Utilizing the latest technology can improve construction operations, maximize resources, and lower the stress levels of everyone involved with a project. However, it’s important to think critically before committing to using any form of new technology. If tech is largely untested or doesn’t account for the broader interests of a contractor’s operational reality, a resource that initially looks like a good investment can prove to be a headache, a distraction or even a liability.
For example, an increasing number of general contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers are utilizing digital workflow software to streamline everything from accounting to administrative management tasks, payroll to coordination between subgroups. The benefits of streamlining business processes are obvious. Yet, many of the potential legal and financial pitfalls of utilizing such technology without critically evaluating their applications and practical impacts can be significant.
Challenging consequences for commercial construction operations
All too often, large and small construction operations alike embrace streamlining technology as a surefire way to cut costs, minimize unnecessary time wasters and improve transparency and tracking efforts. Yet, managing important administrative and operational tasks via technology can lead to dangerous subconscious assumptions that can imperil operational integrity and a company’s bottom line.
Say that a general contractor has streamlined payroll via a digital workforce management program. They assume that every worker’s pay is accurate because there have been no problems with the system so far. Yet, it is ultimately discovered that the software isn’t designed to handle various special circumstances that apply to workers with unique classifications. All of a sudden, the contractor is grappling with legal challenges because a number of their employees are threatening to sue over inadequate pay that they perceive as discriminatory in nature.
There is nothing wrong with utilizing digital workforce management software for a variety of purposes for the benefit of a construction-related company. However, owners and management are best served when they view these resources critically and attempt to be as proactive as possible in addressing any potential challenges that may arise from their practical applications.