Mail Manager, the email management solution by Arup, explores the need to improve processes in order to solve the construction industry’s digital dilemma
The UK Government’s sentiments towards the state of the construction industry offer a stark warning to firms in the sector. In July 2019, a policy paper warned: “The current business model of the construction sector is not sustainable.” It went on the add that addressing this will be “difficult” and “requires construction clients, their advisers and businesses at all levels in the supply chain to adapt.” The pandemic has accelerated that need.
The government’s paper sets out its vision for the construction industry of the future in a ‘sector deal.’ It envisages an industry that can build new homes in weeks or even days rather than months, deliver new buildings at a third of the cost, and can provide affordable, energy-efficient homes. It also proposes an ambitious partnership between the construction industry and the government that will transform the sector’s productivity through innovative technologies and a more highly skilled workforce. With ‘build, build, build’ being prioritised as a key element of bouncing back from the economical downturn due to the pandemic, that partnership looks set to be stronger than ever as projects get accelerated and Government funding increases.
However, modernising firms through digitisation and digital transformation is not simply a case of deploying and implementing new technology into your business. It’s also about improving processes, making it easier for people to access the information they need, and making the business more efficient.
Enhancing project efficiency
While many areas of construction have become more efficient, information management remains a burden. At the centre of that is email management, with email being the most used communication tool on a project, but also the one thing everyone in a business manages differently. That results in most firms being unable to find critical project information, produce the correct evidence in court, and waste hours every week trying to file and find project correspondence.
So, while email is central to the processes of the vast amount of businesses, most businesses continue to struggle to manage email effectively. Most fail to file emails effectively, which means they not only struggle to complete projects but also meet increasingly strict compliance requirements. Additionally, when problems arise, which is highly likely many years after a project has ended, businesses are often required to produce the original scope of work, specific client communications and sensitive documents. If these are lost in individual inboxes of people that may have left the business or amongst a mass of unstructured emails, then it’s asking for trouble.
This issue is particularly pressing for the construction industry. For example, Mark Farmer’s Modernise or Die report calls out a lack of productivity and collaboration as two of the key symptoms of failure in the sector. And, with email being the most used project communication tool, preventing people from being able to find information quickly and see conversations relating to projects they are involved in can hugely hinder performance.
Seize control of your projects through email
It’s easy to get carried away by new buzzwords and technologies that promise to transform the way you deliver projects. But it’s often the simple, fundamental things that actually need improving first to truly reap the rewards of digitisation.
Reducing the time and complexity of filing and searching for specific project emails and attachments is simple with Mail Manager. The solution seamlessly integrates with Microsoft Outlook to help businesses easily file, find, store and share emails, all with the assurance that important data is stored in one central location and easily discoverable at the click of a button.
The software not only files emails from Outlook within SharePoint and other storage services, but also learns project team members’ filing behaviours. The AI engine then predicts where an email should be filed and automatically stores it in the correct location, which eliminates the risk of human error that can see emails filed incorrectly or, worse still, deleted forever.
This ‘Prompt and Predict’ approach to email management can help organisations to enhance the file management process across their entire business. While further advantages include:
- Reducing risk: Businesses can now ensure they never lose track of critical email messages and conversations, which reduces the risk of fines and legal action
- Time-saving: Mail Manager hugely reduces the amount of time that businesses spend hunting for information by enabling staff to find any email on any project in seconds
- Project deliverability: The software enables project teams to make better decisions by putting the correct information about scope changes, approvals, and key project information a click of a button away
To be able to capitalise on the government’s focus on a more sustainable, digital future, businesses need to implement processes that ensure employees can find the information they need, when they need it. Email management software is crucial in delivering this by storing critical information and correspondence in the right location as it is sent or received.
However, this is, of course, the first step in a long road towards digitisation and digital transformation. But having an effective email management and information discovery process in place is important for any business that has aspirations of implementing innovative technologies and fostering a more skilled workforce.
It’s time to avoid your usual email headaches. To find out how you can reduce risk and increase collaboration on projects, download our guide ‘Transform your project information management by embracing Sharepoint‘.