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Construction’s Digital Revolution: Is it happening?

digital revolution in construction

Out With The Old, In With The New

To say the construction industry has experienced unprecedented challenges in the past few years is an understatement. From material price volatility and scarcity, the ongoing search for desperately needed skilled labor to soaring energy costs and growing fears of an economic downturn due to rising interest rates – all of these factors have bedeviled the industry, testing general contractors as never before.

To reduce the impact of these combined challenges, the construction industry is leaving behind the days of Excel sheets and Post-it notes and embracing digital transformation to increase productivity and competitiveness. According to a recent survey conducted by PlanHub, 91% of general contractors and 82% of subcontractors plan to or are considering implementing new technology in 2023.

The pandemic and continued economic headwinds have accelerated the industry’s embrace of construction technology (ConTech). Between 2014 and 2021, investment in ConTech platforms totaled $29.5 billion. These systems have quickly become a key component in every project’s life cycle, from the design phase through post-construction.

New projects are the lifeblood of a healthy construction business, and general contractors are constantly looking for tools that provide a constant stream of quality new leads. Thankfully, there are now better options for general contractors to gain access to not-yet advertised or open-for-bidding commercial construction projects that provide complete contact information to connect them with decision-makers.
Commercial projects go through a design phase PlanHub

The Crossroads of Technology and The Pre/Design Phase

Before submitting bids or beginning any physical work, commercial projects go through a design phase. This phase is one of the most pivotal points in a project. During this time, general contractors are building their backlog of projects that they still need to complete or bill.

This backlog serves as a crucial measurement of the work they have been contracted to complete and is key to tracking the success of their business. The additional significance of backlogs includes:

Financial stability: A healthy backlog of projects provides general contractors with a level of financial stability by spreading their workload across multiple projects, reducing the impact of any project’s delays or cancellations. Established backlogs also ensure that general contractors have a steady income stream and cash flow to cover expenses and invest in future growth.

Forecasting: Backlogs help contractors more accurately forecast their future workload and revenue. Better forecasting allows them to efficiently plan and allocate resources such as staff, materials, and necessary equipment.

Competitive edge: A strong backlog can give a contractor a competitive advantage when bidding on future projects, as it demonstrates their capability and experience to potential clients.

Finding quality projects takes a significant amount of time, and time is a luxury most general contractors don’t enjoy. According to the Associated Builders and Contractor (ABC) February report, the average project backlog is 9.2 months, over a month higher than in February 2022.

Digital transformation can maximize opportunities and build a fuller pipeline. Lead finding platforms developed by and created for general contractors are now helping general contractors scout projects still in the early stages of development. These projects may have never come across the general contractor’s path because they are private.

The benefits of a lead solution do not end with finding projects general contractors can add to their backlog. It also provides them with detailed information and the ability to connect with several key figures in a project’s life cycle, including the architects, developers, owners, subcontractors, and suppliers. These connections benefit general contractors in the short term by being considered when projects become available and, over time, by building meaningful and fruitful relationships for future project consideration.

Greater Backlog Terms, Less Stress

Construction professionals are confident and optimistic. They see challenges and find ways to overcome them. That’s why, despite vexing challenges like the skilled labor shortage and material price inflation, PlanHub’s State of the Industry Report found that 82% of general contractors plan to grow their business this year.

To turn those goals into reality, general contractors must take advantage of digital transformation and utilize new tools that build their pipeline and help them quickly find and win the best projects.

Ro Bhatia is the CEO of PlanHub, the leading cloud-based preconstruction platform that enables general contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers to connect and collaborate on construction projects across the U.S. PlanHub was created by contractors for contractors to simplify the construction bidding process.

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    Data and Deep Insights

    We make construction smarter by connecting with the right people, at the right time, for the right project.

    With our technology and data intelligence, we empower construction professionals to easily build the right business relationships, streamline pre construction processes, and make efficient decisions.

    From competitive intelligence in each project allowing you to know how many other contractors are downloading or bidding to insights as to contractors’ performance, we provide the data you need to lead your business to success.

    By providing faster, simpler, and unmatched data insights in each step of the pre construction process, PlanHub helps your business lay a strong foundation for the success of the rest of the construction process.

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    Bid Leveler’s apples-to-apples approach allows you to easily drill down and see detailed, easy-to-scan cost breakdowns. Indicate bid preference, hide bids that don’t meet your needs, and request needed information from subs.

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    Full Bid Management

    From the initial decision to pursue a project to the final bid submission and follow up, bid management plays a central role in pre construction.

    Effectively managed bids during the preconstruction phase set the stage for a successful project execution and satisfied clients.

    Streamline bid management from project posting to estimating, bidding, and awarding in one place with easy project posting, project-contractor automatic matching based on trades, location, and qualification with PlanHub.

    Use bid planner, bid builder, bid leveler, and award tools to always know what’s going on with each project and bid.

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    Estimation and TakeOff

    Let’s face it—time is money. And the more time it takes to perform takeoffs and submit bids, the more you risk losing out on valuable revenue opportunities. Manual methods and locally installed desktop software slow your takeoff process, and many digital solutions currently on the market can be overly complex and not user-friendly. 

    Build faster takeoffs, get more bids out the door, and win more projects. Forget pen and paper, outdated desktop software, and overly complicated digital takeoff solutions. PlanHub’s easy-to-use Takeoff tool helps you and your team build accurate takeoffs faster, minimize errors and material waste, and win more projects that boost your business growth. Performing your takeoffs with PlanHub allows you to:

    • Streamline and integrate your process: Perform your takeoffs in the same platform you use to manage your network and bids.
    • Avoid costly estimating errors: Get better accuracy with digital tools instead of traditional, mistake-prone pen and paper.
    • Collaborate easily: Share and work with your team, no matter where you—or they—are located.
    • Submit more bids and win more projects: Get quality bids in front of general contractors faster and get ahead of your competition.
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    Document Management

    Organize, store, and manage various documents, blueprints, drawings and other information related to projects before the actual construction phase begins.

    This phase is crucial for setting the foundation of a successful construction project, and effective document management plays a significant role in ensuring that all necessary information is accessible, accurate, and up-to-date to all interested parties.

    Access, review, work on, and share large complex documents in one platform with amazing speed. From project definition, drawing management, takeoff, estimation, bid management, and contracts, everything happens in PlanHub.

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    Be part of a construction professionals’ ecosystem that enhances collaboration, streamlines project management, and fosters smart relationships between companies, construction professionals, and projects.

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    1M+ pre-qualified network

    PlanHub is the leading platform that connects companies, construction professionals, and projects in the pre-construction industry, focusing on building and developing meaningful relationships to enhance efficiency and productivity.

    We have integrated general contractors, subcontractors, and material suppliers’ workflows in one platform to simplify the complex back and forth usually present in preconstruction. By allowing all interactions to be done through PlanHub, tracking projects and relationships is much easier, saving contractors and material suppliers time and money. Interactions in the platform are tagged and measured to provide insights to users.

    General contractors create bid packages that are shared in PlanHub as projects. They can include templatized lists of all CSI cost items as part of the new Baseline feature. Baseline allows for faster and more accurate bid requests, facilitates homogenization of subcontractors’ bids, and simplifies the comparison of incoming bids.

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    Your one-stop job for qualified hard-to-find private project leads in varying stages like pre-planning, bidding, etc., and across different geographies, zip codes, or distance to your office.

    Projects include plans, specifications, bid dates, and other relevant project information.

    You can segment project leads by type of project, status, project building use, trades and sub trades, or create your own list of keywords — and be notified when one of them is found in a posted project’s documentation or plans.

    We make it simple to find projects that match your business — and make sure you are notified right away.

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    From the very beginning, PlanHub has been a place where people can do meaningful work and build strong relationships.

    Come grow with us! We’re building innovative technologies that simplify preconstruction for everyone.

    Expand your network and connect with general contractors, subcontractors, owners, architects, and suppliers – not to mention thousands of relevant projects at your fingertips.

    Generate relevant leads, faster and with precision. With access to private, hard-to-find projects, you can connect with architects and owners on projects still in the pre-design and design stages.

    PlanHub’s advanced suite of bid management tools allows you to increase productivity, identify relevant projects using data, build bids with Takeoff, and manage bids through the entire process.

    Create quicker, improved takeoffs effortlessly. PlanHub’s Takeoff Core aids your team in accurate, faster estimates, minimizing errors, and driving business growth.

    Expand your network and connect with general contractors, subcontractors, owners, architects, and suppliers – not to mention thousands of relevant projects at your fingertips.

    Generate relevant leads, faster and with precision. With access to private, hard-to-find projects, you can connect with architects and owners on projects still in the pre-design and design stages.

    PlanHub’s advanced suite of bid management tools allows you to increase productivity, identify relevant projects using data, build bids with Takeoff, and manage bids through the entire process.