How Fit-Out Contractors Can Boost Their Business With Technology

Add Efficiency To Your Material Orders With An Online Catalogue

As a Fit-Out contractor, you’re constantly ordering supplies for different aspects of many similar projects – but wouldn’t it be easier if you were able to automate repeatable actions and orders?

Compiling material lists for your fit-out business takes up so much time that it’s an almost full-time role in any fit-out business. Because it must be done multiple times within any single project – at the quote stage, procurement stage and again at the ordering stage.

This is a great opportunity for any fit-out business to become radically more efficient: by using a digital catalog of fit-out materials that is relevant to their businesses. Reusing your own procured and historical data is smart and saves information being lost and forgotten in those PDFs and excel sheets.

How can a digital catalogue software save you so much time on every fit-out project?

First, there’s a good chance that you regularly order the same items from a small group of suppliers you’ve grown to know and trust. Smart construction technology builds up a database of your preferred suppliers and materials, including all their prices, so you can easily request the latest pricing to ensure you have the most up to date pricing information at all times.

Enter your requirements, choose the product, and just like that, you’ve replaced an afternoon of phone calls, emails, and voicemails with a few clicks.

Second, construction software can convert those materials into Purchase Order line-items with a click, and order the procured material lists directly from within the software. 

Compared to trying to ring around a long list of suppliers of different material suppliers, or digging up old quotes from your archive of Excel spreadsheets, there’s no competition – using modern technology will save your business dozens of hours on this one aspect of your fitout project alone.

Best Software To Track Fit-Out Construction Materials Deliveries

In the office, you may have a project management software on a desktop computer, but you’re still relying on reports from the site to tell you what was delivered, by who, and when.

Did the materials arrive when promised? Were they an exact match to what you ordered ? Does the incoming invoice match what was delivered ?

By the time this important business information finds its way back to the office, if any one of these aspects missed the mark, it’s too late. Now you’ve to spend time correcting an order, seeking a refund, or seeking a replacement or simply paying invoices on the blind.

Here’s where software that can track deliveries to construction sites in real time – your office uses modern construction software to manage and make orders from a catalogue of construction supplies, and the site management tracks all deliveries as they come in, simple & live !

This means that if only half of what you ordered arrived, or the item has been substituted, they can see this at the point of delivery. And, if it’s wrong, reject it and alert whomever is responsible for ordering the supplies so they can take action instantly.

Now your fit-out business has live feedback of all deliveries, and their accuracy, and can see if any items are outstanding or damaged etc.

It also means that site management has a live feed of what to expect, and when, so they can be ready to receive it.

This prevents the wrong order hanging around on site for days, and gives your fit-out business full transparency around your materials costs and any potential overcharges on incoming invoices.

How To Use A Smartphone App Tracks Construction Labour Costs

As a Fit-Out Contractor, you’ll most likely be dealing with direct labour and the collection of worked hours along with cost allocation to specific projects.

This is generally a manual process that involves the collection of the the worked hours and separately ( possibly on excel ) the allocation of those costs to a project.

A simple smartphone app that digitally tracks labour hours can give your fit-out business a complete overview of direct labour costs as they happen on site.

Construction cost-management software allows you connect this information from site directly to your project budget. Costs can even be allocated to specific phases of a project for a deeper analysis of time on certain aspects of a project..

This information can form reports so you can see exactly how much your labour cost you at the end of a project – all without ever opening Excel.

How To Use Technology To Prevent Fraud On Construction Projects

It’s not pleasant to talk about, but fraud happens. And as the business owner or project manager, it’s vital to your business that fraud is both difficult to execute and easy to spot if it occurs.

As your business grows, you’ll take on more staff to manage it. And more staff – especially if they’re all working in Excel – means more moving parts in your business, which in turn makes fraud easier to perpetrate and conceal.

Have hours been logged by a contractor who maybe wasn’t on site? Or is a project phase taking suspiciously longer than projected?

While it may or may not be fraud, construction technology will surface conflicts between orders and deliveries, projected timeline and actual timelines, and contractor hours promised and delivered. This lets you as the business owner or project manager see any red flags, and keeps every aspect of your business and projects accountable.

How To Track Invoices And Purchase Orders Using Construction Software on your Fit-Out projects

Most fit-out contracting businesses have one thing in common: they still use a combination of paper, folders, and Excel and possibly an accounting software to track their projects – from construction materials to tracking labour hours – they will dedicate a huge amount of time every month to compiling, data entry and reconciling.

But there’s a smarter way to operate your fit-out business. With modern construction technology,, you can digitally track and reconcile invoices, purchase orders, track labour costs, and more in one place. And because it’s digital, you can see where any project is at a glance – instantly, and accurately.

Ciaran Devlin from Inline Construction recently told us that it saved him almost a week a month on administrative tasks, and that he was able to use construction costs software to grow his business in two years what he expected would take ten.

So how do you implement construction costs management software into your fit-out business?

Most likely you are already doing all of the above in some way. At LiveCosts we see this everyday with the collection of data in Excel, Whats App, text messages, email and accounting softwares. Construction costs tracking software frees up those hours spent by allowing one place to gather the data and to build accurate and live project budget reports live !

Your business makes money by working, not by spending days every month trying to reconcile crumpled invoices with purchase orders inside one of dozens of Excel spreadsheets on your desktop. Let your business keep its focus where it belongs: winning business, and generating revenue and allow a software to understand whether that work is profitable in real time.

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