As technology continues to gain a foothold in construction, many companies are challenged to implement it strategically. Over the years they may accumulate tools and workflows to address specific needs – basically a tech stack. When adding new tools, interaction with the existing tech is usually taken into consideration, but maybe not whether the entire stack is enabling the company to move forward to its next stage of growth.
It’s far better to look at tech in terms of growth for your company. That growth may include better collaboration, more efficient decision-making, and/or new ways of completing a project.
In his MEP Force 2020 Virtual breakout session (August 31 at 2 pm), Jeff Sample with eSUB asserted that companies need to embrace a growth mindset. He quoted William S. Burroughs, “When you stop growing, you start dying,” and likened it to business in today’s construction industry.
According to Sample, a growth mindset involves:
Change, whether it’s size, revenues, a prefabrication component, and/or vertical segments.
A culture that supports the vision of growth. This inevitably includes some failures, because technology will fail sooner or later, something we’ve all gotten used to and naturally expect. The goal is to keep those failures to a minimum level, not at the project level.
Continual improvement. Sample reminded that companies will try technology that succeeds and technology that fails. He said, “There’s no end to this game.” Compared to a soccer game, which has an end and a score, business is an infinite game with arbitrary statistics and no set parameters. The measuring stick – or score – is continuing to do business.
Leadership, which involves, people, process and then technology.
In construction, we have an abundance of tech at our disposal, but many companies do not effectively apply it. Your challenge is finding people who know how to do that. People with a diverse background of experience can bring fresh new ideas. People are the top asset in construction.
Sample suggested recruiting from industries that are using the abundance of tech at their disposal: media, professional services, finance, wholesale trade, advanced manufacturing, utilities, transportation. People in those industries have had to take monumental risks to make incremental change. On the other hand, in construction you can take incremental risks and realize major improvements and huge impacts on the bottom line.
Bringing diversity to your company presents an opportunity to challenge your culture and create a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. Critical conversations around technology need to include:
- More tactical and less practical questions. Instead of asking “how much money,” you should be asking, “how does it fit in the organizational vision?”
- A conversation that includes all departments.
- Finding strategic advantages. Someone in your company needs to keep up with trends in the industry.
- Investment in your future.
To hear more from Jeff Sample, listen to the Bridging the Gap podcast “How the Iron Man of IT Found His Way to the Trades.”
Each decision about tech needs to be based on how it will help you grow. Be disciplined. Use a plan and decide what success looks like for your company. You should have a goal of continuous improvement and business development.
Find your strength, a key part of your growth stack. Sample suggests tracking the data from jobs and measuring how your company is doing. Where are you making the most money? This will enable you to focus where you can grow your profit.
You may find work in new areas. While this could bring a fear of the unknown, the online Entrepreneur article “3 Fears That Keep Your Business From Growth,” points out that, if a business is going to reach the next level, fears need to be overcome.
Leverage the processes of building information modeling (BIM) and virtual design and construction (VDC) to improve quality, productivity, safety and customer relationships. If you’re not already using preconstruction, maybe it’s in your future.
As you look at tech to develop your company’s growth stack, the signposts of leadership, culture, positive change, and improvement will serve you well along the way.
If you’re looking for a partner to help you choose the tech for your growth stack, contact Applied Software today. The Applied technology experts can help you choose the right tech to move your company forward toward its strategic goals.