The construction industry is no stranger to challenges, and the latest wave of rising costs is putting many firms to the test. Research from the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) shows that while construction backlogs are high, elevated material and borrowing costs could put more pressure on contractors.
And according to Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC)’s Chief Economist Anirban Basu, “While backlog remains at a historically elevated level, borrowing costs will continue to rise during the next several months, and contractors continue to struggle in the face of skilled labor shortages.”
Given that margins in construction are already tight—approximately 6%—we know that the news of rising costs paired with the ongoing labor shortage isn’t an ideal environment for protecting your bottom line.
That being said, we also know that construction firms are incredibly resilient. But that doesn’t mean you couldn’t benefit from a little help. Construction platforms like Autodesk Construction Cloud can help you improve your workflows, keep teams aligned, and streamline cost management. That way, you can focus more on growing your portfolio and delivering high-quality (and profitable) projects.
Let’s look at five ways construction platform Autodesk Construction Cloud enables you to do just that.
Centralized data and connected workflows
Autodesk Construction Cloud centralizes the management of your projects’ cost-related activities in the cloud, giving your teams a single source of truth.
Autodesk Construction Cloud integrates data across different workflows so critical context doesn’t get lost along the way. Elevate an RFI or Issue to PCO to reference cost data in meeting minutes. Contracts, payment applications, and expenses can also be managed from one solution. Plus, information is automatically synced in the budget overview, which shows how your budget is tracking against the plan.
All to say that Autodesk Construction Cloud surfaces the right cost information at the right time, so you can make necessary forecasts and adjustments to stay on track. With Autodesk Construction Cloud, your cost management tools and data live in one place, eliminating the need to switch between different programs. In addition, all that information flows seamlessly throughout the entire platform, which reduces data discrepancies.
Flexible and customizable
Construction teams have different processes around cost management, so it doesn’t make sense to have a “one size fits all” solution. That’s why the right construction platform is designed with flexibility in mind, and it allows construction pros to configure the system based on their needs and preferences.
In Autodesk Construction Cloud for instance, you can customize the terminology throughout the software, so your tool and tab names align with the terms you use in your company. The connected construction platform also supports custom budget structures, enabling you to set up detailed hierarchical build-ups and custom segment options. And with segment code samples and budget code previews, you’re able to ensure accuracy in your budget management.
The platform also streamlines reviews and approvals through custom decision-based workflows for contracts, change orders, pay apps, and expenses. When documents are ready for review, you receive an automated email ensuring that users approve them in a timely manner.
And to further customize your view, a solid construction platform will enable you to create custom calculated budget and contract columns. For example, in Autodesk Construction Cloud, you can easily build formulas with drag and drop terms, copy existing columns, and modify formulas. You can also tailor the name and order of columns based on your needs.
Connecting time and cost
Decisions made using “bad data” are estimated to have cost the global construction industry $88.69 billion in rework alone. That’s why with more economic uncertainty, it’s important to connect critical interrelated data like cost and schedule.
When cost and schedule data is connected, you can view real time updates and make better forecasts. The Gantt chart view in Autodesk Construction Cloud makes it easy to plan time-based allowances; you’re able to connect scheduled tasks to budget line items to determine their duration and calculate price changes.
Connecting time and cost data is a handy capability, as it empowers you to perform “what if” scenarios. Autodesk Construction Cloud makes it simple to forecast how much cash you’ll need at different points throughout the project, which then lets you make the necessary adjustments to ensure you remain profitable.
Tracking project performance (ideally in real time) enables you to quickly spot areas of inefficiency, which means you’re able to take corrective actions and optimize profitability.
This is another area where Autodesk Construction Cloud shines. The platform’s performance tracking capabilities sync data from third-party apps into Autodesk Construction Cloud’s cost management tool to connect productivity and cost data.
Autodesk Construction Cloud integrates with leading cost and project management solutions—including Riskcast, STRUXI, Rhumbix, QuickBooks Time, and ClickUp—to give you visibility into your progress and help you identify what you need to do to stay on track.
Enhanced ERP and Accounting Integration
Most construction firms use ERP systems to manage essential cost-related areas, including accounting and procurement.
By connecting your critical financial data between accounting and operations you can ensure that manual processes and duplicate data entry get eliminated and processes become streamlined. Autodesk Construction Cloud offers both direct and seamless integrations with leading ERP solutions, so stakeholders have better access to data, thus facilitating communication and empowering teams to make profitable decisions.
Protect Your Profits Today
Rising construction costs and tight margins pose significant challenges, but leveraging a connected construction platform like Autodesk Construction Cloud can streamline your processes, improve data visibility, and maximize profitability.