How Construction Organizations Can Make Back Office Operations More Efficient Amidst Recession Scare

Typically, when people think about building projects, they picture workers out in the open because it is something that stands out more strikingly.

Although on-site activity generates the bulk of construction firms’ income, the importance of smooth operations in the office often goes overlooked. As businesses expand, the efficiency of their back-office processes may suffer. Constantly improving your company’s performance is essential if you want to ensure seamless operations, motivate your staff to give their all, and win contracts at a faster pace than the competition.

Companies in the construction sector have been facing several difficulties recently, one of which is the continuous rise in operating expenses. Pandemic restoration, record-high labor and supply chain disruptions, and extortionate, always-changing pricing on equipment and materials have all plagued the sector amidst spikes in demand rooted in the robust real estate market and large-scale infrastructure development connected to capital investment. These difficulties put companies in jeopardy because they make it more difficult to compete and acquire contracts and finish operations on time and under budget.

The belief that back offices are just a cause of expenditures rather than a possible strategic asset is the greatest challenge this department confronts.

As a result, businesses are forced to make difficult economic choices to safeguard their working capital and are constantly on the lookout for new methods to cut expenses, including those associated with back-office activity, which is still largely managed physically and is prone to inefficiency and questionable decisions.

Importance of Back Office in the Construction Industry

You might think of the back office as the bedrock upon which your firm’s organizational and financial stability rests. The back office often does not bring in direct revenue as compared to the fieldwork but it’s the administrative unit of the company that keeps the organization functioning combined with the customer support activities that effectively serve clients’ demands. While back office operations include a wide range of departments and tasks, they usually feature the following:

  • Standard operational responsibilities that are essential for keeping the business running include management of human resources, information technology, and data along with fraud detection, and risk assessment. Apart from that, there are procurement, accounting, and finance departments.
  • Then there’s customer service that includes business process management, preparation of formal records, upkeep of finances and accounts, services for customers, dispute resolution, and client onboarding.
  • Moreover, there are many industry-oriented back office tasks such as underwriting and claims handling, borrowing, credit card processing, mortgage dealing, and safety and maintenance work in the field.

With the back office well-managed, the firm can concentrate on what it does best: serving its clients. Effective procedures and easy access to relevant information, for instance, may facilitate many departments to perform at their best. The prompt and precise provision of services is a key commitment made by businesses to their clients. It is not unsurprising that back-office mistakes and inefficiencies are the second-most common reason for client frustration.

A competitive position in today’s industry can be found in providing exceptional service to customers. It’s far cheaper to keep an existing client than to get a new one. Additionally, businesses that upgrade or digitize their back-office processes are more likely to significantly outperform their less innovative competitors.

Enhancing Back Office Efficiency in Construction Businesses

Let’s take a more in-depth peek at how modernizing the back office may revolutionize the construction industry by helping companies create optimizations that allow businesses to accomplish more within a smaller duration of time without increasing their operating costs.

Evaluate Operational Workflow & Reduce ‘Work about Work’

Check-in on workers often to determine how they’re doing once you’ve handed them a project. You may get this insight by documenting and interviewing employees to witness the job being done firsthand. To learn how long certain procedures take and what capabilities are required to fulfill each demand, it is necessary to examine them separately. This will allow you to monitor output and spot areas for improvement or decline. Neither the customer nor the company gains from activities that bring no value. Inappropriate distribution of labor across workers and needless relocation of information and records are two such examples. The process of failure-proofing is one method for avoiding such situations. The goal of this activity is to eliminate human mistakes entirely by reducing “work about work”, either by automating it or by discovering and fixing it right away.

It’s Time to Go Paperless

Members of the back office, such as those in charge of invoicing and collections, are frequently overburdened with a heavy workload and required to do tedious, repetitive tasks. Bills need to be collected and processed, clearances need to be tracked down from project leaders who are always on the go, and physical checks need to be issued and sent. This becomes a stressor for many back office personnel as they need to maintain a cordial relationship with competent contractors by ensuring prompt payments. Some of the key challenges, such as incomplete production and back orders, are exacerbated by today’s uncertain market, and archaic technology, such as Excel spreadsheets and bookkeeping that are not adequately integrated adding time and stress to the task. Paper documents such as designs, sketches, invoices, contracts, bills, performance reports, and checklists are notably difficult to handle and often go missing in the construction sector. Cash flow may be stifled, and payouts delayed due to the time and effort required, damaging alliances vital to a company’s success. That’s why not going paperless has become almost an existential threat for construction companies. If you don’t already have a plan in place to digitalize and automate back-office operations, every passing day is providing a competitive edge to the competition.

Build an Efficient Result-Oriented Culture

You simply couldn’t afford to have your back office crew manage the company and spend time or money on activities that don’t contribute to success. Don’t hesitate to slash superfluous activities that aren’t improving productivity or efficiency. Every minute spent in conferences or on unproductive tasks costs both time and money. A well-run back office is crucial to the growth of any infrastructure project. The off-site labor is vital, but what really keeps the company afloat is the administrative support. The building sector faces unforeseeable difficulties for the foreseeable future inadequate supply of labor and rising expenses. Companies may not be able to change the external financial climate, but they may substitute wasteful manual procedures with automated ones that help them reduce costs, avoid hiring more people, and foster positive working relationships with their most important vendors by paying them on time. Among the most key aspects to improve is the ease of teamwork. In reality, it’s as easy as getting everybody in your back office to talk to each other and collaborate together to improve your likelihood of success. The greatest place to begin is by cultivating a culture that values and recognizes team effort.

Initiate Digital Transformation

Amid a plethora of economic trends beyond their power, construction companies require innovative approaches to managing their growing commitments. Aid might be found in the form of technology. Performance in the construction sector depends on monitoring proposals and obligations against cost and timeline, and the data generated by automation is invaluable for doing so. With automation, businesses may track when bills are received, how much is owed, when payments are due, and who hasn’t authorized the bills. More precise predictions may be made if expenditures are kept in line with budgets and estimations.

  • Executives and financial experts can keep tabs on cash flow and spot problems, including persistently unreliable suppliers, with the use of conveniently accessible, historical data. They may use the information to find ways to save money, such as qualifying for an early payment incentive or moving suppliers.
  • Using a cloud-based construction management system and collaborative networking capabilities, businesses may reduce their reliance on paper by organizing construction specifications and plans and linking them to change orders, checklists, and photographs. The addition of a smartphone app’s add-on makes it simpler for users to remotely administer, access, and exchange information.
  • By eliminating the need for tedious manual operations like invoicing and bill payment, automation technologies facilitate digitalization in the back office. The processing time for a bill may be cut from a week to 2 days and the cost of personnel and supplies can be reduced significantly with the help of accounts payable and settlement automation.
  • Some automated buy-to-pay systems are designed to work in tandem with an organization’s preexisting accounting systems, streamlining the procedure of receiving invoices, verifying their accuracy against purchase orders, and approving payment. They also provide the option of contactless transactions, which are both quicker and safer than cash transactions.
  • Automation helps workers take on more work without increasing manpower, and it liberates them to do more valuable jobs. Instead of spending time typing in billing data and filling envelopes, they may focus on fostering stronger connections with suppliers and making better use of the company’s financial data to advance the business.

That’s why one of the most crucial actions you can take is to make a substantial investment in integrated applications. In the end, it doesn’t matter how many IT experts you employ to manage your back office if you don’t equip them with the proper tools. KanBo’s construction software can aid construction enterprises with their collaboration and business process needs. In the current economy, when everything must be accounted for and every system must be as lean as possible, the right software is vital.

Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations

The construction industry’s climate goals will not be met without a shift toward more sustainable production and consumption patterns. The industry has to prioritize climatic and environmental concerns if it wants to overcome the hurdles and obstacles currently plaguing the construction sector. This is particularly true when you take into account the fact that the younger workforce places a premium on ecological and environmental issues.

Even if current infrastructure and economic systems are capable of drastically decreasing emissions, achieving carbon neutrality in the future would need novel solutions. Hiring and firing are only two examples of the numerous areas where innovative solutions are necessary for environmental sustainability. As more advanced technologies become available, there will be a greater need for improved digitalization that can really be used.

The construction industry is heavily involved in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 9, which was established by the Department of Economic and Social Affairs. It promotes multi-national corporations to invest in global infrastructure development so that more people may reap the advantages of industrialization and economic growth. In addition, companies take these measures because they value creating a culture that welcomes and supports new ideas. The following sustainability goals should be pursued by businesses in the construction sector.

  • Utilization of public-private partnership (PPP) concepts and the development of certified, eco-friendly infrastructure. New transportation infrastructure should be developed with increased industry participation and operations.
  • Promotion of workplace health and safety, delivery of medical treatment, and the facilitation of team-building activities are all part of this, as is an increase in healthcare-related real estate investment. Companies in the building industry should participate in corporate citizenship and sponsorship initiatives to better the communities in which they operate.
  • All workers should have access to the option of establishing and governing universities. Corporate social responsibility and sponsorship programs, among other activities, can also help organizations cultivate the next generation of talent.
  • Water supply and wastewater treatment and disposal systems must be developed in tandem with flood protection and treatment facilities. During the construction process, businesses should make every effort to minimize their impact on the environment.
  • Green buildings and infrastructure should be included in energy infrastructure development to lessen their negative effects on the environment. The construction industry should take the lead in creating and managing alternative energy projects.

Using KanBo to Streamline Back Office Operations

By providing a comprehensive platform for the construction industry, KanBo helps construction firms and their management teams working in the back office to generate actionable business reports, organize and carry out sales and business development action plans, and foster an environment that promotes innovation and work advancements across all forms of business systems and channels of communication.

Business Intelligence Reporting for Informed Decision-Making

  1. Generate Insightful Reports for Business Management
    Using KanBo’s extensive business management reporting, construction companies can keep tabs on how well individual teams are working to achieve organizational objectives and standard operating procedures. To improve project results, the organization may now make use of real-time data and share insights as they emerge. In order to help the firm meet its revenue, performance, and quality goals across all divisions including finance, marketing, sourcing, logistics, and legal teams— KanBo’s management reports use data visualization to give in-depth visibility into lackluster and leading factors.
  2. Intelligent Reporting for Business Units
    Construction developers and managers can benefit from KanBo’s business unit reporting by gaining visibility into the general progression of their production thanks to the system’s detailed insights into operational efficiency. With KanBo, all of the operational and performance metrics used in management reporting can be trusted and shared across departments.Construction managers may keep track of daily productivity and quality, make notes on setbacks, and generate reports that can be shared with team leaders and top management.
  3. Executive Management Reporting for Strategic Excellence
    Top-level management may use real-time data to obtain individualized status reports, keep track of deadlines, and forecast sales and profitability. The dashboard’s wealth of data keeps them informed of both expected and unexpected occurrences, allowing them to measure success against a wide range of criteria, such as those outlined in management guidelines and regulations.Construction companies may improve their management information systems with the help of KanBo reports for senior managers. These reports cover a wide range of topics, from productivity and costs to profits and clientele.
  4. Reporting for Global Business Units
    KanBo’s GBU reports provide construction businesses with valuable information on the labor, sourcing, distribution, constraints, and future forecasts of their projects. When it comes to making judgments, any relevant team may turn to KanBo reports since they are not only information-rich but also retain a high level of reliability.Companies may use the reports to consolidate information from many sources and inform long-term strategies for greater operational and economic efficiency. Metrics of productivity, sales, issues, procurement, work output, efficiency, and projections are just a few of the many data points covered.
  5. Sales and Business Development Reporting
    KanBo provides construction companies with comprehensive information on all aspects of their operations, allowing them to comprehend and prepare for the successful delivery of future projects and services. Businesses in the construction industry may chart a course for the future by using data analytics to determine the company’s long-term objectives.

Foster Growth and Sales in Challenging Markets

  1. Business Development Team Facilitation
    KanBo reports may help your business development team make meaningful connections with consumers that stay. Information on successful and unsuccessful bids is readily available, allowing the team to analyze its performance, pinpoint areas for improvement, and better prepare for the pursuit of new clients in the future.
  2. Updated Data for Business Strategists in Real Time
    The business developer will be better able to advertise and sell the company’s proposal to new customers if they have access to all the data, analytics, and insights relating to previous projects. With up-to-the-moment data, businesses can set and pursue effective goals, increasing their chances of success.
  3. Create and Recognize Potential New Markets
    With KanBo, your team can see everything from current projects to medium- and long-term portfolios, making it much easier to spot and capitalize on business possibilities. As an added bonus, working in real-time with other teams allows for quick evaluation of quality, sustainability, and health and safety targets, all of which are important to any organization.
  4. Put Your Business Strategies Into Action
    You can ensure the efficiency targets of your construction projects are included in the overall company strategy, and vice versa. Get everyone on the same page by sharing your plan and a detailed prediction you created using real-time data gathered from several sources.
  5. Assist Functional Areas Where It’s Required
    KanBo makes it possible for departments to work together in real-time to ensure that correct reports are generated from data collected throughout daily operations in accordance with all applicable rules and procedures. Make use of the teamwork setup to disseminate data to the project’s constituents.Using KanBo, your company’s business development team may build trustworthy, long-lasting connections with constituents, including customers, neighborhoods, and corporate entities. As a result, your construction company can explore potential new avenues of work.

Allow for New Developments and Enhanced Methods of Business Operations

  1. Implement Functional Improvements
    Improve your company’s operations by researching current trends in technology and leading practices in your field. With KanBo, you have the option of outlining and implementing new methods, allowing you to deploy and share ideas with all stakeholders and guaranteeing that each stage in the improvement process is in total harmony with your company’s goals.
  2. Focus on Growth That Can Be Sustained Over Time
    You can transform your construction company into an innovative leader by using KanBo to implement a sustainability-driven, data-backed, and innovation-focused strategy. Spread your risk, improve your outcomes without sacrificing quality, and streamline processes by using bid templates.
  3. Construct Upon Your Initiative for Innovation
    Accumulate the collective wisdom of your company’s employees from a wide variety of sources and put it to use in all of your business operations with the help of KanBo’s result-driven innovation. In order to maintain a competitive advantage and foster an atmosphere favorable to innovation, it is necessary to manage many projects simultaneously while adhering to all applicable regulations and standards of conduct.
  4. Guarantee Enhanced Business Procedures
    Collaborate effectively with other groups and key individuals to save money and boost productivity. Optimize processes and introduce new ideas, improvements, and solutions to improve operational excellence while providing real-time feedback to higher management using data gathered from a variety of sources.

Improve Internal Coordination and Process Support

  1. Promote Participation by Providing Current Data
    Through the use of automation, you can guarantee that you have access to the most up-to-date information at all times and provide your business units the choice to keep track of project documentation without resorting to time-consuming manual methods. Work with other team managers to establish clear job descriptions and strategic goals for the organization.
  2. Coordinate Business Goals with Client Needs
    High-level cooperation may be maintained via the use of automated and real-time business process implementation, which can take care of a wide variety of project-related tasks, from onboarding to talent acquisition to coordination. Facilitate reviews, audits, and contract management with a focus on compliance using a unified framework that spans organizational levels.
  3. Put into Effect Alterations and New Strategies in Real-Time
    Using KanBo, construction businesses can streamline operations and business processes across departments by planning, communicating, experimenting with, and sharing the newest updates, modifications, services, and business objectives with internal and external stakeholders. Use KanBo’s functionality for coordinating the efforts of several departments to roll out strategic plans and policies with ease.
  4. Identify, Analyze, and Reduce Business Risk
    Monitor the security of all your projects, departments, and offices so that you can spot problems and develop solutions to reduce threats. Use KanBo to create easily accessible plans, emergency procedures, security conditions, and policies that can be seen by all parties involved. Safe project management and maximum profit are possible only if contracts and operational risks are evaluated against industry standards.
  5. Create and Implement Profitable Business Strategies
    With KanBo, managers can keep an eye on day-to-day business as well as the project’s development, budget management, and key performance indicators to help shape the ultimate goal. KanBo may be used to foster a productive work environment where all parts of the business are cognizant of both short-term and long-term strategy via the use of a digital medium for the creation, evaluation, and deployment of business goals and objectives.
  6. Provide Necessary Organizational Assistance
    KanBo helps managers with a wide range of features that can be used to their advantage to help their company grow and get new contracts. Promote open communication and active participation across all teams in order to gather and expand upon fresh ideas and creative endeavors. More so, provide project managers with the means to apply stage gates and the many phases of a project’s life cycle.

KanBo Enables Better Back Office Management for Construction Companies

KanBo provides construction companies with the ability to manage all aspects of a construction project from a single location. The flexibility and adaptability of KanBo’s task and knowledge management platform are useful to any construction business. Companies in the construction industry are no longer compelled to erect barriers to the free flow of information and the resulting generation of novel ideas and discoveries. KanBo is flexible enough to integrate itself into established organizations having traditional chains of command.

KanBo is an Executive Headquarter for the Top Management

Using KanBo, workers may have easy access to company-wide information including goals and projects, tasks and employee abilities, and company-wide announcements. It is possible that upper management would establish a virtual basis of operations and data on an agile work and knowledge management platform. In the construction industry, executives will now have instantaneous access to data and analytics presented in a highly visual way. A quicker and more precise decision-making process might be beneficial to a company’s innovation strategy.

KanBo is a Low-Code Environment for Citizen Developers

Here, we just mention two benefits of low-code approaches: quicker application delivery and less human coding. Project managers and business analysts, who aren’t typically programmers, may now design and develop mobile applications. Non-technical workers may be able to have a greater impact on the company if IT backlogs are reduced and shadow technologies are eliminated. Improved productivity in the knowledge management system may be attributed to the development of novel technological approaches.

One of the Best Choices for People Who Cannot Code

Software engineers and non-engineers alike may create applications without resorting to conventional programming. Leaders in an organization who lack coding skills may struggle to accomplish their tasks properly. Faster application development time is the key perk of adopting KanBo as a no-code solution. Given the rise in the number of remote employees and the scarcity of in-house software experts, businesses are increasingly turning to these platforms for support.

Information Experts Rely on KanBo, a Workflow Management System

A process is a series of steps taken over time to accomplish anything. Human resources and employees alike may benefit from KanBo’s knowledge management features, which allow for more effective project administration. Using the software’s features, communication across teams and departments is simplified.

Final Word

In the difficult years ahead, construction companies will not have a choice but will be required to innovate in order to survive. Construction companies are up against a wide variety of challenges on account of the current state of the global economy, the lack of available labor, and the restrictions imposed by supply chains. They need to be flexible in their business processes and strategic planning in order to keep operations running smoothly and without hiccups. This calls for continual adjustment and adaption of their plans and procedures, particularly in the back office sphere that’s often riddled with inefficiencies stemming from manual labor, repetitive tasks, and human errors.

The KanBo software is one of the most extensive modernization frameworks for construction companies as it offers a broad set of formative blocks for the creation of a wide range of operating systems across different departments, in addition to the implementation and enhancement of existing infrastructure and processes. This makes it one of the most desirable automatization systems for construction companies. Aside from that, it provides full sight of the work being done along with helping organizations with creating a collaborative working environment. This can assist construction companies to reduce redundancies and excess use of resources while still maintaining the quality of work.

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