Technology & Innovation

Connecting field and office teams in an evolving construction environment

Construction worker on site

This is a difficult time for all sides of a construction business. Constantly changing conditions have included mandates to remain physically distanced and stop all non-essential business. Many projects are put in financially precarious positions as a growing number of office teams are separated from the field.

In the office, maintaining financial control is vital. In the field, project teams want to get their job done safely and get paid quickly. A simple, stress-free connection between the office and the field helps everyone get their job done efficiently. Finding a way forward requires field and office teams to stay aligned with access to an all-in-one source of actionable project insight.

The challenges faced by teams are magnified by the fact that construction companies in the industry today are still extremely reliant on email, phone calls, text messages, Excel spreadsheets, scanning, and faxing in order to run their daily operations.

Technology serves to help construction digitally connect teams with what they need to be prepared in times of uncertainty. Cloud-based project information is accessible from anywhere and by anyone on the project, making it possible to maintain productivity from afar.

Joel Fitzpatrick, Assistant Operations Manager at Fairfield Development, uses Procore’s cloud-based Construction Management Platform to integrate with his Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate accounting system. Fitzpatrick says that it has allowed their employees to have better access to project data while working apart. “I was worried that with us all working remotely, I’d be fielding a lot of support questions. But, Procore has made it easy for our users to find the answers to their own questions, making the transition a lot easier than I anticipated and we’re grateful!”

Taking advantage of technology’s helping hand

Integrating your accounting system with your project management platform is a major step toward creating one source of the truth for all stakeholders and access to the information needed among team members.

By connecting the two systems, office and field teams gain access to real-time data as it is occurring—providing major value to both teams when making financial decisions. This is especially necessary in times of uncertainty, when staying on top of your budget and maintaining control is vital to the health of your business.

Financial information like budgets, contracts, change orders, and invoices are updated instantly instead of at the end of the week or month. Project teams can make budgeting and forecasting decisions based on actuals from the accounting team. When everyone has instant access to accounting information, both sides are empowered to make knowledgeable decisions, streamline change management, and accurately monitor the financial health of a project.

Relying on intermittent and delayed updates at a time like this is risky. Without streamlining the two systems, accounting teams are left guessing on forecasting and budget. If updates are delayed, the accounting team may have to deal with the frustrating communication process of trying to get a hold of the project team out in the field. Meanwhile, contractors are busy focusing on staying staffed while completing the field work.

Simply receiving information from each team should not take energy and time away from doing your job and keeping financials on track during this crisis. With a streamlined system between project management and accounting, you can have confidence that your financials are on track to support your company and avoid any shocks or surprises.

The future of integration in the construction industry

Integrating your accounting and project management systems is a strategic approach to giving all-in-one access to the data that can serve as one source of the truth for the entire team. Working off one coherent set of data is important to maintaining alignment and creating more efficient communication between accounting and project management.

It’s hard to predict the future right now, but construction technology is dedicated to the continued development of connections and integrations that best serve the construction industry. The industry aims to build new ways of connecting and working together toward a positive future for all.

According to a Tech Trends 2020 report from Deloitte Insights, although the move to new technology isn’t instantaneous, it’s only the beginning, “The work of transitioning to new finance, budgeting, and accounting processes that support innovation will not happen overnight. But there are strong incentives for both CIOs and CFOs to find ways to effectively fund innovation. Some companies are already embracing this trend and are exploring possibilities. They are at the leading edge and will likely be the first to enjoy the competitive advantages that come when finance funds innovation at the speed of agile.”