Risk Management in the Construction Industry (Part 2)
Companies face a series of challenges implementing risk management procedures and are able to learn from the experiences of other industries, such as manufacturing and the energy sector. One strategy that provides increasing benefit to construction companies is office automation technology, which locks down tools, information and assets while helping to drive up productivity and profitability.
One challenge is a multi-locational business structure. Companies must balance their in-office tasks with their on-site projects and the need to share information in real time between locations. This includes being able to transfer time and labor documents, as well as recognize changes to plans and accommodate client demands. The documents must be transferred between laptops, PCs, tablets and even smartphones in a secure fashion.
Intellectual property theft has become a concern among businesses as a result of an increasing dependence on the ever-widening variety of devices available. Sadly, much of this theft is coming from inside the business. An on-the-go workforce makes it easier to access and share sensitive documents anywhere, at any time and with anyone.
In fact, the 2014 CyberSecurity Watch Survey estimates that 28 percent of cyber-crimes committed against organizations and business are perpetrated by employees or other insiders. This poses a further challenge to companies when it comes to management strategies. How can information, processes and property be secured without micromanaging and creating an unsatisfying work environment for employees?
Companies can navigate this tricky balance by deploying both manual procedures and automated solutions that provide ways to access and track information about data usage in real time. This ensures accountability and oversight, whether employees and data are within the office or at a remote site. The key to control is knowing—not guessing—who is using what information, with which applications and on what device. Companies who turn to construction automation solutions protect their assets and are able to drive up productivity while mitigating frustration and risk. More advanced steps to protect the physical office and the job site are required. On-site equipment has long been protected with physical locks and site barriers during off-hours. Now, many firms are implementing security measures during on-hours for the on-the-go workforce that includes secure badges and swipe cards for entry purposes.
A risk management strategy leverages intelligent construction automation software to answer the questions: who is doing what, what information is being used and which devices are leveraged during the process? This information is partnered with a contextual understanding of protection procedures benefiting all participants—owners, employees and clients.
Risk management safeguards companies by protecting their physical and intellectual property, including sensitive business information and plans for new products and/or services. Requests for proposals are companies’ bread and butter, and companies that have experienced breaches—digital or physical—may be less likely to be contracted, no matter their experience level. By implementing controls, construction firms can safeguard and boost their own reputations among clients and the industry.
Construction companies are not the only entities at risk when a breach occurs. Client information is also vulnerable. Risk management will protect clients’ data and influence their future business decisions, including who they contract with in the future.
As technology advances and competition increases, risk management will only become more necessary for construction firms. Selecting the right construction automation solutions that assist the contractor in quickly and easily monitoring who is accessing plans, bids and projects is critical for a safe and secure growth plan.