Dropbox Business Blog UK — Construction in the cloud; how to make more money and keep your projects on track

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15th Mar, 2016 — 3 min read

Construction in the cloud; how to make more money and keep your projects on track

From what we know, and judging by the number of cranes we see outside the windows of Dropbox HQ, the construction business is healthy in 2016 – but continues to assert itself as a highly competitive industry. So a question we’re asking; does getting better at collaboration, and being smarter with file sharing, make your company more productive, and more profitable too?

In this blog post Mike Connors, our expert on collaboration projects in the construction industry, takes a look at how collaboration tools can help you ensure your construction project stays on time (and within budget).

What makes a successful construction project?

A successful construction project relies on being on time and on budget; delays and correcting faults can prove costly. So why aren’t more construction companies moving to the cloud for agile and collaborative file sharing to keep their projects on plan?

Generally, there are two main reasons for this; a lack of knowledge about the collaboration tools available to help speed up construction projects and an over-reliance on out-dated IT legacy systems. But what project managers need to realise is that day-to-day processes in the construction industry have evolved and so too must the IT systems in place to manage the day-to-day management of projects.

The cost of poor collaboration in construction

Project success relies on a multitude of contractors, architects, engineers, builders and suppliers needing to be in touch with all design and programme changes, even if these are last minute.

Whether you rely on 10 or 100 contractors to deliver your project on time (and more importantly inside budget), you need a central place to collaborate on these documents. One that offers agility and allows you, and all your contractors, to provide feedback and amend documents/plans in real-time and often at the last minute.

What are the tangible benefits?

As much as we are creatures of habit and would love construction projects to run without change, the need for collaboration has become a necessity in this industry. Having worked with numerous construction companies to implement collaboration tools such as Dropbox Enterprise there are three tangible benefits these companies see following the rollout:

1) A significant reduction in IT overheads: Collaborating without browser, tool, app and platform restrictions means everyone can work faster and simpler, and more securely. Provisioning licenses, permissions and document access problems become a thing of the past.

2) Instant document delivery to site: Believe it or not, some construction companies still use physical document delivery to site via CD or USB. Not only is this not time effective or cost effective, what happens when these documents need to be amended or re-shared? Collaboration tools speed up the build process by allowing real-time document sync transfer between contractors and offline access for document editing – meaning documents can be amended, in real time on sites even when connectivity is low

3) Improved collaboration with contractors: In construction, every change – however minor – will have a significant impact on multiple contractors involved in the build. As such collaboration tools allow contractors to be notified (through an amendment alert) when changes are made to the site document – meaning no change, however small, is ever missed/overlooked by the extended construction team. In my opinion, the time to evolve is now.

Want to learn more about how Dropbox can keep your projects stay on time and on budget? Contact our in-house expert Mike Connors, mikeconnors@dropbox.com.

 

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