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3 Reasons Construction Projects Don’t Have to Rely on Spreadsheets

Construction companies require different departments (& people!) to operate simultaneously with optimum efficiency. One of the ways they are able to do this is by keeping track of deliverables and business processes by manually updating static spreadsheets.



Day in and day out, spreadsheets are used to track time and attendance, costs and expenses, resources and supplies. Ensuring consistent input and accuracy is critical to the quality of any project. To that end, utilizing spreadsheets has become the norm in a construction business.

As great as spreadsheets are, the truth is, manual data input is only effective when you’re managing smaller data sets. When your business starts expanding and you need to track more equipment, manage bigger projects, deal with multiple employees, it becomes unwieldy and confusing.

However, with the introduction of construction management software (CMS), more businesses are starting to realize that spreadsheets may not be the best course to manage their business.

Here are 3 reasons that illustrate why:

1. It’s not the most user-friendly option

While most people know the basics of inputting data into a spreadsheet, maximizing its data analysis features is very complicated. Advanced understanding of software such as Excel, Numbers, Airtable, ZoHo, or Google Sheets is rare and requires a very steep learning curve. (Looking at you 👀 investment bankers & accountants)

Audits have also shown that 94% of spreadsheets have errors. In fact, the average cell error rate (ratio of cells with errors against other cells with formulas) is 5.2%.

Utilizing spreadsheets means you’re not only dealing with grids but also working with file paths, macros, hidden cells, formulas, and so much more. It’s complicated, to say the least. In contrast, a CMS can simplify your accounting, tracking, monitoring, and scheduling tasks on a single platform, as well as present data in a simple, intuitive dashboard.

2. It leaves important data vulnerable

Spreadsheets do not protect data. If you’re manually updating and filing spreadsheets, it’s easy to accidentally delete a whole column, a cell, or possibly the entire file if you’re not careful. Misplaced spreadsheets could also leave important, confidential business data vulnerable to prying eyes.

A CMS can ensure your data is protected and accessible only to people relevant to your operations, thus allowing you to easily designate which teams and people have access to which areas.

3. It’s more tedious and time-consuming than you can imagine

The use of spreadsheets for an industry that relies heavily on monitoring, tracking, and data analysis is tedious and time-consuming. Not only is the manual input of data tiresome, but it also consumes a lot of time that could be better spent on other important core business tasks. In addition, building and updating the database requires a lot of manual labor. Changes do not happen in real-time, making it necessary to communicate and send out the latest copies yourself, on top of making sure the changes are actually seen.

A CMS ensures that any changes regarding tracking, monitoring, and other critical databases all happen in real-time. This significantly minimizes the need to keep going back and forth between documents and team members just to confirm everyone is in the loop.

Bottom line…

Spreadsheets do not provide a thorough dynamic project overview, which is critical for effective project management in a construction business. However, a CMS has specialized features that allow teams to manage everything — from simple tasks to complex workflows — and deliver accurate insights and reports for better decision-making. If you are interested in learning more contact us today.

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