Technically it is About Organizing the Tech
Updated: Jun 23, 2020
Tech is a wild and wooly beast that can be tamed. It really must be tamed if you’re to survive in the construction industry. And, taming tech means getting it organized in ways that serve you rather than overwhelm you.
When you think about the tools tech has altered, enhanced, or replaced, you’ll get a better idea of how important it is to use the organizing mantra, “A place for everything and everything in its place” even in the tech world.
For example, do you look for the phonebook when you need to find a new supplier, or do your fingers dance across the keys?
When you realize a change must be made quickly on a job site, do you jump in the truck and head that way, or do you make a phone call?
When tech is used properly, everything from how the progress photos are analyzed to how the numbers end up in the ledger columns has moved from slow and tedious to fast and insightful
The bottom line, getting your tech organized has the potential to make your construction business more productive and profitable.
Getting Productivity Tools Organized
Even for the “organizationally challenged,” there is a tendency among us humans to want to find patterns, sequences, and systems. You’ve probably heard it expressed like this, “There’s got to be a better way.” Or like this, “Someone ought to fix this mess.”
At first, I determined to organize the following list in order of importance. Then, I realized that the order of importance depends on two qualifying factors:
The person using the technology
The day of the week it is being used
Yeah, that challenging. So, I took the easy route and listed them alphabetically.
These are the types of technological productivity tools that should be in your construction business toolbox. Typically, these tools will be in the form of SaaS or apps. And, loosely speaking, they will form the tech stack used in your construction company.
Accounting and bookkeeping
Equipment and tool tracking
Meetings and communication
Social media oversight
Travel and expense tracking
These technological productivity tools can also provide the foundation of many of your construction business operating systems.
Clean out the technology productivity tools closet
Like cleaning out a physical closet, begin by dumping any apps or SaaS you no longer use.
Then, determine if you have duplicates or apps so similar; they become redundant. Toss the extras. If you’re uncertain or wary of deleting or doing away with SaaS or an app, you may need to revisit this article concerning Lost Cost Fallacy.
Next, take the time to scan for viruses or performance issues.
After the process of clearing, it is time to review the current versions of SaaS or apps and decide if it’s time to upgrade.
Lastly, verify the integrity of your data backup.
Organizing electronic files
“The goal of electronic file management is to ensure that you can find what you’re looking for, even if you’re looking for it years after its creation.”
Susan Ward, writing for The Balance Small Business, lays out 10 File Management Tips to Keep Your Electronic Files Organized.
Link over. Read it. I mean it! Ward presents good stuff.
For example, one of her tips, #6 Be Specific, is one I wish I had known (and practiced) years ago. She is talking about giving files logical, specific names, including dates. When I think about the time I’ve wasted looking for information within my files I cringe.
There are only two things I would add to Ward’s tips:
Use a structure that suits the way you think and work.
When writing systems and while training, emphasis should be placed on how you want things done, while still allowing for personal preference when the efficiency and outcome won’t be changed.
This article is the third in a 4-part series concerning organizing your construction contracting business. You can find the first, Organizing Your Mind and the second, Organizing Time by linking over. The next part will be about organizing your physical space.
We desire to familiarize you with business concepts, which will make it easier for you to be a better commercial construction business owner through our blog posts. Some are new ways of looking at things, and others are refreshers.
Schulte and Schulte Provides Accounting, Contract Document Management, and Advisory Board Level counsel for small to medium commercial construction subcontractors.
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