Insights into work winning productivity and digitisation

No change required - I’m working as hard as I can

No change required - I'm working as hard as I can

Tuesday 3rd December 2019
Philip Collard

The Challenge

Despite explaining at the beginning of my client presentations that myConsole has all their current pre-construction processes built-in as one integrated digital workplace, very few people immediately see why this is a benefit. Yes, it avoids significant duplication across current separate tools (mainly individual spreadsheets), but having the ability to work collaboratively across all bids irrespective of workflow stages at the speed of WhatsApp is not easily recognised as an advantage.

I understand the reason why they cannot see benefits, and it is because there is a lack of benchmarking of the productivity within their existing processes and behaviours. If there are no monitorable outputs, then it is very difficult to assess how a new digital workplace environment delivers improved productivity.

Whilst people generally do recognise and understand that new digital technologies enable existing business processes to become significantly more productive and efficient, there is also a natural protectiveness around how they currently do their job. I might be ruffling feathers when I suggest their individual performance could be significantly improved by 20% to 30%. Put simply, people don't want to feel they are currently working unproductively given they are clearly working as hard as they can and are often staying late to get things done.

The Potential
From my Bid Cost research* the average contractor bid team is spending around 2000 hours to win one bid. Our research showed the average industry win rate is 1:5 with an average of 400 man hours per bid. On that data alone leadership teams now can expect their own bid teams to experience the significant productivity improvements that Digital Workplace deliver. We have clients who have moved from 1:4 win rates on 1:2.5 which is a 60% improvement in productivity performance.

  • Successful bidding needs more time to win
  • On average, a winning bid requires everyone in the bid team to work an extra 30 hours
  • Contractors have an average win rate of 1 in 5
  • An average winning bid cost is £60k
  • An average losing bid cost is £44k

*Bid Cost Research with Prof. Will Hughes University of Reading

What's your existing Productivity?

Construction firms should try to measure how much time is wasted from duplicating data across their entire business process using their traditional activities. Until firms have an accurate measure of the productivity levels (man hours expended and actual costs per bid), it will be hard to comprehend the productivity of existing processes.

Where to Start?

Typically, there are approx. 50 systems and spreadsheets in a pre-construction process

This separation & duplication hampers bid team operational ability as often each member is duplicating the same data multiple times and also having their own versions of each spreadsheet. Firms should try and map out the full range of work winning processes and the time people are spending across all workflows steps to start on site in including the appointment and negotiation stages. You might be shocked at how much time is being spent.

Value of Pre-Construction Digital Workplace
Enabling bid teams to work in one digital workplace, people can seamlessly collaborate via smart phones, laptops any time whether at home, travelling or at the office in a single environment. It does not matter whether its working on a single bid or 20 different bids as users can click into any bid irrespective of workflow stage process step or activity. The relevant bid role information is instantly presented. Also you only will have one single source of truth which is consistent, accurate, associated and fully segmented.

Benefit of Individual Personalised Dashboards
Not only do Digital Workplaces enable people to share and seamlessly collaborate but the data can now processed and analysed in real-time enabling each person to draw out intelligence that informs their personal decision making.

Typical Productivity Improvements
We have case study evidence of individual bid team member saving between 20% and 30% a week so saving each user one day a week. This time could be used to build closer client stakeholder relationships and create innovative client centric solutions across the supply-chain.

Why Change?
With any new innovation people and industries generally start off with a mindset that nothing needs to change, but that quickly disappears as early adoptors gain traction using new technology. In other industries Digital Workplaces have already changed how employees connect, collaborate and communicate. Construction and infrastructure Digital Workplaces are no different.
Through digitalisation our industry will experience the biggest technological productivity leap forward in a generation but that change can only start to happen when leadership starts to adopt and embrace new thinking across substantial parts of their management processes.

Written by Philip Collard, CEO of myConsole.
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