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3 Ways to Maximize IT

Impact in Your Construction Company

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By Jack Shales

8/13/2021

So you are in the IT department of a construction company. It seems that almost every business discussion regarding revenue comes back to the same basic question: how can we maximize production while also maximizing the time and cost spent on resources? If you have lived in the construction space long enough, you have likely seen this time and time again as it relates to the actual construction projects taken on by your organization.

It would behoove the forward-thinking member of the IT department to strive towards the same efficiencies in their department that are expected on the project side.

Being in an IT department (or sometimes being the only technical staff) of a construction company presents a unique challenge in that the technology is crucial to the scalability and long term success of the business, but it can be hard for those out in the field or in the office to feel the impact of new IT solutions in a positive way. In fact, new and improved processes meant to drive efficiencies could have the opposite effect, alienating seasoned employees and risking low or partial adoption if done incorrectly.

So how can we maximize the impact of IT in construction while driving efficiency and transparency all the while making sure the technology will actually get used as intended? The answer will be different for every company, but based on our decades of combined experience serving the construction industry with flexible, impactful solutions we have the following recommendations.

1. Capture as a Service

Usually the first automation project identified by the construction companies we serve is to greatly reduce or eliminate the manual indexing of invoices. Traditionally this has been done by purchasing capture software with some form of OCR technology to automatically read and index invoice information.

It sounds great, but the reality is a little more nuanced. With legacy OCR products every single field that needs extraction had to be tied to a physical zone on the document. This means that for every style of vendor invoice a new template would need to be created and maintained. Only a few pixels of skew or extra space caused by an extra address line could make these systems untenable not to mention the added hours devoted to upgrading and maintaining the capture software itself.

Even with newer OCR engines programmed to deliver a more dynamic OCR experience leveraging machine learning or neural networks will require user interaction in a separate system and the watchful eye of an IT admin.

If the goal is to enable the AP processors to work faster and process more invoices why not keep them in as few systems as possible and provide exactly what OCR is supposed to deliver: hands-off extraction and indexing of invoice information.

Our flagship capture product CloudOCR provides this and allows your team to focus their time on only invoices that need attention (potential duplicates, new vendors, total amount too high based on PO, etc.). Furthermore the care and feeding of the system itself is entirely provided by CloudOCR as a service so that you can simply submit invoices via scan, email, or network share and receive the images back with all indexed data.

2. Dynamic Approvals from any Device

Can you tell who is supposed to approve an invoice based only on the information printed on it? After you enter the invoice information into your ERP do you have automatic routing in place? Does IT need to get involved to create new approval structures or reviewer groups?

Through combining CloudOCR to capture invoice information with dynamic approval structures we can automate the routing of an invoice based on any captured data. Use of Purchase Orders can maximize the automation potential by allowing system lookups to populate GL/Phase codes that may be crucial to determining approval paths, but even Non-PO invoices can tie into our dynamic routing solutions.

The best part is that creating new approvals can be as easy as filling out a form and doesn’t require IT to be directly involved. That means that the owners and users of the business process can take full control of any new approval structures that they need to set. By leveraging to power of OnBase approvals can be made on the web, in the mobile app, or even inside of Outlook.

Imagine as invoices flow in already indexed by CloudOCR that the system automatically checks the invoice information, routes to the correct person based on the data, then that person receives an email notification with direct access to review and approve the invoice and see any related documents such as the purchase order itself. We are already doing this for many customers today!

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3. Realtime Visual Reporting

If you want a manager to understand the benefit of having a great and involved IT department then why not paint them a picture? No need to get out your paint and brushes, because you can simply click and drag to create impactful, visual reporting dashboards that will get any process-obsessed, transparency-focused business leader to buy in.

See the full picture of a transaction from the point of capture all the way through payment. Look into multiple systems at once and put all of that data in a single view incorporating drill-downs and direct document access, workflow integration and more!

Create a single dashboard, distribute to your users, and let dynamic security filtering display the correct information to the correct people while keeping secure data safe. Use out of the box dashboard controls including document grids, threshold gauges, pie charts, bar graphs, date range selectors, choropleth maps, and many others.

Monitor user productivity and automatically identify bottlenecks through configurable custom attributes to guarantee that you reporting dashboard leads to the most salient information as quickly as possible.

5 procesos de RRHH que cualquier empresa debería automatizar

3 Ways to Maximize IT Impact in Your Construction Company

REQUORDIT Approach
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1. Procesos de contratación e incorporación

El departamento de recursos humanos podría vincular una publicación de trabajo a su sitio web. Luego, el sistema podría capturar y almacenar todas las aplicaciones en una ubicación central, para después ser filtradas de acuerdo con las especificaciones establecidas. 

 Esto permitiría priorizar los candidatos prometedores y mantener al alcance las otras aplicaciones almacenadas para uso futuro. A través de la automatización de este proceso de RH se podría tener una lista constante de prospectos cada vez que un puesto queda vacante; una vez seleccionados, el sistema enviaría los formularios automáticamente a los reclutas. 

 La automatización del proceso de contratación te ayudará a responder a cada solicitante y mantenerlos actualizados sobre el proceso de contratación y posterior incorporación. 

2. Gestión de archivos empleados

Mantener los registros de los empleados de una empresa pequeña puede no ser una gran responsabilidad, pero a medida que la empresa crece, podría convertirse en una tarea de tiempo completo. El mantenimiento de documentos como contratos de empleados, beneficios y permisos de trabajo podría automatizarse, minimizando así las posibilidades de errores humanos y la necesidad de crecer el equipo. 

3. Procesos de desempeño y evaluación

Una función esencial del departamento de recursos humanos es la evaluación del desempeño de los empleados. La automatización de estos procesos te ayudará a identificar problemas sistemáticos y a mitigarlos. Además, puedes obtener dicha información en tiempo real y tomar una decisión informada. 

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4. Dejar solicitudes y feriados

Hacer un seguimiento de los diferentes tiempos que cada empleado tomará su tiempo libre puede resultar confuso y llevar mucho tiempo, especialmente si son un número significativo. La automatización de las solicitudes de licencias ayudará a los empleados a obtener aprobaciones más rápidamente, mientras que al mismo tiempo los registros de licencias se actualizan instantáneamente. El personal de recursos humanos solo deberá participar en el proceso de aprobación en circunstancias excepcionales. 

5. Offboarding

Los múltiples documentos y activos de la empresa que se envían una vez que un empleado renuncia hacen que el proceso de baja sea bastante agotador. La automatización del proceso facilita la recopilación de datos, como los días de licencia pendientes, etc. La automatización ayuda a mantener un registro digital de los datos en caso de que surjan problemas legales debido a un empleado descontento. 

La automatización de las tareas y procesos de RR.HH. resultará rentable a largo plazo. Será posible recibir retroalimentación en tiempo real sobre los procesos, lo cual es vital para mejorar la productividad general de la institución.  

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Leaders Learn to Maximize their

Human Capital in Accounts Payable

Many businesses talk about automation in AP and the statistics around reduced time and financial benefits. However, there are several leaders of AP departments who have made it through the transition to automated capture of information through OCR that have discovered one indisputable fact – Their people are providing more value to the business than they ever imagined.

Everyone has felt this at one point in their life. You are working so hard on doing your job and the work keeps coming in and piling up. Expectations keep rising, resources keep getting pulled away to assist the business grow and become more efficient. We do not realize the fact that we are losing that special part of us that can think and be creative in how we as human beings can improve our situation. 

Businesses that have deployed CloudOCR have experienced within a few days a new paradigm that there is now time to process the exceptions, perform cash management, respond to vendors, and develop relationships that matter, and maximize their personal contribution to the business. Job satisfaction is almost a given because the employees that have been buried in the trenches for so long are now able to shine. 

CloudOCR creates the opportunity to save in transactional costs of getting the data captured, but it also provides significant revenue opportunities for the business.

People who are provided the platform to rise to the occasion often will.  Just imagine the benefit that your company could see by being able to manage cash better.  Have all liabilities in the system, transparent, and ready to role within a few hours of the invoice arriving hours.  Your staff will be able to get busy immediately on exception handling, vendor management, managing discount strategies, and so much that was out of reach before.

CloudOCR creates the opportunity to save in transactional costs of getting the data captured, but it also provides significant revenue opportunities for the business.  Let us assume that we simply take away the data entry for a 4-person team and that the team was able to spend a full 8-hour day processing exceptions, managing discounts, supporting purchasing, and cash management activities. In our experience the upside of that time commitment to those activities far exceeds the cost savings of the data entry.

Job satisfaction is almost a given because the employees that have been buried in the trenches for so long are now able to shine.

Many college professors call this opportunity cost, soft costs, etc. that are eliminated, and it simply demonstrates how backwards measurements that justify projects can be. Isn’t the ability to create revenue, improve performance, and overall job satisfaction a much more motivating argument? 

When we maximize the human potential of our staff and focus on what matters, it’s really amazing what can happen. 

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Mark Buckley

President of REQUORDIT & CloudOCR. He has been an entrepreneur for more than 20 years in the business process automation space. Mark founded REQUORDIT in 1997 and has helped hundreds of companies automate and digitize their business.

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