Digitalisation is a top priority for modern construction companies, yet many still struggle to onboard new technologies. As McKinsey suggests, only 16% of individuals say their organisation’s digital transformation has successfully improved performance and equipped them to sustain long-term changes.
One of the main reasons for this is that many companies fall into the trap of trying to embrace digital technologies that focus on enhancing their IT capabilities rather than deploying solutions that fix the pain points they face every day.
At the same time, most construction operations have complex supply chains, with a web of short-term contractors and subcontractors, making it difficult to coordinate deployment and adopt new digital solutions.
The only way to ensure consistent digital transformation success is with an incremental process-based improvement approach, where a firm implements new technologies that specifically address its pain points.
What is process-based improvement and why is it important?
Process-based improvement is the process of identifying and evaluating business processes to see how to improve them, setting a goal for improvement, and deploying digital solutions to optimise inefficient or inadequate processes.
In short, process-based improvement provides a framework for onboarding new technology that supports continuous improvement.
Using a process-based improvement approach to digital transformation is essential to onboard technology that delivers business value, as you can identify specific inefficiencies in your business and adopt solutions that fix them rather than embracing broad IT solutions.
When seeking digital transformation solutions, be aware that automation is more than deploying “bots,” which automate repetitive, static tasks but come with significant IT maintenance and typically needs supplemental technology to show real value.
To execute scalable, resilient digital transformation that focuses on resolving process inefficiencies, choose the more robust intelligent document automation.
For instance, if employees spend too much time manually processing invoices, you could deploy an intelligent document automation solution to automate document processing, which frees staff to focus on higher value tasks.
Accelerating digital transformation with intelligent document automation
When looking at construction companies from a process-based improvement perspective, the biggest pain point most construction companies face is an overreliance on inefficient and error-prone manual processes, which waste employee time and stifles growth.
Research shows that 35% of construction professionals spend their time on non-productive activities, such as looking for project information and dealing with mistakes and reworks. This means employees waste a high number of working hours on tasks that the company could automate.
Intelligent document automation addresses this inefficiency by decreasing reliance on manual processes and enables a company to extract and transform complex data without human intervention.
Therefore, employees can focus on the tasks related to their job, rather than getting side-tracked by administrative tasks or manually reviewing documents for errors. This not only reduces mistakes, it makes it easier to implement resilient operations while reducing costs, which is increasingly important as the procurement cost of materials and equipment are on the rise.
Increasing cost efficiency
The combination of supply chain disruptions, a rise in the cost of goods and services, and the increasing amount of tariffs and quotas has increased the overall cost of procuring goods. However, the industry is so competitive that it’s not viable to pass this cost increase to consumers.
As managing costs becomes an increasing challenge for construction companies, there is a growing need for firms to become more cost-efficient. Document automation is ideal for this as it allows you to process sales orders faster and decrease the overall cost per order.
Research shows that an intelligent, touchless, document automation platform reduces document-processing costs by 80%, meaning investing in automation is an easy way to become more cost-efficient.
Becoming cost-efficient not only presents an opportunity to offer more competitive pricing to customers, but also helps to insulate construction companies from the impact of supply chain disruptions.
Eliminating data-processing mistakes
Another common problem that construction companies face is that employees regularly make mistakes on documents like purchase orders. This is an easy mistake to make, particularly when employees are trying to process dozens of documents manually while working on other tasks.
Unfortunately, it’s a mistake that results in delays and shipping errors that adversely affect the customer experience and drive loyal customers to competitors. In other words, it’s a poorly performing manual process.
Intelligent document processing offers a solution that can eliminate these mistakes by automating the entire data entry process and inputting data into documents and systems with 100% accuracy.
As a result, intelligent document processing can improve the reliability of invoice and sales order processing, reducing the chance of delays and mistakes in orders. This increases the likelihood a company will deliver a seamless customer experience that retains customers long term.
Setting a foundation for future technological growth
While intelligent document automation platforms increase efficiency, they also provide a foundation that complements other technologies. For instance, intelligent document automation solution’s ability to extract and transform complex data means they can process large datasets and use data analytics to analyse it.
Purpose-built intelligent document automation solutions provide a solid foundation for processing structured and unstructured data that integrates with other innovative technologies, like data analytics and IoT solutions to create a cohesive, data-driven ecosystem.
Quantifying this data so that it can be processed has the potential to unlock a mountain of new insights. With 95% of all data captured in the construction and engineering industry going unused, using a solution to process this data automatically will inevitably garner important new insights.
Recognising digital transformation as a journey, not an event
Taking incremental steps toward digital transformation and automating inefficient processes one-by-one is essential to maximise your success because it breaks down the entire process into manageable segments.
If you try to transform every process at once, you will struggle to deploy solutions that integrate with your existing processes. By starting small, you can focus on fixing the pain points your employees encounter every day.