The Con-Tech “Happy Meal” & transforming subcontractor procurement

It’s 2021:

  • the world is perpetually busy,
  • constant digital change is the norm,
  • and the abundance of emerging technologies can make it challenging to grasp what’s even out there.

The search for efficiencies, controls and visibility is not always clear cut!

This is a challenge faced by Contractors and their Senior Executives that we see on a daily basis.

How do we assess all of the technology that’s out there, prioritise appropriately, pull the trigger and digitally transform our business, all whilst doing our day job of constructing?”

As a Construction-Tech Vendor, we’re uniquely positioned compared to our customers. Whilst the industry isn’t necessarily “talking tech” to their compatriots or competitors, we are – multiple times a day.

This enables us to understand all the different categories of technology, what tech is being used, who is winning, and how it all fits together. Aggregated insights – directly from the customer (a Construction Contractor).

Understanding the Construction-Tech ecosystem (through the lens of a Contractor)

The image below details the typical “Tech Stack” compiled by Contractors (though many have gaps in their armoury). The stack is most often based around a few “Core Systems”:

  • Financial management (eg: Jobpac, Cheops, Vista)
  • Construction management (eg: Procore, Aconex)
  • And of course the old shared project folders

Coupled with this are various “point solutions” – specialist software in Estimating, Programming, Tender, Procurement, Progress Payments, Health & Safety and more.

Collectively, this is best construed as “back office” technology, i.e. the business side of things (compared to site based tech). Deconstructing illustrates the complexity of the Con-Tech ecosystem:

  • 15 different categories of key software
  • 3-5 options in each category (some better than others)
  • New tech hitting the market every month, as the pace of change increases
Making sense of the Con-Tech Stack & creating a “Happy Meal”

Re-organising the Tech Stack through the life cycle of a project is informative – it demonstrates which systems are used at each stage, and how information needs to flow (refer image below).

Unfortunately, the “one system to rule them all” approach is a fallacy. Though when customer and software vendors work together to meaningfully (not trivially) integrate their systems, you can create yourself a “Con-Tech Happy Meal” –

Most significantly, adopting modern, cloud native & integration first technologies (as opposed to legacy providers) across categories, is the pathway to staying ahead of contemporary I.T. trends – the best companies are digitising all functions today, to start building the “data lake” that they will leverage tomorrow.

For Contractors: Transforming subcontractor procurement

A key piece in the puzzle and a gap in most Contractors’ Tech-Stack, is the highly manual subcontractor procurement process. At ProcurePro, we don’t believe in “the old way” of doing things, illustrated as follows

The significant cost of manually procuring subcontractors is incredible. Here’s a quick example from the real world from one of the Contractors we work with:

  • 25+ hours spent on a single subcontract (across scoping work, tendering, comparing prices, vetting & recommending a subcontractor, various approvals, subcontract drafting, compiling annexures, signing & storing)
  • 40 trades per project
  • 20 projects per year
  • = 20,000 person hours / year spent procuring subcontractors

The memo is pretty simple:

  • digitise the function to provide visibility and controls,
  • halve the time spent,
  • double the quality,
  • and integrate into the existing Con-Tech stack.

Want to learn more?

Find out why contractors such as Roberts Constructions, Hutchinson Builders and Kapitol Group are partnering with ProcurePro, at https://procurepro.co

Future of Construction Summit

Alastair will be speaking at our upcoming Future of Construction Summit, taking place from 12-13 May 2021. Get insights on how the entire ecosystem of construction will change, how much value is at risk for incumbents, and how companies can collaborate and leverage innovative approaches to create a more profitable and sustainable industry.

Interested in being a blog contributor? Send us an email at info@futureplace.tech indicating you’re interest and we’ll contact you shortly.

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