How much is IT really costing your construction business?
As an established business, you probably already have a number of systems in place to help keep track of projects and related data. Chances are, however, that your existing platforms may be less than efficient. Worse still, they could be significantly reducing profits through inefficiencies, maintenance and license costs.
Here's how to try and quantify how much your current IT is costing your business.
Potentially, the biggest ‘hidden’ cost to your business is where your employees need to duplicate their effort. You should assess your current set-up to identify situations where:
- Employees need to manually copy data between many different screens or software packages;
- There is an excessive use of spreadsheets to make up for deficiencies in the old systems;
- Employees need to keep notes of figures before entering them into the system at a later time;
- Any process that requires manual intervention.
“While there is functionality contained within these tools that can help a small business, growing organisations may find that they quickly grow out of these tools. Organisations that use a set of multiple disparate applications, however, lack this unique advantage of ERP.” – Nick Castellina, ERP and the Small Business.
Lack of mobile support
Many of your staff will spend a significant proportion of their week on site. Ideally they should be able to access and update data while they are in field. If they cannot:
- Staff will need to keep notes which can then be entered into the system when they are next back at head office;
- Potentially costly mistakes will creep into your data as information is ‘forgotten’ or inaccurately entered into systems upon return to the office;
- Your business will be unable to make accurate decisions because data is missing, inaccurate or out-of-date;
- By providing any time access to your construction management software, data can be updated immediately, negating most of these problems.
“Poor data quality is wasting £1 in every £6 spent from the average UK departmental budget” - Experian QAS
On site operational costs
Probably one of the easier values to calculate is how much your current management software running overheads. Factors to consider include:
- The costs associated with maintaining computer hardware – Operating System licenses, electricity, hardware maintenance costs etc;
- Software license costs associated for each package you use;
- Staffing costs associated with training and keeping systems running.
Many of these costs can be reduced by adopting a Cloud-based current construction management software solution to replace several existing packages, or to integrate with them more closely.
Calculating your current IT costs
So to gain a better understanding of your current IT costs you need to:
· Analyse areas of operations where staff are duplicating effort;
· Quantify costs of inaccurate data entry caused by a lack of mobile support;
· Run through all of your current IT running costs.
Are you heading in the right direction?
Work out whether your current construction software is in the right position within your company with the eGuide: ‘The changing place of IT in the construction industry.’