Business Intelligence | Industry Blog | Viewpoint Construction Software

Business Intelligence

Using big data gathered from tech, wearables, and more, construction companies can gain crucial insights into projects.

Big data is the new competitive advantage for construction companies large or small. Every day, data is being produced and shared across all mediums. The term big data is about making sense of all of your data and analyzing it to make smart, useful business decisions for your company. It’s putting information together, and connecting dots that were not connected in the past.

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This is the second post in Viewpoint’s new blog series by Richard Scott focusing on the Value of Mobile Field Technology. 

Successful Construction Starts with Usable Data

I was once told that successful construction is about effective communication and as the Field View product has evolved, this perspective has always been at the forefront of our strategy and development. That’s why when people declare, “It’s all about the data,” I emphatically respond, “Oh no, it’s not!” Data becomes useful when it is given context and has structure, or when it has transformed into usable information. “Ah, so it’s all about the information, then?” you ask. Well not quite; it’s about how that information is used to achieve the desired goal. And, in construction, that’s usually measured in terms of product quality, delivery, safety, environment, and cost. However you set about achieving these goals will be relative to your perspective, either operational or business.

The Operational Perspective
Since 2001, the Field View team has been focused on delivering benefits to the community that work within the bounds of the project. These are the people that I often refer to in terms of hard hats and muddy boots. They are the Project Managers, Construction Managers, Site Managers, Site Engineers, Quality Control Engineers and Safety Managers. These team members are primarily interested in how Field View can improve their day, allow them become more productive and provide better visibility into a project’s performance. These team members are tactical and would prefer to spend time out on the jobsite dealing with operational project issues rather than in the site cabin managing paperwork. Field View delivers productivity improvements that they appreciate and value; time savings, collaboration and project control are of the utmost importance.

The Business Perspective
With impressive feedback coming from the operational teams, it wasn’t long before Field View began to attract the interest of the broader business teams. We started talking to CEOs, CIOs, COOs and Directors who had a different view on the information they needed and the value it would bring to an organization. They talked to us about delivering process control and consistency, data integrity, business intelligence and a requirement to integrate with other business systems. They were looking at a bigger picture and wanted to know how Field View could be used to support the strategic interests of the enterprise as a whole. In 2008, we began the process of completely re-engineering Field View to address the needs of the enterprise community.

So how does Field View provide tangible value to both of these distinct groups? The answer lies in the history and experience built into the development of Field View. In my last blog post, I shared the lengthy history of Field View and the reputation we have earned. Field View is the result of 15 years of feedback and collaboration with the construction industry – listening, learning and innovating every day. Today, our enterprise customers have chosen Viewpoint to be their strategic technology partner and they realise that the value Field View brings to their business is actually greater than the Operational Value + Enterprise Value. Our Enterprise partners refer to Field View as a “Business process re-engineering tool.” I could not have defined Field View better myself and I think that demonstrates the power and versatility of Viewpoint’s products and services.

User Perspective Data Knowledge

 

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2014 Customer Technology SurveyViewpoint Construction Software produced a 2014 technology survey that was sent to Onsite Magazine Subscribers, Construction Business Owner Magazine Subscribers, and members of the Associated Builders and Contractors in June.

Compiled by Viewpoint Construction Software, the Construction Technology Survey is designed to provide construction firms with valuable information regarding the uses of various types of technology available today. Our goal is to share the responses of contractors across North America regarding the technology they want and use. We offer the survey results as a valuable tool for companies reviewing technology tools or considering new options.

» 250 construction contractors participated in the survey across North America.
» Over 50% of the responders noted their role as Principle or Executive.
» Over 38% of the responders noted that they engage mostly in commercial/industrial work

Here are some highlights from the survey:

  • Over 50% of respondents said that they will be investing in technology in 2014.
  • Over 80% of respondents suggested that they use 3 or more technology applications to effectively perform job related tasks on a daily basis.
  • 82% of respondents are currently taking advantage of mobile technology to perform job related tasks.
  • Over 50% of the respondents stated they are NOT currently using BIM technology.

Corinne Lynds, editor of Onsite Magazine sat down with two Viewpoint Canadian customers to discuss their reaction to the survey results and how they are leveraging specific technology applications to achieve operational excellence.
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Delivering new software to market in an ever-changing and agile world is a dynamic and often multi-year effort. That’s why it’s important to take the long view.

At Viewpoint we believe there are three important components necessary in creating a software product of value: a clear vision, a focused execution plan, and the commitment of resources and support (buy-in) from the all stakeholders.

In 2011, Viewpoint announced plans to deliver a new suite of Service Management products in direct response to feedback from customers. A shift had occurred in the construction sector and many contractors were looking to extend and expand their lines of business in the face of a lagging economy. To many, the prospect of creating or growing service departments seemed like a wise and viable choice for increasing revenue. As these plans rolled out, Viewpoint repeatedly heard from customers that they wanted an easy, intuitive way to handle the small job work orders associated with a service business.

Standing by our commitment to listen to and deliver on what our customers and the market are requesting, we’ve worked diligently over the past several years to provide a suite of products for managing service work. We have staged our development to ensure we are delivering the appropriate features and functionality of the products to the right audience in a timely and logical manner.
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Mobile technology has evolved the expectations of today’s customer when it comes to the service, installation, repair, maintenance or inspection of their critical equipment, infrastructure and facilities. Information and communication is expected before, during and after the service work visit that satisfies the customer’s need for convenience, quality and clarity. This shift presents opportunity for service contractors to meet their customer needs with a mobile app for technicians.

Equip Your Service Team with the Right Mobile Field Service Tools and Features
Fortunately, the same mobile technology molding customer expectations can have a similarly transformative, positive effect on a service contractor’s operations. Mobile service team success depends in large part on how informed technicians are, and in turn, how well they keep customers informed. The right mobile app, working in unison with back office systems, can deliver gains in both customer-facing service, and field productivity. Popular app features include:

• Cross-Platform – Run the native mobile app on your company’s choice of iOS (iPad, iPhone), Android or Windows Mobile devices, including tablets and smartphones.
• Labor Hours — Technicians can record their billable and non-billable hours to the work order so they’re instantly available to accounting with no need for re-entry.
• Status — Current work status for the technician updates schedulers / dispatchers with visibility to availability, and managers can see the progress of the job in real-time.MSI mobile Viewpoint image 2
• Parts — Streamlined parts and inventory software allows quick and easy maintenance of multi-digit alphanumeric part and serial numbers so you can provide updates about parts’ location, availability, and reordering needs.
• Customer Assets / Serviceable Items – Help techs arrive prepared with automatic call info about the equipment they’re dispatched to repair.
• Scopes —Track work on the mobile app in scopes or sections to facilitate scheduling and record-keeping for multi-phase installation or maintenance work.
• Tasks / Misc — Record specific tasks and other miscellaneous charges to the work order or scope on the mobile app for billing backup and reporting purposes.
• Inspections — Field workers can perform guided inspections, complete service reports and other custom field forms right within the mobile app.
• Equipment — Track equipment or heavy machinery usage time, and record to the work order.
• GPS — Mobile device GPS location communicates technician location to schedulers for inter-day work assignment availability.
• Alerts — Field workers and customers can stay informed quickly with receive automated email or text alerts.

Work Smarter in the Field
Contractors with service departments are seeking ways to improve visibility and work smarter not only in the field, but throughout the service department and across the entire organization. Utilizing an integrated, contractor technician-specific mobile app can deliver these benefits and more, including higher worker utilization rates, better management visibility of field activity, and stronger competitive differentiation.

Learn More
Once you’ve made the decision to invest in the success of your service department, it’s time to consider what mobile application will be best for your team. If you’re in the market for a cross-platform, cloud-based mobile app, use this Buyer’s Guide to Mobile Field Service Software—with important tips, guiding questions, and to-do’s—for successful app selection and implementation.

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