The construction industry is known for lagging behind in adopting the latest tech trends. However, cloud-based software has become increasingly popular in recent years amongst construction businesses looking to boost productivity and effectiveness. In 2018, for instance, 44% of UK construction enterprises bought some kind of cloud computing services, compared to 30% in 2016. These figures show that many companies are now moving away from pen and paper processes, to digitalised ones. What’s more, they’re utilising the ‘cloud’ as part of the transition. In conjunction with mobile technologies, cloud-based software offers a wide range of benefits. Such as:
1. Robust Asset Management
Some construction companies have hundreds, even thousands of assets. These range from heavy machinery and equipment (plant), construction vehicles, tools, and IT infrastructure. But, tracking and maintaining all of them at once can often be challenging.
A construction plant likely represents one of your business’s most significant assets. It’s imperative to keep heavy, expensive machinery operating efficiently while making sure it’s not at risk of theft. In 2017 alone, construction plant theft surpassed £70 million.
Asset management is a significant tool that can be implemented to optimise the health and performance of your assets. While also reducing the chance of theft or loss. It does so by helping to identify all of your construction assets along with their location, condition and value. A vital part of this process includes asset tracking and monitoring, too.
By choosing an asset management tool that is primarily cloud-based, you are then able to track, locate and maintain all of these assets in one centralised online system. With all of your asset data stored in the cloud, you can access it instantly using any device that’s connected to the internet. That includes desktops, laptops, smartphones, and tablets.
2. Increased Data Security
Keeping data stored in a cloud-based software tool can greatly improve the overall security of your operations. As opposed to using pen and paper or excel spreadsheets, which can be destroyed in situations such as a fire or computer damage. And, as software vendors commonly use a variety of encryption methods to protect data, cloud systems are extremely secure.
Keeping data in the cloud also means you can do away with a venerable paper-based system. You may also no longer need a lengthy or complex disaster recovery plan concerning asset management.
3. Easier to Collaborate with Your Team Across Sites
A cloud-based construction asset management tool can support the sharing of files. This allows your entire team of workers to access essential data when needed and effectively improve lines of communication.
Here’s a quick example of how, in this instance, a construction asset management tool can be utilised:
Imagine that an excavator breaks down on one of your sites. To avoid a delay in construction the site manager logs the fault and requests another excavator, which is done through the tool’s maintenance module.
You receive the request and organise for an excavator to be transferred from another site, While also arranging for the faulty excavator to be collected and repaired. You then send a progress update out to all key workers involved. Those employees receive an alert to their smartphone and are able to access the new data instantly.
4. Recieve Automatic System Updates
The way a cloud-based tool works is that all of your data is stored on the servers of the software vendor. Meaning you do not incur any upfront costs of installing your own data servers on-site; unlike an on-premise setup. A cloud-based system can have its own benefits, including making sure your data and servers are regularly and routinely updated. This includes software security patches and constant maintenance; 24/7 hour maintenance in some cases.
This also means that you and the company’s IT team won’t need to update your software manually, which can free up time and in-house resources. And, most importantly, you won’t need to worry about out-of-date software being exploited by hackers.
5. Improves Time-Management
Having all of your asset data in one centralised system means you and your team can find, edit and update information as and when needed, from any location.
An asset management solution will also typically have a reporting feature built-in, allowing you to instantly extract essential data ready for analysis and company audits.
6. Cost-efficient and Scalable
Cloud-based construction asset management software is often available as a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model. This package lets you pay for your system via a reoccurring subscription, as opposed to investing capital upfront. It is also often easier to deploy, resulting in low startup costs.
If your construction operations continue to grow year on year, you’ll want to find a software package with the option to add different modules. For example, you could start with an asset tracking tool and then decide to add on a full asset management system. You may also want to add a maintenance program or invoicing module later down the line, too.
Purchasing the Right Cloud Based Construction Asset Management Software
The right cloud-based software can help you to implement a more robust and reliable asset management system. You’ll have crucial data at your fingertips, and you’ll be able to access it whether you’re in the office, on-site, at home, or on-the-go. What’s more, your team of construction workers will benefit from easier access too, allowing you to improve communication and work smarter across multiple sites.
As you compare different asset management software vendors, there are a few things to think about. First, is making sure that the software you choose is scalable for growth to meet both present and future business needs. Second, is related to the features that you’ll want to priories for your won requirements.
If you have a small construction business, you might want to look for software with add-on applications. Whereas, if you’re operating across multiple sites in the UK and globally, perhaps a bespoke option would be better suited.
To help you when comparing providers, we encourage you to check out our Buyer’s Guide to Implementing Asset Management Software in Construction. Here you’ll learn more about the typical features you can expect with AMS and much more.