Digitised working methods support your business and make you sleep better at night. The land and construction contractor with multiple machines and personnel people out in the field can particularly benefit from daily reporting and accurate documentation. Given the current economic situation, now is the time to invest in efficient, time and cost saving solutions. That’s what Anders Jacobson, founder of Next One Technology, and specialist in industry-specific digital tools, writes.
The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The next best time is now. An old Chinese proverb can actually illustrate how we can think about digitised workflows and processes today.
Take care in a recession
The typical land and construction entrepreneur is a jack-of-all-trades who, during the season, works operationally during the day and manages the company in the evenings and weekends. Time sheets, daily reports and packing slips must be compiled for both follow-up and invoice documentation. By digitising the daily processes, these entrepreneurs have a lot of time and money to gain. Right now we seem to have been hit by the perfect storm of both energy shortages, inflation and unrest in the outside world, to name just a few things. If we are to see something positive in the darkness, it is that the recession at least gives you some time to develop your company. So stay tuned, here are the steps to increased control, more professionalism and higher profitability. And above all; better night sleep!
First step: Get a handle on the situation, capture data on the spot – every day
Forget about manual time sheets, work orders and daily reports – in the digital world, all feedback from the workplace takes place via mobile devices. This means that we get both higher quality and more input data than if the reporting is done manually. No more anxiety-inducing piles of paper!
Second step: Make sure to charge for all work – don’t miss the additional jobs!
How many times has it happened that additional tasks pop up afterwards that lead to a discussion as to who should bear the cost? With complete digital documentation, you get everything on the invoice so that such discussions do not arise. In addition to being able to invoice in full for the work you actually performed, you also save a great deal of time when it comes to compiling the invoices. This cuts down on last minute surprises , efficient invoicing and improved liquidity.
Third step: Better and faster financial follow-up
Bookkeeping changes completely when manual routines are replaced with a digital process that daily updates project balances both regarding invoices, working hours and machine hours. The advantages are obvious: projects that slip in both time and costs quickly become visible and you can steer up while there is still time to make an impact. Your client is updated in real time, which builds both relationship and trust.
Fourth step: Daily control of machine economy
For the machine park, the digital process means that the projects are charged daily (based on the daily reports) with the current machine cost. At the same time, costs such as depreciation, service and repairs are taken directly on each machine input resource, which partly creates a basis for setting the correct internal price for the machines, and partly gives a good indication of when it is time to scrap. Machine hours and costs land right in principle without manual work, which benefits smaller machine owners without administrative staff.
Late bloomers have an advantage
As a thought-provoking conclusion, we can also state that land and construction entrepreneurs who are a bit late with digitisation currently have a certain advantage over others. In recent years, there has been an enormous development regarding the digital industry systems, and today’s tools are both easier to use and significantly more powerful than they were just five years ago. If you get on the digitisation train today, you will have the opportunity to whiz past the larger companies that were early adopters but are using clunky, legacy tools.
So my advice to you as an entrepreneur in land and construction: Dare to take your next step on the digital journey so that your company can stand strong when the economy turns upwards again!
Article written by: Anders Jacobson, founder of Next One Technology
Anders graduated as a civil engineer in 1990 and since then his professional life has almost exclusively revolved around the construction industry. He has been an active partner in construction companies and acted as a senior consultant in terms of development and implementation of industry-adapted business and project tools.