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Survey finds construction cost management opportunities

Billions of dollars in capital for major infrastructure projects could be unlocked through tax incentives for projects worth more than $500 million, as part of a draft plan released by the Federal Government.

New research has found that owners and contractors face a variety of project cost management problems, which could be helped with a streamlined tool to facilitate construction projects.

The report, commissioned by construction management software developer Procore Technologies in partnership with Dodge Data and Analytics, explores the industry’s perception of project cost management and how construction professionals across multiple regions leverage technology to effectively manage costs.

Participants included construction owners, general contractors, and specialty contractors in the public and private sectors across Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Procore founder and CEO Tooey Courtemanche said the opportunity to redefine what the industry should expect from a cost management solution has never been greater.

“Procore consistently works to be at the forefront of innovation, and this report highlights how construction technology gives teams insight into project financial risk and confidence in their connected data.”

Key findings in the report also include:

  • Current State of Capabilities: When asked to evaluate their organisations current cost management capabilities, only 39% agreed and less than a quarter (24%) strongly agreed that capabilities allowed them to effectively manage costs, indicating room for improvement globally.
  • Challenges: Respondents ranked “Converting a final cost estimate into a project budget compatible with cost accounts” and “Tracking costs for every aspect of the job to determine how they impact overall project cost” as the most difficult cost management challenges to solve.
  • Most Important Future Needs for Cost ManagementRespondents ranked “Forecasting critical costs with real-time data from the field” and “Dynamically tracking every dollar in my budget” as the most important future needs to solve.
  • Satisfaction with Solutions: General contractors and specialty contractors reported notably different levels of satisfaction with their use of software for cost management. The disparity sends an important message that technology is needed to effectively support the workflows of every team member in order to advance the entire industry.
  • Disparity in Real-Time Data Between Field and Office Teams: The greatest disparity when it comes to challenges with cost management between project-related staff and office-related staff is with “Understanding in real-time where we are making or losing money.”

“The report shows that construction owners and contractors alike are ready and able to participate in a more holistic and integrated cost management approach,” Dodge Data senior director of industry insights Stephen Jones said.

“Focusing on using fewer, more comprehensive technology tools and increasing all stakeholders’ engagement with cost management will ultimately generate better cost-related outcomes for all parties.”

Procore’s vice president of product for financial solutions Geoff Lewis said the findings show the value of Procore’s cloud-based solution.

“Procore customers are ahead of the curve when it comes to connecting field and office teams with Procore Financial Management and our ERP Connector Platform, connecting real-time information in the field to your ERP system,” Lewis said.

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