COMMON QUESTION

What is a construction workflow?

A construction workflow is a process within a construction project where tasks and data move from one step and person to the next. 

Construction projects involve many specific workflows – from planning to building to project closeout. Each workflow, by nature, takes time, costs money, and requires resources to get through. For construction projects with tight timelines and high resource investment, it’s critical to keep a close eye on these workflows – and if any optimization needs to occur – to ensure that each individual construction workflow works together to move the entire project forward on time and on budget. 

A successful construction workflow has three essential traits: 

  • Clear Communication: Clear and straightforward communication is important so information about the workflow doesn’t get lost in unruly email chains and next steps missed.
  • Visibility Into the Workflow: Proactive and real-time alerts and notifications that ensure everyone in the workflow is up to date on the latest information and know what’s coming next. 
  • Integrated Data: When data is siloed, people won’t have the information they need from previous steps to inform their next action. Integrated data ensures that the entire workflow and project at large works as one, instead of siloed from step to step. 

Every workflow, no matter how small, is important. However, the construction materials testing (CMT) workflow is one example of a critical workflow that makes a great difference in the project when it runs smoothly (or doesn’t). This is because construction projects can’t move to the next stage until the materials are verified through CMT.

Within the CMT workflow, information from the field informs work at the lab, which ultimately informs next steps for the project back on the project site. When this workflow is manual, there’s a strong potential for human error and other productivity, time and cost challenges. The three essential traits of a successful construction workflow – clear communication, visibility into the workflow, and integrated data – can be summed up in one word: automation. 

The CMT workflow is one such workflow that can be fully automated, from the field to the lab to the office and beyond. This requires an integrated, cloud-based CMT software that consists of three things:

  1. A private database
  2. An interface for accessing and communicating with that database
  3. A way to integrate everything with the testing lab’s automatic testing machine

With these pieces, data automatically flows through the CMT workflow in a structured and secure format. On the front end of the workflow, field technicians can create, claim and locate samples onsite and sync that data with the lab. On the other end, project stakeholders can get real-time notifications of lab updates, problems and next steps – making the report approval workflow faster.

Ultimately, removing manual and repetitive tasks from the CMT workflow improves productivity, accuracy and transparency. Plus, the tool used to optimize the CMT workflow can fit into other construction workflows, preventing data siloes, ensuring visibility, and allowing for fast and clear communication. All to help project owners move the project as a whole forward. 

To learn more about automating critical construction workflows with integrated construction technology, contact the CMT experts at ForneyVault today.

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