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Using custom software to bring your construction business into a sustainable future

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So you’re great at building solid walls, but your internal processes are a bit like that bubbly RAAC - they were fine in the 60s, but liable to crumble under pressure.

You know the common challenges and pain points within your business: spreadsheet chaos, manual typo errors, purchase order hell, reconciliation of invoices. Not to mention managing the humans on your team too, ensuring the site is safe, staying under hand arm vibration limits, filling out timesheets, giving people the correct holidays, and allocating the correct training.

It’s a headache. But one that doesn’t need to exist!

The Foundations of Change

Just like a well-designed building, a successful construction business needs a strong foundation. And in today's fast-paced, ever-changing world, that foundation increasingly relies on technology. But not just any technology will do; you need solutions tailored to your unique challenges and goals. That's where custom software comes in.

The Blueprint for Success

Imagine a world where your project management, inventory, and client communication all flow seamlessly.

Gone are the days of being the human glue between Dropbox, Quickbooks, and Xero. They’re all great in their own right, but wouldn’t it be fantastic if they all actually worked alongside each other without you as the middle link in the chain?

Custom software is like having a blueprint designed specifically for your business, ensuring that every element works in harmony - your new best buddy behind the scenes.

Whether it's integrating existing off-the-shelf products or creating something bespoke, custom software is not a pipe dream luxury reserved for the Balfour Beattys of the world. It's within your grasp, and it's more affordable than you think.

The Environmental Impact

But it's not just about internal efficiencies; it's about responsibility. The construction industry is one of the largest consumers of raw materials globally. Aside from binning off (or recycling!) those paper-based systems, custom software can help you manage your resources more effectively, reducing waste and promoting sustainability. It's a win-win: good for your bottom line and great for the planet.

Real Stories, Real Impact

Take, for instance, Littlewood Fencing, a construction firm that brought in custom software initially for their purchase order management. They were struggling with manual inputs, using the same spreadsheet at the same time as others, and the sheet wasn’t built for the amount of data it was holding. Slow, time-consuming, error-prone.

The custom software solution we built for them solved this problem within a month - now purchase orders are accurate, very easy to generate, and not that “sigh” moment in their day.

It allowed us to go on and create an automated invoice approval workflow, recommending incoming invoice matches to purchase orders with accuracy rates of around 80% - that works out to roughly 62 invoices per day that a human simply has to click to approve. Manual intervention in the process is almost eliminated and invoice payment turnaround times have been dramatically reduced, from a workflow of weeks to a matter of hours.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. We’ve gone on to bring custom software into every area of their business - from procurement to finance, HR to contracts management - and everyone wants in on it! They’ve seen how other departments have transformed their workflows and want a part of the time-saving too. Read more in their case study here.

Now, they're not just building structures; they're building a better future.

Your Next Steps

If you’re ready to bring your construction business into a sustainable future, the first step is understanding your needs. Sit down with your team and identify your biggest pain points: these might be things that take the most time to complete, that most frequently need attention, or have the biggest risk associated with them. Then, reach out to a software engineering partner who can turn the dream of painless workflows into reality.

At Switchplane, we’re always open to chats and consultations with construction businesses, no matter what stage you are on your journey towards building the custom software of your future. We can help you introduce custom software into your business smoothly, working with your existing processes and procedures, so your digital transformation needn’t be the massive overhaul you dread!

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