It’s an exciting time to be in construction. What has become a $10 trillion-plus industry is showing no signs of slowing down, with 85 percent growth in volume expected by 2030 to around $15.5 trillion. And, as business globally gravitates further to the cloud to manage financial and operational data, so to does the construction industry.
As Viewpoint CEO Manolis Kotzabasakis noted in this morning’s keynote address at our Collaborate 2018 user conference, “a digital transformation has begun.” Contractors across the globe are modernizing their own operations to keep pace with modern demands. This includes: implementing integrated, cloud-based construction management software; deploying mobile devices, feature rich apps and collaborative document and workflow management platforms to better connect the office, field and entire project teams; investing in powerful data analytic and business intelligence applications; and becoming earlier adopters of new innovations like 3D printing, BIM, artificial intelligence and drone and robotics technologies.
“The construction industry is in the midst of a significant digital shift, adopting new cloud-based technologies and operational innovations that are helping contractors realize previously untapped potential,” Kotzabasakis said. “Our clients are at the forefront of this shift, implementing integrated construction management software and solutions to achieve new heights in productivity and profitability.”
That said, construction is still hard. Increasingly complex projects, rising costs, stringent regulatory compliance, rigid safety measures and conflicts and litigation can all impact contractors, not to mention environmental logistics like weather and geography they have to contend with. And, the skilled labor shortage is still the most pressing concern, as 89 percent of companies face talent shortages and the industry struggles to appeal to younger generations of workers.
In a world with these challenges, too many contractors are still relying on manual processes and spreadsheets and outdated, non-integrated and restrictive software systems. These are measures that, while they may have worked well enough in the past, are barriers to remaining competitive today.
A New Day
Kotzabasakis kicked off Collaborate 2018 by sharing Viewpoint’s own vision of helping contractors digitally transform their operations. Though technology designed for today’s increasingly cloud-based construction environment, Viewpoint’s integrated construction management software solutions are helping contractors of all sizes seamlessly connect their back offices, field crews and connect entire project teams. This allows them to operate with one set of real-time data, accessible to users anywhere, any time. Modern software and technologies are helping contractors break down departmental silos and realize increased productivity, mitigate risks and dramatically improve profitability.
A study conducted of Viewpoint clients by Hobson & Company noted that Viewpoint software users cut time spent on processes like tracking unapproved invoices, field time and materials in half; they realized a 75 percent reduction in safety issues and a 30 percent reduction in project delays; and they achieved a 3 percent boost in revenue and a 0.75 increase in gross margins.
Trimble President and CEO Steve Berglund spoke to the vision of and opportunities ahead for the combined companies since its acquisition of Viewpoint in July and Viewpoint Chief Product Officer Matt Harris also touched on some of the many new product and technology advancements developed for clients. Among them:
Viewpoint HR Management™ — Answering the growing needs of the back office to streamline HR processes like applicant tracking and employee onboarding, Viewpoint HR Management also gives employees the ability to self-service via cloud-based portals for many HR tasks.
Viewpoint Team™ — Project managers have been awaiting a robust project management solution with deep ERP integration as evidenced by Viewpoint Team adoption rates. With an average of 2,500 new users per month and 600 percent growth since its release last year, it has become the fastest-growing product in Viewpoint history.
Spectrum Business Intelligence — With in-depth reporting tools, dashboards, creative charts, graphs and even geographical mapping of data, users can easily use drag-and-drop features to access data, apply measurements and dynamic calculations, and create comprehensive reports that can be easily shared through this powerful BI tool.
ViewpointOne™ — The industry’s only integrated construction management system, ViewpointOne connects best-in-class finance and HR applications with project management and field tools for complete integration of a contractor’s office, project team and field personnel.
Executives from Trimble, which completed its acquisition of Viewpoint in July, were also on hand to share their vision for the combined companies moving forward.
More Day One Highlights
With more than 2,300 attendees and 130 educational sessions representing nearly 170 hours of learning over five tracks, Collaborate 2018 is quickly becoming one of the industry’s most important technology conferences. Here are some of the first-day sessions that proved to be the most popular:
Vista Accounting: What’s New and Next — In this session, users of Viewpoint Vista™ learned about many of the new accounting features that were delivered in 2018 that are helping to streamline and simplify work. Attendees also got a glimpse into future accounting feature developments and plans.
Viewpoint and Spectrum Beyond the First Year: A Discussion with Viewpoint Executives — Viewpoint Spectrum® users learned how Viewpoint will continuing to be integrating their construction management platform throughout the larger Viewpoint family of solutions, as well as an extensive rundown of the new features and product enhancements carried out in 2018.
ProContractor: What’s New — During this session, Viewpoint ProContractor™ users were shown highlights of the numerous product enhancements made during the past year, along with a look at the roadmap vision for future development.
Viewpoint Team & Field: What’s New, What’s Next — In this session, users of Viewpoint Team™ and Viewpoint’s extensive line of field solutions were presented with the overall Team and Field strategy, how it rolls into the new ViewpointOne offering, shown the significant product enhancements made during the past year and a peek at what features and benefits are on the horizon.
Lean Accounting for Construction — In this popular session, Eric Waser, CPA with Viewpoint client HEI Civil and Viewpoint’s Phil Zak, CPA, CCIFP, broke down the principals of Lean Construction Accounting, helping attendees identify processes that need review for change or elimination and how software features and functionality can help clients streamline these processes to reduce the days needed to close the books.
An executive panel session made up of Viewpoint and Trimble leadership was also a big hit with attendees. The panel answered a number of questions from Viewpoint clients about the combined companies and opportunities ahead.
Want more Collaborate 2018 highlights? Follow us on Twitter and look for hashtag #VCollab18!