The construction industry is multimillion dollar international industry that involves many different stakeholders and specialists, from architects to engineers and builders. However, unlike in other industries, the use of information and communication technology (ICT) to facilitate contracts is not wide spread, with structures often being designed on drawing boards by hand. However, there are a range of benefits in using ICT in contracts, ranging from increased coordination to improved efficiency. To maximise the use of ICT in construction contracts it needs to become common practice throughout the industry.
During construction contracts ICT can be used to coordinate project stakeholders, using online document sharing to disperse project information quickly and efficiently. ICT is particularly useful for managing external partners who are used to different operating systems as online training and knowledge databases can be used to get them up to speed with your rules, regulations and policies before they arrive on site. This allows construction companies to recruit stakeholders from outside their usual geographic areas, giving them scope to produce a higher quality product.
Buying products and parts as well as invoicing online will allow construction contracts to run more smoothly and allow you to keep track of orders in a more efficient manner. This will help to bring to light any missing products or mistakes in the order. It will also give greater accountability, as mistakes can be pinpointed back to the particular point in the supply chain where they occurred. Using ICT will also allow you to keep better financial records, by using an online accounting system such as Sage. This will help you to keep to your contract budget and will reduce the likelihood of overspending.
Customer Relationship Management
ICT can be used to manage the whims, changes and demands of your customers virtually, reducing the need for them to appear at the place of business. This will mean that you are aware of problems or changes instantly, reducing the amount of wasted time and resources. It will also make for more satisfied customers, increasing the likelihood that they will use your services again in future projects.
Using programs such as 3D Computer Aided Design (CAD) increases productivity as architects and engineers can simply add their ideas to the same model, increasing the speed and ease in which the final project design is reached. This leads to savings in both costs and time and means that the image better represents the 'as built' construction, reducing the probability of change mid-contract and of customer dissatisfaction.
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