The construction industry is vast and complex with different sectors and players working to bring more structure to human society. Multiple parties take up projects to create something new, renovate the old, or improve on something to perform better. All carry a sole focus – to improve society for us to live in.
Housebuilders, in particular, carry a huge responsibility. They provide homeowners with the biggest investment they are ever going to make. The house is going to be their safe haven and the framework of their family life. To them, it holds so much meaning and emotion.
Get a free copy of the housebuilding guide below – learn how to manage multiple projects and find the right digital solution.
Therefore, this guide is dedicated to housebuilders facing pains, frustrations, and problems delivering house projects. We, at GenieBelt, wanted to help all who try their best on a daily basis to provide homeowners with a place to belong.
Lack of control over multiple house projects
At any given time, most housebuilders are working on multiple house projects. It’s not a single large construction project that requires management and tracking but multiple projects that may have different designs schemes, layouts, deadlines, geographical locations, suppliers, subcontractors and more.
Due to this, a housebuilder is very much like a turnkey contractor. They have a vested interest in how efficient the project is and how well it’s coming along because they are not paid in full until the houses are handed over and customers are satisfied with the finished product.
On top of that, housebuilders need to show the buyers the project’s progress at any given time. Add in the fact that the majority of the house projects are geographically spread out. It comes as no surprise when there is difficulty dealing with all of these tasks at once.
All of this is if the project runs smoothly. What happens when there is a problem? Are there methods in place when a problem comes forth? How to manage resources when there is a delay? A programme or a schedule is not set in stone. Changes are bound to happen, and they tend to add the need for more coordination among team members via calls and emails to get in touch with the construction site.
Lack of control over multiple projects makes it extremely difficult for decision makers and managers to know exactly what is happening on construction sites. This lack of control also makes it difficult for businesses to scale and grow. How can they be proactive when everyone is always playing catch up? Lessons learned from past projects are rarely applied to make smart decisions for the future. Why? Because managers are all stretched so thin that they barely have the time to complete the project and then hand it over.
Gain control back. Be on top of your projects
In order to avoid the pain and frustration that comes from the lack of overview across multiple projects, digital solutions need to be in place to automate multiple work processes. But technology cannot do much without a system in place. To be able to benefit from digitisation, a proper workflow needs to be mapped out.
Map out the workflows
Typically, a housebuilding project requires a joint effort from multiple parties. There are suppliers, subcontractors, engineers, architects and more involved in creating a house. Managers and executives need to be able to have a thorough understanding of the project. Below is a list of questions that managers should ask themselves in order to evaluate whether there is an efficient workflow in place or not:
- Are the delays in our projects avoidable or unavoidable? Is there a process in place to handle avoidable days?
- How much damage can a particular delay have on the project? Who ends up paying for these costs?
- How is the structure working at the moment? Where does it not work? How long does it take to learn the state of the projects?
- How are the invoices handled? Is there a process in place or do parties wait for days to get and/or receive their payments?
- How are the materials and supplies coordinated? What happens to them in case of a delay? How much do we pay when there is damage to the materials?
These questions are just a starting point to realising what is going on and what managers need to know. Every aspect of the construction process can be optimised to a point that multiple parties on construction site can effectively communicate and collaborate.
Learn more: Construction management 101: The ultimate guide
Mapping out the workflow is an essential step towards optimising your business processes. In some cases, companies achieve a certain level of efficiency just by bringing order through standardisation of workflows and business processes. However, it is not the case when there are large, complex or multiple construction projects to work on. In such situations, it is important to use digital tools that can automate the majority of the workflows.
The difference a digital solution can make
Every software created is made with the aim to fix a problem. In order to gain control back over multiple housebuilding projects, housebuilders need to make use of real-time project management and collaboration tools. As mentioned, there are various reasons for losing control over construction projects. Let’s tackle one problem at a time.
Multiple housebuilding projects
A digital solution that supports ongoing communication and exchange of information will be able to provide project managers with a complete overview of multiple housebuilding projects at any given time. Bring real-time technology into the mix and project programmes are updated instantly.
Get a free copy of the housebuilding guide below – learn how to manage multiple housebuilding projects with ease.
Managers and executives are always able to work with updated programmes and essentially know where the real progress is as compared to the planned schedule.
Software solutions can provide a bird’s eye view of the state of multiple construction projects, up-to-date at all times by way of real-time technology. Imagine being able to see at a glance the state of numerous housebuilding projects and having the ability to delve deeper into projects that show problems or are behind schedule. That knowledge brings control back and is able to provide executives with a complete overview of multiple house projects.
Projects with different locations
Being forced to visit individual construction sites for constant updates is time-consuming and a lot of hours are wasted driving to different locations, performing construction site visits, and creating manual reports. Instead, this time could be used to work on aspects of construction projects that really bring value.
A digital solution doesn’t completely eliminate the need for construction site visits but it does reduce the number, and it makes reporting automatic in a centralised system. Consequently, the time spent on traveling to numerous construction sites is minimised. There are software solutions that provide a central live look of multiple projects at a glance.
Delays and problems
Not all delays are avoidable but they are manageable. The damage caused by a delay can be reduced if the problems are properly managed on a timely basis. Housebuilders, in particular, coordinate with numerous teams that are sent to more than one project. A delay on one construction site can have a rippling effect. With a solution that provides a central live overview of the entire programme it becomes easier to manage the effects of delays.
Multiple design schemes and teams to be coordinated
Whether the job is to create repetitive houses or single luxury homes, every project has its own set of design schemes, teams, and supplies that need to be managed. With a live programme in a single central system, housebuilders have the ability to manage suppliers, resources, and projects effectively. Real-time software solutions update construction programmes instantly. Executives are then able to work with updated information at all times and make timely decisions based on updated facts.
Some housebuilders have taken this a step further. HusCompagniet is an example of a housebuilder that have invested time, money and effort in embedding the right digital technologies in their work processes. They have been using GenieBelt as their real-time project management and collaboration tool. Let’s have a look at how they bring control over their house projects.
How Northern Europe’s biggest housebuilder does it.
Based in Denmark, HusCompagniet is considered one of Denmark’s and Nordic region’s leading housebuilders. Operating in the housebuilding sector for 40 years, the company has delivered more than 17,000 houses. HusCompagniet’s policy is to deliver the project first and get payment of the project at handover.
Due to this, their success lies in delivering quality houses on time. Control over construction projects and efficiency are key for the business. Which is why HusCompagniet has made a very holistic structure of their business’s structure.
‘Modern construction workers want to work with companies that use digital technologies to make their work more transparent and efficient. And modern buyers want to be an integrated part of their dream project – and they want to use all the information gathered in the building process when they start their new life.’ says Morten Chrone.
In order to gain control over the multiple house projects that they work with at any given time, HusCompagniet has taken control over the supply chain. They buy the supplies in bulk and provide them to the subcontractors. The subcontractors need to just come on-site at the desired time with their equipment and start working.
A change in schedule is instantly reported to the relevant teams and they are able to adjust their own schedule accordingly.
With this holistic structure, HusCompagniet has control over their construction projects. They have an efficient workflow in place and in order to automate and improve it, they have implemented the right kind of digital technology.
Why is HusCompagniet adopting digital technologies to handle their processes? Why are they trying so hard to automate their workflows? To them the goal is clear – they are after customer satisfaction by delivering house projects with quality, care and on time.
The power homeowners have over housebuilders
The happiness homeowners feel when they are finally given their home is key to a housebuilder’s ultimate success. For the housebuilding sector, it all boils down to customer satisfaction.
“100% customer satisfaction is our finest goal” Steffen Baungaard, CEO HusCompagniet
In a typical large-scale commercial project, main contractors can get away with time delays and budget overruns due to the size and complexity of the project. A bad relationship with a client will mean that the main contractor will lose the possibility of working with them in the future. For housebuilders’ customers, though, it’s a more emotional situation.
Future homeowners expect a lot from housebuilders. They want the housebuilders to cover all bases – build quality, design, permits, land selection, etc. They are waiting (im)patiently for their new home and a delay can have a very negative impact on them. Just the pressure of delivering something of such high sentimental value is immense.
[click_to_tweet tweet=”When managers and executives are on top of their projects and have a team working like a well-oiled machine, the end results are improved efficiency rates, reduced costs, and higher customer satisfaction.” quote=”When managers and executives are on top of their projects and have a team working like a well-oiled machine, the end results are improved efficiency rates, reduced costs, and higher customer satisfaction.”] A bad review or experience can have a negative effect on a housebuilder’s reputation. Customers hold a lot of power nowadays. Any bad interaction or experience can easily be communicated to their friends, family, social circle and the public. There are a million ways for the damage to be spread to potential buyers. And these potential homeowners tend to invest a lot of time researching brands and have easy access to feedback on forums etc.
This does not mean that being on top of house projects will lead to high customer satisfaction but steps taken towards delivering quality projects on time will play a vital role in creating happy homeowners.
When managers and executives are on top of their projects and have a team working like a well-oiled machine, the end results are improved efficiency rates, reduced costs, and higher customer satisfaction.
Get a free copy of the housebuilding guide below – learn how to manage multiple projects and find the right digital solution.