Updated: May 2021, August 2021, March 2022
Although the construction industry has been slow in adopting asset management tools in the past, 44% of UK operations deployed a type of cloud-based construction management in 2018. Compared with just 30% in 2016.
An up tick in cloud-based construction software indicates that many operations are going digital. Allowing site managers and employees to shift away from manual methods. Such as using spreadsheets and whiteboards to manage their construction assets. What’s more, they’re utilising the ‘cloud’ as part of this transition. Along with mobile and IoT technologies, cloud-based construction software offers multiple benefits.
1. Build a Robust Asset Management
Construction companies have thousands of assets that include heavy machinery, plant equipment, construction vehicles, tools, and IT infrastructure. So, when it comes to tracking and maintaining assets, it can be challenging.
It’s also 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.
But, with sophisticated construction management software, companies can enhance their asset management efforts. Digital tools provide capabilities that include tracking equipment in real-time and keeping asset data in a centralised asset register. Each helps to build a robust asset management system.
Asset Management Software is a tool that is implemented to optimise the health and performance of a business’s assets. While also reducing the chance of theft or loss. It does so by helping to identify all construction assets along with their location, condition, and value.
By choosing a system that is primarily cloud-based you can track, locate, and maintain assets in one centralised online system. With all asset data stored in the cloud, staff can access it instantly with a mobile device and an internet connection.
2. Increase Data Security With Cloud-Based Construction Software
Keeping data stored in a cloud-based construction management 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.
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 vulnerable paper-based system. You may also no longer need a lengthy or complex disaster recovery plan concerning asset management.
3. Easily Collaborate with Your Team Across Multiple Sites
A major advantage of using a cloud-based construction management tool is it can support the sharing of files. This allows your entire team of workers to access data when needed and effectively improve the 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. You also arrange for the faulty excavator to be collected and repaired. You then send a progress update out to all workers involved. Those employees receive an alert to their smartphone and can access the new data instantly.
4. Receive Automatic System Updates
The way a cloud-based construction tool works is that your data is stored on the servers of the software vendor. This means you don’t incur the upfront costs associated with 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. In most cases, 24/7 hour maintenance is mandatory.
This also means that a company’s IT team won’t need to update the software manually, which can free up time and in-house resources. Most importantly, you won’t need to worry about out-of-date software being exploited by hackers.
5. Improve Time-Management
Having 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.
A cloud-based construction management solution will also typically have a reporting feature built-in. This allows you to instantly extract essential data ready for analysis and company audits.
6. Save Money and Scale
Cloud-based construction 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 often easier to deploy, resulting in low startup costs.
If your operation continues to grow year on year, you’ll want to find a software package with the option to add different modules. For instance, you could start with an asset tracking tool and then decide to add a full asset management system. You may want to add a maintenance program or invoicing module later down the line, too.
Finding Cloud-Based Construction Software to Improve Your Asset Management
Choosing 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 that can be accessed at any time from anywhere; whether you’re in the office, on-site, at home, or in transit. What’s more, your team of construction workers will benefit from easier access too. This allows you to improve communication and work smarter across multiple sites.
As you compare software vendors, there are a few things to consider. The 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 own requirements.
If you have a small construction business, you might want to look for software with multiple add-ons. Whereas, if you’re operating across 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 and much more.