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How business intelligence tools can help your construction firm thrive in 2020: Part III

Jan 15, 2020

Dashboards, reporting, effective resource management — we’ve already covered a few significant ways business intelligence (BI) tools help the construction industry make proactive, strategic and data-based decisions. 

If you missed part one and part two of this series, we talked about how BI tools help you better understand your past and manage your present. Now we’re focused on the third and final part of this series: how to better predict your future. After all, this is a series on how your construction firm can thrive in 2020. 

Better predict your future

Success in the construction industry can often come from gaining answers to key questions. What is your production revenue? How are you collecting on it? How do you value incoming leads? What is the probability you can expect to win a certain bid? How do you spread revenue from one project throughout the year? 

Forecasting is a universal need in the industry — and it’s a huge area that BI tools are designed to help with.

Scoring leads and understanding your best prospect profile

A BI tool is all about data, so feeding it the right data gives you the right answers. It can help you score leads not only based on geography, services and relationships but also based on past project profitability. If you worked on a similar job in the past, the BI tool knows what that job’s costs and margins were. If you don’t make as much on those types of jobs — or even regularly go into the red on them — you can potentially de-prioritize that lead and focus efforts on jobs that bring in your optimal margin.

By collecting all this data on past and current projects and them visualizing them in different ways, a BI tool can help you understand your ideal prospect profile. And when you know who to go after, you can increase your chances of successfully winning future bids.

Some BI tools can actually provide predictive opportunity scoring. For example, Microsoft Dynamics 365 AI for Sales is a machine-learning model that scores opportunities on a scale of 1 to 100 based on the likelihood of you winning the bid. It shows you the top reasons influencing the score, too.

By prioritizing leads and opportunities and providing you with strategic recommendations, it helps you focus on the opportunities that truly matter. And with additional time spent on the worthwhile opportunities, you can improve those relationships and further increase your chances of winning the bid.

How strategic is your technology?

Technology — not just BI tools — in general can help construction firms and contractors be the architects of their own success.

For example, when you send email blasts, are you sending them to everyone on your email list? Many companies don’t know who they should send which emails to, how to track engagement, and how and when to follow up afterward. So they just send emails to everyone and hope they catch a fish on the line.

But using a robust marketing automation tool can help you do email marketing the right way. By creating more targeted emails tailored to a specific audience (think back to the perfect prospect profile), you can maximize your efforts and further increase your chances of success. 

And what about self-service portals? Giving subcontractors the ability to log in and submit bids would make your life a lot easier, wouldn’t it? Think about what types of self-service functionality would benefit your company, granting employees time back in their day to focus on higher priorities. Things like giving owners and investors access to project statuses, leveraging BI to share statuses via easy-to-consume visualizations, and giving users the ability to review and execute contracts or change orders.

The technology is out there.

Ready to reap the benefits of business intelligence tools?

No matter what technologies you use, they all can feed data into a BI tool. In the past, more data hasn’t always been the best thing, as it meant more data to sift through and decide what’s important. But BI tools are changing that. They have the power to combine data in different ways, showing you all angles of your business and giving you the insights you need to make proactive, strategic decisions.

If you’re ready to start reaping the benefits of better leveraging data to drive growth and efficiencies by implementing the latest business intelligence tools, contact us to learn about your options. We can help you establish your business intelligence strategy with a roadmap, demo any product for you, help you select the ideal tool and work with you on the implementation so that your business is set up for success.

And if you missed the previous two parts of this series, you can read them here:

How business intelligence tools can help your construction firm thrive in 2020: Part I

How business intelligence tools can help your construction firm thrive in 2020: Part II

Author(s)

Matt Gelb, VTSP, MCTS
Principal
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Ryan C. Rademann
Manager
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Jason Muhlstein
Twin Cities Market Leader and Technology Consulting Principal
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