Although accounting and project management software is needed for cost control this information is only useful after a project is complete and is applied to future projects. The information does not help management ensure they meet or exceed expectations during the project. An integrated “front-end” field data collection system however can be used to help management and improve their decision making because it collects and reports on field data as it happens in real-time.
With a field data collection system, contractors can compare the data with planned activity and alerts, enabling them to make decisions, based on their alternatives, to increase their profit margins and exceed expectations. For example, alerts may notify management of critical tasks significantly behind schedule or notify contractors of documents that have not been resolved for a number of days. Integrated software can notify the contractor what document approval is needed before an activity is performed, avoiding reductions in the contractor’s profit margin.
During the project, contractors can use a field data collection system to modify the schedule to prepare for changes in resources and better predict the end date of the project. Resolving problems quickly in order that they do not affect the contract end date will ensure the project stays on track. If a contractor fails to do so they will likely lose money, face an unhappy owner, and ultimately affect their bottom line.
Source: Kroeger, Dann E. Tech Trends. “Time Is Money: Field Reports Help Contractors Prevent Losses”.