B2W Software, a leading provider of heavy construction management software, released results of a new survey conducted by Fishnet Media on challenges, opportunities and technology related to resource scheduling and dispatching.
More than 200 contractors from throughout North America participating in the survey confirmed the dynamic nature of the construction scheduling workflow and the significant financial risks and rewards associated with getting people, equipment and materials to the right place at the right time. More than 40 percent said scheduling and dispatching problems impact project timelines and budgets on a daily basis.
Real-time visibility across various roles emerged as an important goal in the survey, but older, offline tools remain prevalent. Nearly 75 percent of contractors indicated that spreadsheets, whiteboards or paper were their primary tool for managing resource scheduling and dispatching. For 91 percent of those surveyed, phone calls, emails or text messages were the main method of communicating changes in the schedule.
Respondents in the B2W Software survey listed the opportunity to standardize communication across the office, shop and field as the leading driver for investing in new technology for scheduling and dispatching. Shared visibility of resources in real time (56 percent), a push to adopt more technology company wide (52 percent) and optimizing heavy equipment utilization (40 percent) were also among the top reasons for investment.
“According to the survey, contractors recognize the efficiency and cost-saving advantages of having people across their organizations see the schedule – including continuous updates – in real time,” said Paul McKeon, CEO and founder of B2W Software. “Most, however, are just beginning to consider replacing outdated tools with the specialized software that would allow them to achieve this.”
The construction industry is conservative by nature, McKeon said, but the lack of investment in technology can also be traced back to vendors. “Until recently, there hasn’t been a tool in the market that has effectively covered all aspects of a contractor’s workflow,” he said. “B2W Schedule now offers contractors a new automated tool, and we know that contractors are willing to embrace tools that enhance competitiveness.”
B2W Schedule provides a centralized view of resource needs and assignments, equipment moves, material orders and trucking requirements. Users access the system from desktop, laptop or mobile tablet devices and customize one-day, multi-day or multi-week views according to their roles. Specific users can create and modify assignments with drag-and-drop simplicity, based on permission levels.
The scheduling and dispatching application is part of B2W Software’s ONE Platform, which also includes unified capabilities for heavy construction field tracking and analysis and equipment maintenance as well as estimating, safety, e-forms and reporting. “With our platform, data can move across the applications and their associated workflows in real time,” McKeon explains. This enhances efficiency and collaboration between the office, the field and the shop for contractors using multiple B2W applications.
Heavy civil construction contractors spanning a wide range of specialties completed the B2W survey in late 2019. Respondents included owners, executives and project managers as well as schedulers, dispatchers, field operations managers, CFOs, finance managers and IT personnel. Annual revenue for their companies was as high as $250 million, with 30 percent in the $2.5 – $10 million range and 26 percent in the $10 – $25 million range.
Detailed results of the survey on heavy construction scheduling and dispatching sponsored by B2W Software are available here.