Construction Project Management: Stop Using Spreadsheets
Having and maintaining accurate, up-to-date employee data is crucial in the construction business.
If your business is rapidly growing (like so many other construction companies in the Dallas area where HingePoint is headquartered) and you’re onboarding employees, vendors, and contractors, accurate data on who your employees are and what they are working on is critical for success.
Although it sounds like a simple task, project management for construction companies can be quite challenging and lead to more serious issues if not managed properly.
The Spreadsheet Problem
Many of our clients in the construction industry previously used Excel spreadsheets to manage their financial data, employee data, project status, and assets. Some were using old versions of SharePoint with unorganized data. When working with software and older systems, data about employees are prone to be full of errors (out-dated and inaccurate).
The trick is to get up-to-date, accurate information out of your data management system instead of old, error-prone data.
Spreadsheets are great tools for handling smaller and more manageable datasets. But what happens when you start hiring 10, 100, or even 500 employees at a time while managing employee data in a spreadsheet or in multiple, unstructured databases?
It gets unmanageable – fast.
As your construction business grows, more departments need human resource employee data because more information is attached to each employee. And soon, just having the right name, address, phone number, and social security number across the enterprise become more challenging if you don’t have the right controls and organization.
If this data is in an actual spreadsheet, then anyone can enter and change data in that workbook.
(See: Why spreadsheets don’t manage big data sets well)
For example, a manager could get access to a Human Resource spreadsheet with employee names and other important information. Let’s say the manager has an employee named Suzanne, but she likes to be called Suzy. The manager changes the data because they can and there are no restrictions preventing it.
But there is a big problem. Now the source data – the system of record – is not consistent/accurate.
Suzanne will be called different names in different versions of spreadsheets.
(Check out our FREE eBook on The Secret To Systems Integration: The System Of Record.)
Throw time in there, too. Perhaps “Suzy” is a contractor who is keeping her time in a spreadsheet that gets sent to her manager. The manager sends Suzanne’s hours and all contractors to Human Resources so they can get paid. The manager’s project data is being merged with HR’s data.
The problem is that we have two different names in the system. “Suzanne” and “Suzy”.
No VLOOKUP formula or Pivot Table is going to solve this. It’s going to take someone to manually go in and fix the data.
This might not seem like a big deal, but as the company grows, these smaller errors will multiply in other departments. Once this happens, the employee data cannot be trusted, and it will take a lot of manual work to fix the errors each pay period. The data problems can become so big that businesses end up just not trusting their data, causing a lot of rework, manual data entry, etc.
A lot of construction companies we work with the hope that the software an IT company is going to install will solve the data problem.
Unfortunately, this just adds another layer of complexity to the original problem.
The problem that needs to be solved is how you’re going to clean up your data, actually collecting it, and then showing it in a way that lets you see the data in a new light.
Ideally, you want to make decisions with information that automatically reports to you.
Seeing year-over-year and month-to-month views of data can quickly identify trends. With the right devices collecting the data and the right systems transposing it into information, humans can focus on making strategic decisions that will make their customers happy.
That is how technology should work. And that what HingePoint can help you acheive!
If you’re looking to solve your company’s HR and Project Management employee data problem, we’d love to hear what you’re looking to accomplish! Feel free to start a live chat with our solution consultant on this page, email us, or call us at (214) 301-0000 to get started today.
HingePoint offers cloud and mobile applications for construction and real estate that are easy to adopt and employees love. Specializing in the systems that run the construction and real estate business including SharePoint, Salesforce, Procore, MS Dynamics, and Autodesk. Scale and grow profitably with Financial and Project Management Dashboards, document management, and workflow automation for field to office collaboration.
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