10 Things Your Competitors Can Teach You about Collaboration


Noun: the action of working with someone to produce or create something.”She wrote a book on holiday recipes in collaboration with her aunt Betty.”
Synonyms: alliance, association, combination, cooperation, partnership.

Collaboration empowers teams, individuals, clients and partners to share, communicate and cooperate with minimal delays and challenges, allowing all stakeholders to perform their jobs more effectively.

Whether or not you work in architecture, engineering, construction, or manufacturing, collaboration sounds like a good idea, but sometimes it’s easier to envision than actually put into practice. In the world of “making things” there are a number of self-sufficient people who would prefer to save what they perceive as the additional time, money and headaches required by teamwork and just do it all themselves.

But what if collaboration could actually benefit your firm? Here are 10 reasons you may want to get deeper into collaboration, based on what your competition is doing:

  1. Serve clients better.  Collaborating with complementary organizations has become a way for your competition to serve clients faster and easier. You’ve heard the old adage, “two heads are better than one.” Well it goes further than that today. Maybe four heads are even better than two, especially when solving a problem on a project. Combining the experience, finances and talent of multiple firms can bring new perspectives for delivering a quality project. 
  2. Realize power in numbers.  Whether you like it or not, you’re not an island unto yourself any more. Time constraints, BIM requirements, workforce challenges – they all require firms to function as part of a bigger picture. Successful firms are taking advantage of that.
  3. Derive energy from synergy.  Working as part of a larger team creates a synergy that an isolated office cannot match. Even if teams don’t always agree, there is still energy created by the back and forth of compromise. This can be a positive force that can be leveraged on the project. 
  4. Learn something.  Collaboration influences firms to embrace a culture of learning and continuing education. By working in collaboration with others, teams have an opportunity to glean insight from others’ successes and failures. That knowledge, in turn, is retained for use by your competitors on future projects.
  5. Benefit from other skillsets.  Collaboration brings together a variety of complementary skills and talent from other trades and firms. When experienced, competent people from different backgrounds work together with your competitors, problem-solving will improve.
  6. Meet project goals.  As people contribute and provide feedback on a project, a better project can be delivered. Everyone contributes toward the ultimate goal of on-time, under-budget projects. Cloud-based tools like BIM 360 Design can bring teams together and make it easier for stakeholders to connect, collaborate and remain in sync with the different facets of the project.
  7. Solve problems faster.  Collaboration allows stakeholders to work together on a common platform and a common goal to devise solutions to project challenges.
  8. Allow creativity.  Efficiency of scale takes some of the pressure off your competitors’ project teams, allowing them to be more creative in the way they design and deliver a project.
  9. Leverage strengths.  Via collaboration, skill gaps may be filled by other stakeholders. This can eliminate the need for hiring outside contractors.
  10. Eyes on the prize.  If four heads are better than two, then multiple sets of eyes are more likely to catch errors earlier in the project.

Collaboration is increasingly important in this day and age as we become more globally connected. The collaboration tools enabled by cloud computing and constantly improving internet connections enable a better client experience, more creativity, problem-solving energy, and a more educated, skilled and engaged project team. If you want to explore the tools to help you leave your island and wade into collaboration, contact Applied Software, and discover the ways collaboration will benefit your firm.