What Does Visibility Mean?
Visibility means having insights into all aspects of the business, from project level to employee performance to trends in what types of work is most profitable for you. Can you operate without visibility? Sure, but expect to feel harried and behind in your tasks, like you never quite have a full grasp on situations and cannot be truly confident in your success and what comes next.
Having visibility into your operations brings clarity both to you and to your team, allowing everyone to understand what’s expected of them and how they are contributing to the company and goals. It’s a win/win!
The Importance of Visibility in Preconstruction
In preconstruction, your estimating team has the intimidating task of not only putting together a winning bid package, but also weeding out inappropriate projects and making strong bid decisions. In order to do so, a lot of information must be processed in a short amount of time.
The Bid Management Process
Bid coordinators need quick, thorough access to project documents to compile and pass on to estimators, and they need an awareness of project and team schedules to know which estimators to send potential jobs to.
However, most bid coordinators are so pressed for time they can barely keep on top of their inboxes. As ITBs pour in, they’re so busy sorting emails and seeking out correct documentation that they don’t have the bandwidth to be strategic about their choices. Estimating teams then end up with haphazard information, causing them to lose jobs or miss bid deadlines altogether.
Visibility in this case can be represented with an organized bid board and aggregated ITBs. An automated process frees up bid coordinators’ cognitive energy. When they’re not chasing down plans and documents, they can better perform their jobs and stay up-to-date on estimators’ calendars and project schedules.
In turn, company leadership can also access the bid board to instantly see project statuses and estimator workloads.
Takeoff & Estimating
As your company grows, it’s essential to divide work in ways that are equitable to your team and advantageous to the business. We’ve all heard the horror stories of different branches of the same company submitting bids for the same project. Not only is that a waste of time and effort on the part of your team, but it also reflects poorly on your brand, indicating to potential clients that you don’t have your ducks in a row.
Instead, if you have visibility into what each team member is assigned and working on, you’ll avoid duplicate work and maintain your reputation. If your team is all using STACK’s cloud-based platform for takeoffs and estimates, for example, you’ll be able to see at a glance who is working on which project. Managers can even view which plan page direct reports are on, regardless of whether they’re working in the different physical locations, so they can more easily coach and review progress.
In the estimating platform, you can also analyze which kinds of work your company tends to win the most and perform the best with – whether it’s working with particular general contractors or a certain budget scope, or a specific type of construction. These insights help you make more intentional decisions on where to focus your efforts to maximize profit, as well as which areas you may need to expand your talent pool to cover.
Having awareness into what each estimator is working on, how many bids they submit in a given timeframe, and how many projects they tend to win versus lose can be a tremendous tool for improving your team. You can easily identify your top performers and recognize them for their efforts. At the same time, you can dig deeper into the problems being experienced by the lower performers on the team and help them to implement some of the tactics your rockstars are using to work better.
When your team can have that visibility into their own and each other’s performance, they’re more comfortable knowing where they stand and how they measure up. They can make adjustments on their own to overcome any negative aspects of their work and leverage their strengths.
Improving Business Efficiency
The bottom line is that you can’t have visibility if your team is overworked and using systems that offer no way for you to access data. Manual methods and outdated single-machine software leave no chance for you to collect and analyze team and business performance. Switching to a cloud-based platform will open up endless opportunities for you.
From ITB aggregation through final proposal, STACK has the solutions you need to get clear visibility into all aspects of your preconstruction process. Let’s talk today about how we can help!