Conversations in Construction: Selecting the right technology tools

As part of the Conversations in Construction video series, Construction and Real Estate VP Dustin Stephens and industry experts examine some of the unique challenges and ground-breaking innovations in the world of construction.

Episode 4: Selecting the right technology tools

Welcome to the fourth installment of our Conversations in Construction series, which strives to deliver actionable insights to help construction businesses weather challenges and continue to thrive.

Episode one focused on navigating the skilled labor crisis in construction, while the episode two addressed utilizing technology to attract top talent, and episode three discussed strategies for bridging the generational tech gap.

Be sure to go back and listen if you missed them.

In episode four, we dive into how construction businesses can successfully adopt new technology tools.

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Here’s what we’ll cover

Utilizing the best tools available

Identify business needs

Research new solutions

Regularly evaluate tech stack

Setting teams up for success

Get all stakeholders on board

Set reasonable expectations

Insights from construction leaders

Final thoughts

Utilizing the best tools available

Having the right tools is essential in construction – this includes the tools used on the job site as well as the technology that helps bring projects to life and deliver better project outcomes.

Construction businesses can ensure they’re utilizing the best technology for their business by identifying their needs, properly vetting new solutions, and regularly evaluating their tech stack.

Identify business needs

It is critical that businesses begin by identifying why they are looking to adopt new technology and what functionality they need from it.

This understanding will guide the rest of the process.

As businesses begin evaluating different solutions, some questions to consider include:

  • What are the current business issues?
  • Which processes are still done manually?
  • What are the gaps in the existing solutions?
  • What are the biggest pain points with existing technology?
  • What does the new software need to do well?
  • What are the biggest priorities in the next year? Five years?

Once businesses have considered these questions, they’ll have a better understanding of their business priorities, and a natural list of technology needs will follow.

Research new solutions

Whether a business needs financial management software, an HR solution, or preconstruction solutions, it is important to research options and compile a list of potential technology providers.

Proper research will help ensure the solution is a good fit. In addition to features and functionality, it is important to factor in criteria such as:

  • a vendor’s reputation,
  • integrations with other solutions a business is using,
  • security,
  • uptime,
  • support,
  • and implementation and training.

Many technology providers offer free trials or demo versions of their products, allowing businesses to evaluate their functionality and suitability for their specific needs.

Businesses can also seek recommendations and reviews from peers, colleagues, and industry experts regarding the best tools and software solutions available.

User reviews, ratings, and testimonials can help gauge the satisfaction levels of existing users.

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Regularly evaluate tech stack

Technology is constantly evolving so it’s important to keep informed on the latest developments in construction technology.

Consider subscribing to industry publications, online forums, and newsletters to stay informed about new tools and software platforms entering the market.

Attending industry conferences, seminars, and trade shows are other good ways to learn about emerging trends and innovations.

It is also critical that technology meet the unique needs of a business.

Regularly conducting a technology audit can help assess the effectiveness and relevance of existing tools and systems.

Consider factors such as efficiency, reliability, ease of use, and compatibility with current workflows.

This can help identify issues that need to be addressed so businesses can explore the right potential upgrades or replacements that will deliver optimal results.

Setting teams up for success

New technology implementation requires a significant investment in time and resources, and teams want to see a return on that investment.

Proper planning and collaboration can go a long way toward ensuring a successful implementation.

Get all stakeholders on board

When implementing new technology, it’s crucial to ensure teams will use it.

Engage key stakeholders, including end users, leadership, back-office staff, teams in the field, and subcontractors, early in the technology implementation process.

Their input is essential for defining requirements and identifying areas for improvement.

Plus, having their buy-in throughout the project will help ensure a smoother transition as the new software is implemented.

Set reasonable expectations

It’s important to set reasonable expectations when implementing new technology.

Just like any construction project, a software implementation should follow a well-thought-out plan, complete with a realistic timeline.

Don’t rush the process — taking the time to properly train employees is essential to a successful technology implementation.

Be mindful that there will be a transition period.

During this transition, employees will be learning a new system while at the same time maintaining their current system and day-to-day activities.

Insights from construction leaders

Technology will continue to play a vital role in improving efficiency, productivity, and overall performance, making it more important than ever for construction businesses to utilize the best solutions available to them.

Watch Conversations in Construction: Episode Four to hear more from my conversation with two construction leaders on the importance of selecting the right tech tools.

Reid Bangert

Chief Operating Officer & Integrator at Bangert Computer Systems, Inc., a trusted technology advisor in the construction industry and a leading provider of financial management, estimating, document management, project management, and productivity solutions.

Bangert was founded by Reid’s father and grandfather more than 40 years ago.

Joe Murray

Managing Partner at ACT Construction, a general contracting company specializing in restaurant, retail, and other commercial construction projects.

Joe founded the company in 1987 and named it after his three children, Amy, Christopher, and Tonya. Two of them are involved in the business today.

Final thoughts

The right technology can help businesses streamline operations, increase efficiencies, and improve their bottom line, so taking the time to find the best fit is well worth the investment.

Watch Conversations in Construction: Episode Four: Selecting the Right Tech Tools to discover how construction businesses are successfully adopting new technologies.