It’s usual for a software supplier to sell a product, install it and then offer technical support if anything should go wrong. Although this process has worked well for decades, over recent years I’ve found myself asking the same questions:

Is simply ‘selling’ a product enough of a competitive edge in the toughest economic environment for construction businesses in more than 30 years? How does that way of working add value for customers who are looking for ways to squeeze more profit out of ever tightening margins?

Perhaps more than any other, the construction industry and its related sectors have been subjected to unrelenting economic pressures. This has resulted in a radical rethink in the way that industry clients are procuring design, construction and maintenance services, relentlessly demanding cost savings, increased efficiencies and continual improvements.

So what is the answer for companies striving for survival and can only dream of growth? Perhaps to cut budgets, limit expansion and ride out the storm? Or is there another way?

Introducing IT partnerships

The innovative use of technology has the potential to revolutionise the way in which companies working within the built environment operate. Winning more work, operating more efficiently and increased margins are all realistic and achievable outcomes from the use IT - but innovative IT products are not enough on their own. It takes a dedicated commitment to work with your customer to gain a detailed understand their challenges, goals and aspirations, and only this knowledge combined with class leading solutions can provide the winning combination.

This collaborative approach has already paid dividends for a number of our customers. We have partnered with EM Highway Services to deliver a solution to underpin the operation and maintenance of the UK Trunk Road Network, provided the platform for the FM department at the University of Bradford to improve its performance by 20% and delivered an E-trading platform for McNicholas Construction to receive 95% of its supplier invoices electronically.

Implementing new software systems often represents a significant investment and if those systems don’t add value your budget is wasted. So why would you entrust such a vital business decision to a supplier that doesn’t take the time or effort to invest in your business too?

So consider this – Do you continue to spend with your IT supplier or is it time to invest in a collaborative partnership?

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