Why use County Road Construction Software for your next road project?
I remember watching a television cooking show where the spotlighted restaurant owner placed a long metal serving spoon in the cooking pan with the food before covering it with aluminum foil and putting it in the oven. The host of the show, rather perplexed, asked why he put the spoon in the pan before placing it in the oven. The owner smiled, shrugged his shoulders, and retorted that he didn’t know, but they had always done it that way since his grandfather opened the restaurant.
Sometimes for the benefit of future efficiency, we need to take a step back and evaluate if the “way that we’ve always done things” is in our best interest going forward. Now might be the right time to invest some effort in an exercise to improve processes and efficiency moving forward.
County transportation agencies often get left behind in the technology upgrade cycle for road construction project management. In some cases, the head-in-the-sand method of ignoring deficiencies takes hold until it’s no longer possible to ignore the associated productivity issues. It’s likely that substantial benefits would result from changes, but the upgrade process creates dragons that we would rather fight another day. Those hurdles, however, can be overcome with the right solution!
While state transportation agencies have the budgets and personnel to support technology upgrades, counties and municipalities are many times doing their best with limited resources to just make it through the construction season. Finding resources to research solutions, implement software, fund the project, and train on new technology is often out of the question.
Yet the benefit of modest technology upgrades can be substantial––a small investment in the future will pay handsome dividends for many years to come. So how do you make the necessary technology upgrades with your limited resources?
Many counties and municipalities still use manual processes that include paper documents and spreadsheets to manage and track road construction projects. Outdated processes typically include dual entry or data transfer, leading to slower turnaround times for contractor payments, data errors, and inefficient reporting. All of these are solved with a transition to an electronic, web-based construction management solution.
Technology providers have made substantial progress in recent years to remove the technology and management roadblocks for implementing process upgrades. For example, agencies no longer must maintain their own servers, install software, or manage the environment. Software-as-a-Service now provides web-based software functionality from the internet through a standard web browser. The software functionality is provided to the transportation agency for a fee, on a month-to-month basis and the software vendor completely manages and maintains the environment, freeing up the agency to focus on their road building and maintenance duties. Additional benefits included with the subscription service include backups of data and redundant systems to prevent downtime of the system.
After providing construction management and other software services to state departments of transportation for over two decades, ExeVision, a provider of state and county Construction Management solutions (CMS), began working with local agencies. The goal was to provide functionality in use by the larger, state DOTs, at a monthly subscription fee that local agencies could afford, and a solution completely hosted and managed by the vendors to reduce agency resources needed for the project. Fortunately, both conditions were met, and county transportation agencies now have access to a robust CMS solution for road construction that can be implemented in a matter of weeks.
Most agencies have similar requirements for project documentation, reporting and management. The benefit of using CMS software for county transportation departments is a reduction in dual data entry, the mistakes associated with manually transcribing and transferring data, and the ability to easily produce reports from the recorded data. The CMS captures and manages ledger entries, daily reports, pay estimates, change orders, and subcontracting in one place––online, creating a much more efficient and error free environment and ultimately increasing transportation agency productivity.