Build Value by Leveraging Your Construction Data

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September 27, 2021

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10 2021 Calumo Blog Buildvalueleveragingconstructiondata Inline

Build Value by Leveraging Your Construction Data

In the current shifting economic climate, control of data is the key to success for modern businesses. Strong processes and analytical practices allow businesses to maintain agility and understand where to prioritise increasingly limited resources. You might think this would extend to Construction but despite the constant flow of valuable data into most companies, the industry is lagging in terms of digitisation. A recent McKinsey survey on industry digitisation positioned Construction second last, beating only Agriculture and Hunting.

With the industry stuck in a paper-based rut, there is money on the table for construction companies prepared to suffer the short-term pains of automating manual processes. Companies who seek to leverage technology to understand and utilize their data stand to gain a significant competitive advantage in today’s market. Propped up by efficient automated data processes and in-depth data analysis, these construction companies of the future will be able to use historic data to pass on learned efficiencies to customers, increasing trust and winning more new business tenders.

A Solid Foundation Takes Effort, But It’s Worth It

Construction companies will usually have several projects on the boil with different timelines, budgets, and funding sources, all of which offer streams of potential data and information. But without the technology and processes to bring it together, you can’t see the opportunities for operational improvement or the tweaks to site safety that could save someone’s life. Without evidence to back it up, you can’t bring your learnings from past wins and losses to new clients.

Aggregating huge quantities of data and overcoming entrenched manual processes can seem daunting, but the pay-off is well worth it. Now is the time to update your technology and processes, change your organization’s data culture, and ready your business for future success.

Mainbrace Construction is Embarking on a Data Transformation Journey

Mainbrace Construction is Australia’s leading and most experienced retail builder. Its clients range from small businesses to large corporates and include almost every major retailer in Australia. Boasting 85% repeat clients and a 99% on-time track record, Mainbrace leans heavily on data-led insights to improve client trust and ensure projects meet their milestones.

In 2016, Mainbrace had vast quantities of data coming in, but it was recorded on paper, and no-one had the time or energy to process and analyze it. Precious historic data, which could be used to boost organizational value, was simply not being used to its full effect. Mainbrace was losing opportunities to enhance operational output, increase site safety, and optimize its tender application process.

That year, Angus Greenwood, Head of Data, Technology & Systems at Mainbrace started investigating systems that could digitise the organisation’s many manual, paper-based process to better enable data collection. He wanted a solution that could easily integrate with Mainbrace’s Microsoft-heavy technology stack and automate collection and analysis of all its data. Above all, he needed something easy to use, that would start generating value within weeks, not months. He landed on Calumo.

It is important to note that Greenwood’s business case was purely non-financial. While Calumo is used primarily by Finance teams, it is a flexible and robust extended planning and analytics (xP&A) platform capable of housing all forms of organizational data.

Greenwood recently delivered a fantastic presentation where the audience learned all about how Mainbrace has leveraged our system to transform its data management. It was a tour-de-force in xP&A, and you can watch the presentation in full via the below link.

In his Club Calumo presentation, Greenwood explored how his team uses Calumo to:

  • Aggregate operational metrics to enhance human resource management.
  • Improve site safety analytics by digitizing Mainbrace’s site diaries and generating a suite of site safety reports to inform project managers.
  • Boost Mainbrace’s cost modelling by stitching together data from multiple platforms and unlocking insights from its historical project data.
  • Build a workload pipeline that can accurately forecast Mainbrace’s likelihood of winning a project and its upcoming stream of work.

Teams Across Mainbrace Have Reaped the Rewards

  • The Data Team has visibility across the full spectrum of Mainbrace’s data. Calumo saves the team significant time by automating many of the manual carbon copy process that used to plague their workday. Now they can be confident that reports are correct and no time is wasted double- and triple-checking spreadsheets. The team can now spend more time proactively generating data insights and value-add for the business.
  • Site Managers now save valuable time with automated site diary entry through an app linked directly to the Calumo cube. With high quality data in hand, they can optimize site efficiencies, easily track on-site staff numbers, and enhance site safety. They feel confident going to Greenwood’s team with detailed questions about the running of their sites.
  • Estimators are seeing far greater efficiency and accuracy by leveraging Mainbrace’s vast catalogue of historic data. While project estimating is not an exact science, the team now has more confidence in their output, able to back up past experience with robust data.
  • Sales can have more productive discussions with prospective clients, armed with detailed analysis of what has and hasn’t worked for previous projects. If a client wants to save money on a project, the Sales team can come to the table with data-backed efficiency solutions, increasing trust and ultimately winning more tenders.
  • Customer Success can accurately track client projects as they develop. Any issues or delays are flagged immediately through the Calumo system, enabling them to have productive discussions with clients to adjust expectations. Similarly to the estimators, these discussions are now not just based on past experience and gut feel, but historic data of projects that have previously had similar issues.
  • Management and Leadership are now fully engaged in the data process. With Calumo’s interactive reports, they have the option of diving deeper at the click of a button to investigate the underlying numbers behind any discrepancies. This is a luxury not afforded by the PDF reports of the past. Leadership feel confident coming to Greenwood’s team with ad hoc data requests and enjoy the shorter response time afforded by automation. The increased data transparency has led to these requests being more detailed and specific, saving time for Greenwood’s team and resulting in more productive discussions from the outset.
  • The Board can better connect with reporting through consistent visualizations and increased trust in the underlying numbers. Instead of questioning the facts, they can spend time making informed business decisions.

What Else Can XP&A Do for Construction?

Accurate Estimates. With historic project data in hand and properly curated, you can be confident in your project estimates and reduce instances of over-runs. When client expectation issues arise, early recognition is critical. Calumo reports will immediately highlight when a project profile, budget, schedule, or timeline is not looking favorable, giving you precious time to take action.

Reforecasting and Cost Modelling. Through Calumo you can automate reforecasting and more accurately and efficiently generate cost modelling for new business. Highlight discrepancies, identify significant savings in particular areas of construction, and contextualize new projects to see where outcomes can be improved. Create a high-level cost plan in under eight hours and provide prospective clients with an accurate budget in the early stages of their feasibility studies to win more bids. Track KPIs, employee data, overtime costs, project margin and costs for both individual and overall projects through simple and effective visualizations, and easily manage your resource allocation.

Workload Pipeline. You work on several bids at a time, and we know that you can’t win them all. Calumo combines data from various sources to help you track how projects are performing over estimation, to forecast your upcoming workflow. Forecasting pipeline for projects at different hierarchies, dimensions, and cost centres gives you insight into where your company should focus its attention and choose the right projects to go after to optimize its revenue stream.

Improved Site Safety. Callumo captures site information and integrates safety data, including incident reporting, into dashboards that are updated in real-time to allow you to visualize data and easily extract actionable insights. Site-safety reports allow your Site Managers to analyze the number and nature of site incidents–severity, regularity, location on the body, and more–to gain actionable insights into how to improve employee safety. Additionally, use Calumo’s Publications to automatically push site-safety board packs directly to Managers’ emails.

Control of Your Data. Ditch the spreadsheets and integrate your entire back catalogue of historic project data into Calumo. Easily analyze trends and your project data down to the transaction level. Unlock opportunities for Sales using our visualizations and dashboards to easily display and pitch to prospective clients.

Staff Accountability and Responsibility. With data accessible through a trusted single source of truth, everyone can be confident they are working with the same set of numbers. Increased data transparency and collaboration improves accountability across data collectors, which results in more complete and accurate data. Early data distribution enables decision-makers to have oversight of trends to inform business direction sooner, improving agility.

A Platform for Efficiency. Calumo creates efficiencies and builds trust across your organization. Site Managers save time with automated site diary entry. Estimators see greater efficiency and accuracy by leveraging a vast catalogue of robust data. Customer Success can accurately track projects as they develop, enabling them to have proactive discussions with clients. Management and the Board can fully engage with Calumo’s interactive reports to investigate the underlying numbers behind any discrepancies.

To learn more about how Calumo can improve your construction data management, analysis and reporting, request a demo, today