Your preconstruction team’s productivity directly impact your firm’s profitability as well as your ability to win more bids as general contractors. Optimizing it can help you:
Complete tasks faster and more efficiently with AI-powered tools like Togal.AI.
Reduce the time and effort needed for each bid, which allows you to participate in more bids within the same timeframe.
Enhance profitability by eliminating human errors, improving estimate accuracy, and reducing the risk of unexpected construction costs.
Become more attractive to clients by consistently producing accurate bids and providing high-quality preconstruction services.
Automate repetitive activities so you can focus on value-engineering tasks, collaborating with project teams, and identifying cost-saving opportunities.
Now that you’ve gotten an idea of why you should optimize your preconstruction team’s productivity, let’s move on to how you can do that. Below are some strategies, such as leveraging AI estimating software, to optimize your preconstruction team’s productivity.
Keep reading for valuable insights and practical recommendations to drive success in your construction projects.
Strategy 1: Streamline Communication Channels Within Your Preconstruction Team
Collaboration and project success depend on streamlining communication channels within the preconstruction team. Here are some strategies to help you achieve this:
1. Identify Common Communication Challenges
Assess the common challenges in team communication and collaboration. These may include:
Lack of information sharing
Scattered communication channels, and
Difficulty tracking progress.
Industry culture that is fragmented and competitive, inhibiting cooperation and alignment.
By identifying and understanding challenges, only then can you work on solutions.
2. Utilize Communication Tools
Implement specific tools or methods that facilitate seamless communication. Cloud-based project management platforms, instant messaging apps, and collaborative document-sharing platforms can enhance real-time communication, document version control, and task tracking.
Below shows construction management software, Procore, showing different project team members, along with their roles and contact information. It also shows a project overview, highlighting overdue tasks and more.
Here’s a table summarizing some of the tools you can leverage to streamline communication and collaboration.
3. Establish Clear Guidelines
Set clear guidelines for effective communication. Avoid confusion or misses messaged by defining communication channels, preferred methods, and response times for different types of communication. Finally, develop protocols for sharing project updates, addressing questions, and resolving conflicts.
Strategy 2: Assign Roles Effectively
When assigning roles and responsibilities within the preconstruction team, consider the following key factors to optimize team efficiency:
Analyze Skillsets and Expertise
Assess each team member’s strengths and specializations. For example, you can use a skills matrix, a self-assessment survey, or a performance review to evaluate the competencies and interests of each team member.
Match the tasks with their skills, knowledge, and experience. You can also leverage some of the project management software listed above to track progress and communicate expectations, deadlines, and deliverables.
Evaluate the workload and availability of team members when assigning roles and responsibilities. Take into account their current project commitments, deadlines, and capacity to handle additional tasks. Avoid overburdening individuals and ensure a balanced distribution of workload to maintain productivity and prevent burnout.
Monitor and Adjust
Regularly monitor the progress and performance of team members. Assess whether the assigned roles and responsibilities are suitable and make adjustments as needed to optimize team efficiency and ensure successful project execution.
Strategy 3: Optimize Preconstruction Team's Workflow Using AI
To optimize your preconstruction team's workflow, implement AI-powered preconstruction to automate repetitive or laborious tasks such as material takeoff, design development, design review processes, and more. For example, CodeComply.AI can automatically generate a list of non-compliant items, which allows users to verify compliance throughout the drawing.
Another example includes Togal.AI, which helps streamline the takeoff process using AI and machine learning. It can automatically detect, measure, compare, and label project spaces and features on architectural drawings. This enables general contractors and estimators to complete takeoffs in just under a minute with up to 98%accuracy. Watch the video below to see Togal.AI in action.
To learn more about how you can use AI to streamline your preconstruction workflow, read this guide on AI in preconstruction.
Strategy 4: Improve Collaboration With Cloud-Based Takeoff Tools Over On-Premise Tools
To enhance collaboration between team members and foster a collaborative environment, consider the following expert strategies:
In on-premise takeoff, the software is installed on the user’s computer or server to perform material takeoff. It is a traditional approach to the takeoff process that enables control over software and hardware and non-reliance on 3rd party providers for software needs.
But while it has its strengths and advantages, it can definitely impede your team’s productivity because of the following factors:
Teams can only access the software and data on the device where it's installed.
You can only collaborate with users who have access to the local devices.
Adding users and storage can be costly and time-consuming.
You are responsible for maintaining and updating both hardware and software.
You need to manually back up your data and set up disaster recovery measures.
If you prioritize accessibility, scalability and collaboration, shifting to cloud-based takeoff might be a better fit for you. This is a digital method for measuring and quantifying construction plans and blueprints that you can access and perform over the internet instead of on a specific device or location.
This means, with it, you can:
Easily scale and adapt to changing business needs.
Collaborate in real-time with multiple users, which further streamlines the takeoff process.
Enjoy enhanced security features such as backups and encrypted data, which is advantageous during disasters.
Examples include Construction AI takeoff software, Togal.AI, which helps you collaborate with team members and stakeholders on any device, anytime, and anywhere - as long as there’s access to the internet.
This means, not only will you be able to complete takeoffs with up to 98% accuracy in just less than a minute. You can also further speed up the preconstruction process by collaborating with team members on a single drawing with ease. It also promotes transparency, eliminates version control issues, and improves overall productivity.
Cloud-Based Takeoff vs On-Premise Takeoff
To help you decide whether it’s time to make a shift, here’s a simple pros and cons chart for both approaches. You can also read our guide: on-premise takeoff vs cloud takeoff.
Strategy 5. Leverage Data To Boost Productivity
To effectively manage time and prioritize tasks in preconstruction, consider the following expert methods:
Identify and Eliminate Time-Wasting Activities
Conduct a thorough analysis of the preconstruction process to identify any time-wasting activities or unnecessary steps. For example, Coastal Construction was able to monitor and determine that their team spent about 50% of their time manually tracing, clicking, and dragging lines on a set of plans to perform a takeoff using on-premise software.
By identifying the time-wasting activities, they were able to implement a solution that enabled them to reduce the time needed to do takeoff from 50% to 10%. They shifted from on-premise takeoff to AI takeoff software, Togal.AI, which enabled them to save 14.5 hours per plan set and average 10 bids per month.
Some of the tools you can use to track project data include the management platforms mentioned earlier, such as Procore. They can give you real-time visibility on project progress, cost control, and resource allocation.
Identify Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
Determine the relevant KPIs that align with the goals and objectives of the preconstruction process. Examples of KPIs for measuring productivity could include the number of successfully completed bids, the accuracy of cost estimates, the speed of completing material takeoffs, or the adherence to project schedules.
These KPIs provide quantifiable metrics that reflect the team's performance and productivity levels.
Set baselines and benchmarks for each metric to establish productivity standards. Regularly assess and compare actual performance against these baselines to identify areas of improvement and track progress over time.
Strategy 6: Promote Continuous Learning and Professional Development
Encourage your preconstruction team to stay updated with industry advancements, regulations, and emerging technologies to enhance efficiency in project planning and execution.
There are various avenues for skill development and growth, such as workshops, training programs, conferences, and industry certifications. Identify specific areas where team members can improve their expertise, such as advanced cost estimation techniques, AI-driven tools, or sustainable construction practices.
Some of the sites and forums you can let your team follow include:
Streamline Preconstruction Team’s Productivity With Togal.AI
One powerful tool that can support these strategies is Togal.AI. With Togal.AI, estimators can leverage advanced AI and machine learning technology to automate material takeoff and cost estimation.
This helps reduce time-wasting laborious activities, such as manually tracing, clicking, and dragging lines on a set of drawings. Its cloud-based collaboration features enable seamless communication, allowing estimators to work on a single plan anytime, anywhere, and on any device, as long as there’s the internet.
By incorporating Togal.AI into your workflow, you can complete takeoffs in less than a minute with up to 98% accuracy, unlocking the benefits of enhanced efficiency, accuracy, and productivity in preconstruction.
Now is the time to take action and start implementing these strategies within your preconstruction team. Embrace the power of technology, foster a collaborative environment, and prioritize continuous learning. By doing so, you can optimize your team's productivity, participate in more bids, and win more construction projects.