After facing a challenging few years, the construction industry is now on the brink of a significant growth spurt, with Glenigan’s latest construction forecast projecting that the sector will grow by 14 per cent in 2024. This growth, however, comes with a new set of challenges that construction firms will have to navigate:
- Increased market players: As the sector grows, more companies enter the market to capitalise on the opportunities. This heightened competition means that construction firms will need to do more to stand out.
- Increased stakeholder expectations: With competition high, clients will expect more from main contractors – streamlined processes, increased productivity and better outcomes from the get-go.
- Regulatory changes: Growth often prompts governments to introduce new regulations. Companies must be prepared for change and be able to adapt to remain compliant and competitive.
- Innovation and technology: Growth sectors frequently witness rapid technological advancements and innovation. To stay relevant and competitive, companies must keep pace with these changes. While many construction firms are still relying on spreadsheet trackers to manage their projects and track progress, the truth is that spreadsheet trackers are ill-equipped to support the industry’s next phase of growth.
Why spreadsheet trackers can’t support the industry’s next phase of growth
For an extended period, spreadsheet trackers have been inadequate for managing and controlling large and complex construction projects, but the industry’s growth will only expose the limitations of spreadsheet trackers further.
- Spreadsheet trackers are limited: Managing projects with spreadsheet trackers makes it nearly impossible to monitor every aspect with a high level of control, let alone manage multiple aspects simultaneously. Moreover, it becomes difficult to attach additional evidence like photographs or documents to specific activities.
- Spreadsheet trackers hinder collaboration: Research indicates that more than 88 per cent of spreadsheet trackers contain errors. This is especially true when used collaboratively, as challenges around version control can lead to confusion around what is true. Furthermore, spreadsheet trackers often hinder teams from accessing the correct information when needed, which can lead to outdated, unreliable insights.
- Spreadsheet trackers are disconnected from the site: Relying on spreadsheet trackers means progress-tracking is done reactively, away from the site once work has already been completed. This often leads to a duplication of work, which wastes valuable time.
- Spreadsheet trackers hinder productivity: Working with spreadsheet trackers means spending a significant amount of time on manual, repetitive tasks and chasing information. A staggering 40 per cent of workers spend at least a quarter of their working week on manual data collection and entry. Moreover, on a typical residential project with 500 apartment units, teams expend 1,500 hours per month on progress and task management, which cripples productivity.
Don’t get left behind
To remain competitive in the construction industry, it’s crucial to transition away from spreadsheet trackers. A McKinsey report highlights the industry’s increasing annual investment in technology, surging at a remarkable rate, outpacing the broader economy.
The construction sector is now moving towards digitalisation, not as a trend but as an imperative, heralding an era of increased efficiency, precision and competitiveness.
As the construction industry looks towards 2024 and beyond, the shift away from spreadsheet trackers is not just a choice but a necessity for those who wish to thrive in a competitive and evolving landscape.
A free alternative to spreadsheet trackers: For those looking to replace spreadsheet trackers for progress monitoring, Sablono Track Free offers a connected, real-time tracker that can be used directly from the site – and it’s completely free. Try Track free here.