Salesforce for Construction Management
One of the most prominent challenges of the ever-evolving professional world is how to make processes more efficient, profitable, and scalable. When implemented by a company, Salesforce, as a platform, commonly sits in the middle of all technology initiatives which centralize around improvement in one (or more) of the aforementioned areas. But what happens when companies in a traditionally non-technical industry venture to utilize a CRM tool to streamline their tech engagement by their employees and contractors? Is adoption an uphill battle? Can the shoe even fit for their business model? These sentiments are shared across businesses of varying sizes in the Construction vertical. However, with a sound approach, support, and outlook, a construction company’s investment in the Salesforce platform can revamp their processes across any department and lead veterans in the field to embracing technology. Let’s take a look at what Salesforce for construction management would look like.
Quoting and Bidding on Contracts Empowered by Salesforce
Let’s say that the company at-hand is either a specialty construction or an installation company, such as Insulation, Roofing, or Scaffolding. For a construction company that often serves as a subcontractor to larger construction contracts, one of the most important processes is bidding on jobs and tracking which construction companies provide you with the most and highest quality of work opportunities. Utilizing Salesforce Sales Cloud, a Roofing company could seamlessly track each live bid out with a contractor bidding on a job and update how far each have gotten in the bidding process. In addition, standard Sales Cloud objects combined with Salesforce’s robust reporting capabilities can provide project managers easy visibility into how successful each contractor has been with procuring their construction company with work.
Construction companies either have a regimented physical or software-based process for computing estimates for a prospective job based on a series of construction plans or building blueprint. An estimator dissects this documentation and compiles the materials needed in order to properly service the needs of the contract. From there, the Sales team computes the estimated cost for labor and affiliated expenses such as travel, parking, and permits, and bundle that into a singular price point. Salesforce has a phenomenally powerful tool, Salesforce CPQ, which empowers companies across all verticals to exhibit powerful, intelligent quoting processes. With a thoughtful configuration of Salesforce CPQ, construction companies can have significant portions of their Quotes dynamically added when operative information and the fundamental materials for the prospective job are inputted into the product configurator. A .pdf output of the Quote can also be configured and generated via Salesforce CPQ and include any essential external documentation to send directly to each contractor including them in their bid.
Running the Job through Salesforce
This rich historical business history in Salesforce stems even further when a construction company invests in the platform’s capabilities beyond simply managing their pipeline. Once a contract is won and the pre-planning is complete, a project manager oversees the successful completion of the company’s involvement in the construction contract. Construction companies thrive on utilizing lean, easy-to-use collaborative technology such as WhatsApp to connect workers on the job site with their foremen. Foreman can also use the application to take inspection photos of job progress and potential damages. Trucks loaded with materials are often geotracked to ensure that the proper amount of materials got loaded and successfully delivered to an active job site. Many companies still use paper documentation to track time logging, expense submissions, and job progress reports.
Using Salesforce as an anchor, all of these necessary occurrences could be interfaced through the platform and easily accessible by all involved members of the construction company without any fear of valuable information getting lost in the rubble. Communication across a job team and its foreman could be executed via Chatter and inspection reports written into Salesforce as records with image uploads attached. There are multiple powerful geotracking applications on the AppExchange which would be able to provide real-time location check-ins and confirmation of materials transferring. If signatures are required to confirm a successful material drop-off, that can be tracked and stored in Salesforce through the usage of a e-signature integration. Easy-to-use applications can be developed native to Salesforce to make punching in and out for the construction team done in a matter of clicks, with job progress reports completed and uploaded to the cloud without the foreman having to leave the site. With all of these processes being completed day-to-day in the same manner via the same platform, the project manager no longer has to be concerned with sourcing and chasing down information from various individuals involved in the job – it will be in Salesforce, right at their fingertips.
Beyond the Job
The optimizations construction companies can experience by investing in Salesforce do not stop at selling and fulfilling their contractual duties. The vast berth of information from each project centralized consistently and in an engageable manner leads to further opportunities to streamline project finances and payroll. Project burn rates will update in real-time based on a construction team’s time logging, which the Finance department can use to generate invoices to the contractor without any delay. In addition, payroll and reimbursement fulfillment can be run with confidence via referencing each construction team member’s time log records directly in Salesforce. By leading with a philosophy of “if it is not in Salesforce, it does not exist,” construction companies can influence their workers to embrace their technological investment and lead to their information being more reliable and true-to-form than ever before.
While there are so many possibilities for an organization’s advancement when beginning their Salesforce journey, the most important part of any successful implementation is partnering with Salesforce experts who will empower their success via careful analysis of their focal needs and a thoughtful implementation plan. Construction companies often get cold feet when first learning about Salesforce because their business processes have been executed a specific way for quite some time. However, with the right support, investing in Salesforce can greatly increase a construction company’s efficiency, raise the technical savvy of all personnel involved, and decrease the laboriousness of mundane, repeated tasks so that all members working on a construction contract can focus on what they do best. Who knows? Salesforce adoption may very well mark the end of misplacing those ever-important inspection pictures! For more information on Salesforce for construction management, feel free to reach out.
Kiyan, one of our talented solution architects, differentiates and prides himself as being a system engineer and admin before becoming a Salesforce user. His background and passion surrounding the Salesforce ecosystem make him one of our finest solution architects.