Survey: Manual Processes Hurt Quality Control and Add Costs on Construction Sites

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A new survey of 500 US executives and managers in construction and engineering found that nearly half still use manual collection processes to capture critical data on job sites. These manual processes increase the time needed to make decisions, hurt work quality, and leave firms facing unnecessary costs.

The research, from TrackVia, a mobile-ready workflow platform for operations, was released in a new report entitled Manual Processes in Construction and Engineering. The report shows that the number one way executives want to speed up their processes is by digitizing data collection that is still done manually. More than half of executives (52%) believe this would help alleviate several of the issues they face due to manual processes.

Wasteful processes and inadequate data

The report mentions several problems related to manual data collection and the use of several separate IT systems:

  • Half of the managers surveyed say their data must go through five different steps to get into a software or database system
  • Half of the executives say data goes through the same number of steps before it can be used by team members for reporting and analytics
  • 88 percent of executives who use four or more data systems spend at least 1,300 hours per year trying to assembling it into usable reports. Compared to those who use a single data system, that is 400 percent more time.
  • 54 percent of executives say they’re unable to act on data in a timely manner due to manual data entry
  • 61 percent of executives said they have to make decisions with outdated data

Protracted time-to-completion

Eighty percent of managers said work and change orders are primarily initiated and communicated manually, and 65 percent of managers said that, as a result, work and change orders get missed some to all of the time and slow down time-to-completion.

When data is collected manually, the top three challenges managers face are:

  • Inadequate levels of detail attached to work and change orders
  • Incomplete work quality observation data
  • Incomplete information to substantiate claims

Difficulties in substantiating claims

The ability to substantiate claims is crucial to contractors and engineers, and inefficiencies in collecting and managing data is hindering their ability to do so:

  • Only 45 percent of managers said they could adequately substantiate claims 51-80 percent of the time
  • 50 percent of executives said they could legally substantiate between 50-79 percent of claims with daily reports and other documentation

The inability to substantiate claims leaves contractors and engineers potentially vulnerable to millions in liquidated damages or fines.

TrackVia surveyed over 500 executives and managers in construction and engineering in February 2018. To download the report, visit:

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