  • Backlogs and profits that fall below a specified percentage.

These are just a few examples of how some contractors are using alerts today. Moving from a reactive to a proactive business mode keeps you focused on what’s most important to your construction business and creates a more productive environment for your employees.

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