Tips for Small to Mid-Sized Construction Firms in Tough Economic Times

How technology can help construction businesses weather difficult times.

These are challenging times for small to medium-sized construction (SME) firms, with a quarter admitting in a survey earlier this year that survival was their top business priority.

Rising energy prices and higher inflation along with employment shortages are proving a major headache, and it’s not surprising that an increasing number of small firms say thoughts of growth are on the back burner. It’s something we covered earlier this year, with fears of a recession looming.

It all adds up to a challenging environment, especially when you factor in the everyday issues SMEs must deal with, such as managing cash flow, communicating closely with suppliers, supply chain and clients, and trying to deliver projects on time and in budget.

Taking the strain

Here’s where new construction technology can play a key role in taking off some of the strain. The first step is to identify problems where they exist before developing a digital transformation strategy to deal with them (Our series on implementing technology should help you with this process).

There is also some new guidance available from the European Commission, which has released a strategy handbook that provides a road map for introducing digital technologies. Focused on improving business aspects such as reducing operational costs, improving quality and increasing efficiency, it suggests that construction SMEs ask themselves key questions:

  • What are the activities that you want to transform digitally?
  • Who are the affected people, and how are your customers, your workers or other target groups affected by the transformation?
  • What is your timeline? When do you want to digitally transform activities?
  • Who is responsible for which activities?
  • How do you want to implement this? Which steps are necessary?
  • What are your key performance indicators based on which you can monitor the progress of your digital transformation?

Suggesting short-, medium- and long-term goals toward transforming construction SMEs’ digital operations, it highlights the various software and mobile applications available.

Collaboration in construction

One of the key recommendations is to start with tools that promote communication and collaboration.

That’s where software like Bluebeam can make the difference. Around 82% of the top 50 UK engineering companies use Bluebeam, as well as the top 82% of the top 50 construction companies. It offers an invaluable tool to centralise project documents and drawings in the cloud so teams can always securely access, review and edit the latest updates on any web or iOS device. Collaboration in construction is a vital step for SMEs to adapt to the changes happening every day by staying up to date with important documents and working efficiently as a team across various projects.

Bluebeam’s digital construction collaboration software makes sharing documents simpler and easier. People can collaborate in real time across multiple locations, connecting the whole supply chain and clients together. This in turn speeds up projects and helps keep an eye on project requirements and any changes to drawings or other documentation throughout the delivery phase.

By streamlining and automating processes in your digital transformation strategy, you can transform the competitiveness of your business and deliver work effectively. To find out how Bluebeam can help you on your journey, click here.

Find out how Bluebeam can help you