Contractors Tackle Significant Challenges
Offering her extensive expertise as a result of decades of experience in various contracting fields, Cecilia Padilla provides perspective regarding the current state of automated processes available to companies in the industry to provide effective solutions to replace cumbersome tasks that contractors had to perform manually in the past. Through the lens of her vaunted position as CEO of On Center Software, Mrs. Padilla stands in a unique position to lend insights into the changing landscape of construction, having refined her presentation during many speaking engagements throughout the world. The article “Contractors Tackle Significant Challenges” (Padilla, 2014) distills her broad knowledge of the subject into an easily digestible, brief overview of the role technology plays in the day-to-day operations of contractors.
In her view, technology and automation provide solutions to overcome past challenges posed in the construction business, which could only be performed through long and arduous work – such as the tedious process of calling multiple manufacturers and suppliers to determine the best price for materials as part of the bid proposal. Through the advancement of software tailored to cater to businesses involved in the field, execution of business-related tasks has been revolutionized to cut costs in terms of labor man-hours and logistical obstacles.
Padilla makes a compelling argument in light of the savings that business owners demonstrate by utilizing this newly available software and its evolving features. Real-time updates allow the management and crew to operate seamlessly with respect to the objectives of the project as they change and adjust priority according to the needs of the business at any particular point in time. This also allows the staff in charge of submitting bids for new business to operate with a much smaller force while achieving more to keep pace with the evolving industry.
Companies operating in the methods of the old guard quickly fall behind as physical documents are subject to constraints by their very nature and the threat of loss due to unforeseen circumstances. A fire or other disaster at the shop could spell doom for a company if their plans for current projects are compromised in such a way. Apart from saving those investments from decimation, the digital nature of construction plans allows quick changes to be communicated directly to the field where laborers are building the vision of architects and planners in the home office.
This also allows easy transference of those ideas captured in previous endeavors to other projects and the evolution of the process to be logged in the event that organizers wish to revisit previous aspects of the project at a later date. When a company comes across a similar bid in the future, they are also more easily able to draft the new proposal drawing from aspects of previously completed projects.
In addition, such technology offerings allow various members of a company to log pertinent information directly from the jobsite to make administrative tasks simpler and more accessible to the entire work force. Such processes afforded by tablets and cloud-based solutions provide for greater integrity of the information available to all components of a successful business while also lessening the impact on the environments.
Though all of the information presented by Padilla in her article is incredibly valuable, perhaps she could have offered more insight into the ever-changing nature of these software solutions rather than focusing simply on the current state of programs available to customers. The green building initiative is alluded to in part of the article and provides the most apparent reference to the how business will adapt to emerging industry demands with the tools put within their reach.