5 reasons why the Construction Industry needs Office 365

If you’re an architect or engineer, you probably spend most of your working day on the road. You can’t run to the office every time you want to speak to a coworker or study a new detail on your building plans. So, what do you do? If your company is mobile-friendly, you can take out your smartphone or tablet and log into Office 365. Hard to believe? Recent statistics show that about 75% percent of construction firms surveyed have used mobile devices to access work-related information.

Maybe you’ve been looking for a better way to keep your workers connected during a big project. You’ve heard about the advantages of mobile technology and Office 365. But you don’t really know if it’s right for your business. Here are five ways that Office 365 and the construction industry go hand in hand to simplify tasks for the engineers, architects and project managers who work on your job sites.

Easy access to email

Just because you’re out of the office doesn’t mean you can’t do your job. Office 365 allows you to send and access al your email messages, calendars and contact information from anywhere you happen to be. Whether it’s on a job site, in the car or even at the airport. This means you can check your email from your home computer in the morning, switch to your mobile phone on a building site and even contribute to project plans using your tablet while you’re having lunch at a local restaurant.

All your favorite applications like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Publisher are there. And you don’t have to worry about storing your email on a desktop computer or an in-house server and the costs involved in setting this up.

Simplify document management with SharePoint

Contractors and engineers spend a lot of time creating projects and submitting proposals. How can you keep track of all that information and make sure everyone gets the latest version of your plan? You don’t want to be lugging around huge piles of documents everywhere you go. It’s hard to keep paper documents dry in bad weather and calling the office to ask for copies and waiting for them to be delivered takes time.

SharePoint is your company’s intranet and team collaboration site. It allows you to collaborate with your colleagues at any time from all your devices. You can create, edit and review documents with all your coworkers at the same time. We heard about one American company that saved a lot of time and money by using SharePoint for its contract bidding process.

The company routinely compiled quotes from about 12 subcontractors for each bid. Before they learned about SharePoint, they used to print and send out 48 sets of plans and specifications every week at cost of about $12 per set. Today, the entire project bid is done digitally. The drawings and plans are stored in secure online sites and the company controls who has access to the information. Subcontractors then download the plans and specifications they need to provide their quotes. The company said it has saved about $10,400 US a year on printing and courier costs alone.

Your data is safe in OneDrive for Business

Sure, you say, it’s great that everyone can access all this information at any time. But, doesn’t that make it easier for one of my competitors to get their hands on my project bids? Not with OneDrive for Business. As we mentioned earlier, your files won’t be shared with other people unless you choose to share them or save them n a Public folder. And your account? It’s protected by a two-step verification process.

This means you have to enter two different forms of identity (your password and another contact method) each time you sign in to your account.

The bottom line? You can meet with construction crews on your job site or with researchers in a lab across town and still have secure access to all your data. And you can store lots of data. Each user gets 1TB of storage space. This is very practical for all the drawings, plans, specifications and material data that people in the construction industry use every day.

Skype for Business reduces costs

Aside from supervising projects, you spend a large part of your time just meeting with your staff and clients. So, how do you organize a project meeting when people are scattered across town, or even across the globe? Skype for Business is a feature of Office 365 that lets you set up meetings from any device. All you need is a phone or Internet connection.

Construction companies say using video collaboration solutions like Skype have helped them to reduce operating costs, travel costs and improve productivity. They say it’s a lot easier to judge someone’s response to a plan or a 3D model when you can see their facial expression and body language. This is very important in global projects where you can’t always judge a person’s meaning by word alone.

Get more for your money

Time is money. Every minute that an employee wastes waiting for a document to be delivered on-site is a direct hit on their budget. Office 365 allows companies to get all the information they need right away.

One American construction firm said it saved about $156,000 US a year and gained 51 hours a week in productivity by using Office 365.

Cinque Terre

The main difference between Office 365 and past versions of Microsoft Office is that you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars up front to buy the package and install it on a number of desktop computers. Instead you pay a monthly subscription for a license that can be shared on up to five different devices.

Another benefit of moving your business to the cloud is that you don’t have to worry about buying and maintaining a server. You can better predict your business’s ongoing costs without worrying about repairing or replacing expensive hardware at short notice. And because you’re subscribing to the service instead of buying a product, you automatically get new features and the latest updates as soon as they become available.

If your company wants to remain competitive and cut costs in a viable industry like construction, Office 365 is the solution your looking for.

At our firm, we leverage over 20 years of technology expertise to help your Construction firm build an action plan, risk profile, and investment roadmap to assist in your decision.

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Contact us at info@netflowtechnologies.com or call at (702) 577-7020