The construction industry is constantly changing. From the legal perspective, we see new legislation, education, community efforts, and more changing the way contractors approach the industry. One of the newer and most prominent approaches we’ve seen in recent years has been the implementation of trades-centered technology into construction businesses. In many ways, this development has been massively beneficial by helping our clients organize their business and protect against future problems on projects. However, the maximum benefit of trades tech is only attainable when it works hand in hand with your other external services, such as your legal protection. In this blog, we sat down with Eric Fortenberry, founder of JobTread, to talk about why folks in skilled trades are turning to tech, and how it can set construction businesses up for success.
The Trades Tech Advantage!
The many advantages you can gain from utilizing technology to manage your construction company make most of the common fears well-worth the struggle. Comprehensive software can serve you and the people that support you in many ways. First and foremost, access to software both in the office and on the go can allow you and your team to operate with significantly more efficiency. Being able to review agreements, approve plans, check on project statuses, handle payroll, and more, all at a moment’s notice, is an invaluable aid. That sort of all-access clarity can also enable you to prioritize your time better. With your eyes more consistently on your job process, you can precisely determine what requires your attention next and what other tasks you can afford to delegate instead. Time management is an essential skill for all business owners, and such open access to all aspects of your company can free up your time in a vastly productive way.
In addition to efficiency, using technology to manage your company can streamline your processes and provide more organization for your administrative team. Making things more organized and easier to digest and understand for your team members and clients mitigates large miscommunication problems. Clients especially value transparency, and if your software has a client portal, that level of inclusion may be the deciding factor that gets you the job over someone else. Additionally, seamless processes can easily make your company come off as more professional and put together. When your internal team has the ability to follow a consistent process and maintain clear communication and organization all in one place, you don’t need as many people to handle those processes. You don’t have to “throw bodies at the problems,” as Eric likes to put it, ultimately saving you money in labor and, by proxy, in time.
To conclude this summary of possible benefits technology could provide, consider how technology can allow you to scale your business. Certain software can provide you with an all-in-one place to set and track your profit goals while simultaneously providing a place for you to sell and manage more jobs at once. You may even be able to get application insights and strategically use them to boost your visibility. Furthermore, that same “all-in-one” aspect of the technology will make it significantly easier for your accounting team to track invoices and stay up to date on pay progress, your management team to keep up with project milestones, and your legal team to have a quick and comprehensive way to collect documentation to support you in the event of legal issues.
The Cromeens Law Firm is here to protect you and your business. Our hope is that you never get stuck in a legal battle because you were not adequately informed or prepared. Work with us to equip yourself with the knowledge you need to protect your business and your hard-earned money.
This is only the tip of the iceberg regarding what construction technology can do for your business. The last step is integrating the technology you use with the processes you already have in place. Ensuring your team is trained to navigate the technology you choose is essential. For your company to truly gain the benefits software can provide, everyone needs to be on the same page. Consistency among your team is key.
Don’t Forget to Read the Fine Print
Though technology can be a great aid, it is important to remember that software developers are not legal professionals. The templates pre-generated in an app, or that you find with a quick Google search, are not the best or safest options for you and your specific construction business. Work with your construction law team to be sure you have templates that are actually protecting and serving your business. While tech can be great for storing, exchanging, and signing your documents and agreements, you still need a capable team of construction law attorneys to handle creating your contracts, terms & conditions, handbooks, and other templates so that the documentation is legally enforceable, and it fully protects your business. Having competent legal support is a must for any business owner.
If you neglect these protections, the benefits of technology can quickly become outweighed by the problems it can create. If your bid or contract template is not created for your company, you risk issues arising between you and your clients, which could lead to a costly legal dispute. However, when your processes work hand in hand, and you protect yourself legally on the front end, you amplify your security on the back end. With such a collected paper trail for each project, a construction lawyer has more means with which to protect you should something go awry. Maximizing the benefit your trades technology can provide you is the goal, and you have the power to make it work in your favor. Ultimately, as long as you can ensure the technology you use works together with your other processes, it can significantly improve the quality of your company’s functionality and allow you to find a better work-life balance.
Trades technology is becoming an increasingly present staple of businesses in the industry, and there are plenty of reasons for you to get on board. In the next blog, we’ll dive into what the advantages of using trades technology would look like from the outside and why a GC or homeowner might hire someone who is using comprehensive software over someone who is still handling all their business manually. Technology can be a huge additive to the success of companies in the construction industry. There is probably an app or other program to solve every problem you encounter. Even some software is virtually all-inclusive, like JobTread, which not only has multiple in-software assets but is also API-first and can integrate with countless other programs to help streamline your processes. Have a problem? The resources are out there. Do your part and take advantage of them.
This article is intended as a general educational overview of the subject matter and is not intended to be a comprehensive survey of recent jurisprudence, nor a substitute for legal advice for a specific legal matter. If you have a legal issue, consult an attorney.