Do you recall the days when a phone, camera, calculator, and map were all separate devices? These various tools are now all in one place: your phone. Technology for construction is also consolidating. Software for construction estimation, accounting, inventory and project management, as well as reporting and analytics tools, are all integrating with one another.
As in other industries, construction companies are using digital technology to make use of newly available standardized data from across the organization — especially the finance, operations, HR and staffing, and planning departments. When real-time data technology connects these different functions, contractors can make smart use of resources, move faster and maintain better profit margins.
Two additional factors are altering how successful contractors work, in addition to the inescapable technological changes: First off, the COVID pandemic has accelerated technological advancement and the general demand for digital data. And second, the Indian Government and associated state and federal infrastructure spending could result in a huge windfall of work for contractors. Contractors working on those numerous government contracts will need to adhere to a variety of regulations, compliances and be able to record and maintain accurate data to unlock cashflows.
Good enough isn’t good enough anymore
For many years, “good enough” was good enough. Software was created (or spreadsheets were created) to aid various departments or people in performing their individual jobs more effectively because contractors typically worked in silos. The administrative department could manually track all the certifications and licenses while the site made do with spreadsheets, email and phone reminders. Project teams and managers frequently used their own information while working on projects. It often required entering data again into various systems when one department needed to share data with another or issuing a new GFC drawing after the required stakeholders have physically signed the drawing – by which time the old drawing had already been partly executed.
But slow, manual processes don’t work for large, complex modern projects. The difference between profit and loss often comes down to the availability of real-time data. Unnecessary rework is another expense that hurts the bottom line; it accounts for 9% of the average project cost overall, including direct and indirect costs like overhead, site safety, and materials. When someone needs the right information on the job, it usually leads to unnecessary rework. The profit fade that happens when rework is performed on the job but not recorded is even more frequent.
The case for connected technology in construction payroll
The way forward for contractors to stay profitable and competitive in the modern world is through connected technology. Consider the significant recent changes in the price of steel: It would be impossible for an estimator to produce a precise project bid today for a comparable project if they were forced to rely on paper copies or imprecise reports of last quarter’s project costs. Real-time data and collaboration are provided by connected construction software, preventing costly rework, project delays, material waste, and other things that reduce profit.
Not only do outdated, manual processes slow you down, but they also nibble away at your profit. Additionally, construction technology will be a huge competitive advantage as the amount of potential work increases as we recover from the pandemic. This is particularly true as the government continues to hire more contractors for infrastructure projects.
But staffing issues in construction are on the rise. People are leaving the workforce at a faster rate than they are entering, and those who are already employed are changing jobs more frequently than ever. The influx of new contracts is making it difficult to maintain a full construction staff. Construction payroll can be a manually intensive and disjointed process to complete. You have multiple pay rates that can change daily. There’s PF, ESIC calculations to be made. Government contracts require certified payroll reports. Each wage worker has a unique bank account and social identity. And the list goes on. Each of those demands involves hours of manual labour and complex calculations. It’s arduous, and there’s plenty of room for human error.
Change can be painful and expensive. But take into account the costs that manual procedures, human error, and sporadic communication are likely already costing you. The hidden (and not-so-hidden) costs of disconnected software versus a connected, solutions like Bettamint help contractors make the most informed decisions and stay ahead of the curve. With accurate information and a workforce readily available, intelligent payroll processing helps you conveniently hire, manage, time track and pay your dynamic construction workforce across geographies.