Efficiency is one of those buzzwords that is equal parts exciting and intimidating. In this corner, we have EXCITING:
- More/At Scale!
- Lower costs, over time!
And in this corner, we have INTIMIDATING:
- Will jobs disappear?
- Will customers be ok with it?
- Aren’t those tools expensive?
- How do we get the team on board with these changes?
Building efficiencies into a telecom business is critical to get/stay/remain competitive and relevant in today’s marketplace and we’re pleased to report that the tools for doing so are becoming more accessible and user friendly by the minute. Here are 5 tips/tools that are helping companies achieve construction efficiencies right now:
Have A Centralized Place For All Records (GIS or Otherwise)
While we think that GIS is the way to go, we understand that it’s not for everyone and/or it may take awhile to make a conversion. With this in mind, we strongly suggest that businesses have a centralized place/method for records regardless of format. Even if things are in csv, BI report, KMZ, etc, consolidate them. Why? For all the reasons that you would think:
- Easier visibility into projects and records
- Easier to track info
- More accountability
Use/Convert To GIS Methods
The reason that GIS is the basis for most of the solutions we support clients with and through is spatial analysis. It’s undeniable that you can do so much more when you add spatial analysis to the mix. Think about info sitting in an Excel spreadsheet and then think of the same info sitting on a Dashboard with real-time updates (both are explained below). It’s a night and day difference.
It’s no secret that we’re big fans of Dashboards and frankly, so is much of the world these days. You can read all about Dashboards in this recent blog post we devoted to the topic. In terms of today’s topic of creating construction efficiencies, it comes down to the old saying: What’s measured is improved. Also:
- Dashboards are the best way to visualize the data
- Data is in one place
- Data can be presented to/for multiple audiences
Think about that encyclopedia set that sat on the shelf at your parent’s or grandparent’s house when you were a kid. The info was as up to date as when the creators hit the PUBLISH button and sent it to print. That was awesome for the times, but when we know better, we do better, and that’s why Encyclopedia Britannica stopped printing encyclopedias on March 13, 2012. Here in the land of telecom, some of the pros of real-time updates include:
- Allows companies to be proactive versus reactive
- Gives companies increased visibility
- Allows for quicker hand offs
- Allows for quicker billing
Using devices like iPads, iPhones, Android phones and the like out in the field are what enables real-time updates and reporting to occur. It works like this:
- The device is programmed to be used specifically as a field app
- People in the field enter updates (usually as easy as point and click)
- Updates are reflected on the Dashboard
- Rinse and repeat
Another benefit of using field apps is that the team out in the field becomes more engaged with the project management team. This is a win/win for everyone involved, including ultimately the consumer.
Efficiency is one of these things that everyone likes the idea of doing, but it can be challenging to figure out what to do and where to start. The tips we shared here run the gamut from really easy to implement to needing to make an investment of time, resources, and training. Regardless of where you fall on the range, just start somewhere because construction isn’t getting any cheaper so we have to take steps to be more efficient whenever possible. The smallest step, coupled with measurable results, can really be game changing for an organization.