How important is it for owners and contractors to have a connected platform? See what happens when you don’t

by Brianna Crandall — October 11, 2019 — A groundbreaking new study by Dodge Data & Analytics in collaboration with construction technology provider e-Builder, a Trimble Company, reveals the unintended consequences of the increased adoption of project management software by project owners and managers, and the impact it has when contractors use their own software workflows that are not connected to the owners’ software.

The study, entitled Connecting Owners and Contractors: How Technology Drives Connected Construction, highlights the challenges that arise when owners and contractors manage construction projects using disparate software applications without automated data exchange. For standard processes such as requests for information (RFIs), submittals and progress payments, this situation can drive increased cost, higher risks and schedule delays. Conflict over data ownership and transparency often results in duplicate data entry and negative impacts to productivity.

Key findings from the study reveal the growing challenge:

  • 42% of contractors report using both the owner’s project management application as well as a specialized project management application designed for contractors. This results in increased risk to the contractor due to duplicated effort.
  • Only 45% of respondents are satisfied with the current state of data connectedness. 65% of owners and 51% of contractors see high or very high value in a single data platform that all parties can use for collaboration and sharing.
  • 73% of contractors report medium or high impact on the productivity of workers due to double entry of construction data.

Steve Jones, senior director of Industry Insights from Dodge Data & Analytics, remarked:

The need for contractors and owners to use their own project management applications has always been there. The problem is, they [the two applications] have not worked together well. The data in this research quantifies the impact of the data silos between contractor and owner.

The problem will only increase as more project owners adopt their own project management system, points out Trimble. The company’s strategy of connecting construction data, as part of its Constructible Process, seeks to provide efficiencies in building construction.

According to Chris Bell, vice president of Marketing at e-Builder:

The instant the first construction management software was invented, the clash over data ownership and transparency on construction projects was born. Unlike some vendors that attempt to serve multiple stakeholders with the same application, the latest technology trend is purpose-built software with connected data. We are proud to be the first to offer this for construction project management.

E-Builder, founded in 1995, provides cloud-based construction program management software for facility owners and the companies that act on their behalf. The company develops e-Builder Enterprise, which is aligned with the development of Trimble ProjectSight and Trimble Prolog, project controls solutions for contractors, to further enhance data flow between owners and contractors. With over 250,000 active capital projects, e-Builder + ProjectSight are said to create the industry’s first connected construction platform for project management.

Dodge Data & Analytics leverages its 100-year-old legacy of continuous innovation to provide analytics and software-based workflow integration solutions for the construction industry.

A complimentary version of the Connecting Owners & Contractors: How Technology Drives Connected Construction SmartMarket Brief is available online.