As with every industry, everything ultimately boils down to the bottom line. But in construction, with razor-thin margins, the stakes are significantly higher and there is little room for the unexpected. Contractors are focused on executing efficiently and safety, while winning new business and staying profitable.
However, the industry is at a pressure point and unfortunately, the unexpected is one of the few things companies can expect. There is a perfect storm of labor shortages, supply chain disruptions, and rising material costs that is bringing everything to a head. So how can companies optimize for their bottom line without putting their businesses at risk?
Firms that want to stay both competitive and resilient in an evolving economic landscape need a strong risk management strategy – yet this is easier said than done. Risk management is a multifaceted challenge. Companies need to think about everything from managing their cashflows to improving decision-making on projects as well as across the company.
At Autodesk, we know there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to managing risk. Our solutions help mitigate some of the largest project risks from conceptual design through construction operations. But just as projects need the right teams to do the job, businesses also require the right set of technology partners and integrations to navigate today’s evolving economic environment.
Today, we are thrilled to share three new strategic initiatives to help construction companies better manage risks on their projects. Our investment and collaboration with Toric, a no-code construction data analytics platform, will deliver clean and reliable data from multiple data sources to help our customers make smarter decisions and improve operational efficiency. With Payapps, we are forging a strategic alliance to improve the automation of construction payments and mitigate compliance risk. Finally, we are also collaborating with Shepherd, a tech-enabled insurance provider, to reward our customers who are using our tools to better manage risk.
Toric: Delivering Data-driven Insights to Improve Decision-making
We have heard from our customers repeatedly how critical it is to get actionable insights from their data in real-time. According to our recent report with FMI, one-third of poor decisions in construction were made as a result of bad data. For a contractor who performs $1 billion in total revenue, this cost could be as high as $165 million with a resulting $7.1 million in avoidable rework. Plain and simple: bad data leads to gut-driven decision making, costing you money and putting your projects at risk.
Toric’s no-code AI-based data platform puts valid and real-time data in the hands of construction firms to unlock operational efficiency. The self-serve product allows companies to leverage the massive amount of data they create to make more informed decisions that save costs, improve productivity, and reduce execution time.
Toric also enables our customers with increased flexibility to access and leverage their data through integrations and visualizations. For example, the platform provides Suffolk Construction with reliable data from multiple software systems. As a result, Suffolk is able to leverage real-time project data surfaced through Toric to improve day-to-day operations and avoid time and cost overruns.
Our investment in Toric will meaningfully increase our joint collaboration to benefit Autodesk customers. Specifically, Toric will soon offer new integrations and data connectors to Autodesk Construction Cloud unified products, in addition to our design tools such as Revit, Navisworks, and Civil 3D.
Payapps: Creating Faster Payment Cycles
The construction payment process is time-consuming and administratively burdensome for both general contractors and their subcontractors. We hear from many construction firms that they are still using Excel and email to manage the flow of communication to and from their subcontractors. This manual back-and-forth process not only wastes time, it also opens firms up to financial risk through errors and slow payment cycles.
Through our strategic alignment with Payapps, we’re empowering Autodesk Construction Cloud customers to digitize and automate their spreadsheet-driven workflow to reduce payment cycle time, including the use of electronic payment processing, and eliminate potential errors.
Beyond faster payment cycles, Payapps also mitigates compliance risk. In North America, Payapps’ GCPay solution helps general contractors with the same benefits – and also manages the lien waiver exchange process with their trade partners.
Many of our customers are already using and seeing the benefits of Payapps. Autodesk Build currently has integrations with many of the same leading ERP systems in North America that Payapps has with its GCPay solution. Integrations between Payapps and Autodesk already feed data to and from those ERP systems, for real-time accounting and payment management. As we continue to deepen our relationship with Payapps, new integrations will provide tremendous value to our common customer base.
Shepherd: Rewarding Our Customers for Reducing Risk
Every day, our customers are focused on delivering a high-quality product while mitigating their project and business risk – and they should be rewarded for using our software to do so.
Shepherd is uniquely positioned as a tech-enabled insurance provider that is rewarding our customers who are decreasing their risks, making the most of critical project data to improve insights, and increasing safety on the jobsite. As part of our alliance, Autodesk Build will be included in Shepherd’s Casualty Pro offering, enabling our customers to save on insurance costs.
We’re also excited to partner with Shepherd due to our strong relationship with its co-founder and CEO, Justin Levine. Justin spent five years building his previous tech startup, TradeTapp, which was sold to BuildingConnected and then acquired by Autodesk in 2019.
It’s currently difficult for insurers to quantify and price risk effectively for construction companies. And while construction companies have access to a lot of data, insurance companies don’t know how to effectively leverage it to underwrite risk. Justin brings deep construction and technology experience to potentially disrupt the insurance industry while providing more value to construction firms through lowered premiums. While it is still a new and evolving space, we are looking forward to expanding our collaboration with Shepherd in the future, especially with the broader portfolio of Autodesk solutions such as our best-in-class preconstruction tools.
Protecting the Bottom Line with Risk Management
Staying profitable in today’s economic environment is an ongoing challenge. A solid and multi-faceted risk management strategy is a firm’s best bet for protecting its bottom line and remaining resilient.
Our investment in Toric, and strategic collaborations with Payapps and Shepherd strengthens our mission to provide the industry with better solutions to build right the first time, every time. I’m even more enthusiastic and inspired about the opportunities that our work together can bring to companies grappling with today’s economic uncertainty.
Just as risk management – and construction at-large – is a team sport, we at Autodesk are incredibly proud to have built a strong team of partners to join us in our efforts to help construction teams meet the world’s rapidly expanding building and infrastructure needs, while making construction more predictable, safe and sustainable.