Construction's Five “C” Equation

January 23, 2019 Ed Rusch

Let’s Jump Right Into The Math

The formula for break-through productivity performance and outcome assurance across the construction industry is as follows: 

Collaboration + Customer Experience + Communications + Certainty + Community = Transformative Success

Collaboration – Buyers, Suppliers and Logistics Providers need to share real-time details of orders, jobs, materials, movements, and more on a Supplier Collaboration Platform. This provides visibility into and across the construction supply chain. With collaboration, many discrete organizations work in tight orchestration together to meet shared objectives like quality, profitability, customer service, differentiated experiences, and increased value.

Customer Experience – In the age of Amazon, customers expect to know where their orders are, when they will be delivered, and how much of the order will arrive on which trucks. If there is anything missing from the order, they want to know about it before it arrives; if the order will be late, customers want to be proactively alerted and updated with delivery statuses. Keeping the lines of communication open at all times improves the overall experience.

Communications – Supply chains are complex networks of many-to-many independent enterprises that need to correspond digitally and effortlessly – sharing actionable information across their disparate systems, working together as a precision instrument would. In the construction industry, where supply chains are extensive and complex, the ability to make quick, informed decisions at the jobsite is key. Clear communication creates transparency and trust, mitigates risk, and contributes to value creation for all participants.

Certainty – Knowing that the materials ordered arrive in the best quality is one aspect of the equation for supply chain success, but many factors can arise that challenge this certainty. There is uncertainty in any supply chain, including construction – suppliers can struggle to meet demand; weather, traffic or truck breakdowns can affect delivery times; material specifications may be off; and more. Having visibility across a Supplier Collaboration Platform, where all trading partners are active participants, means you are certain in your ability to mitigate risk because you have advanced notice of what is happening across projects, plants and in transit materials.

Community – The size of an integrated and connected community of bulk material producers, haulers, suppliers, and contractors matters. For example, a critical mass of suppliers and logistics providers means contractors can digitally interact with all available trading partners across their jobsites with a single connection to the platform. This greatly accelerates time to value and improves technology investment returns.

Supplier collaboration involves companies working together for shared prosperity and to meet each other’s needs. Trading partners evolve into partial extensions of each other, achieving mutually beneficial goals as a result. 

Getting Started

One – Focus on achieving “quick wins.”

Transformative success is a journey. Hastily sprinting through it is a recipe for failure. Identify a clear  opportunity to affect change in an area that is low risk, learning new competencies along the way.

Two - Establish metrics and quantify the results.

When identifying “quick win” opportunities, also identify the metrics the effort will impact. Measure the results. Quantify them in dollar terms. This will help you get buy-in for the next step.

Three - Identify trusted trading partners that share your vision.

Collaboration is not a solo effort; it is a supply chain initiative. Not all trading partners will be ready or willing to start today; but find the ones that share your commitment to change.

Four - Find the right people to lead your efforts.

Change management is the biggest hurdle to overcome. The right people are those willing to question the status quo and able to invest their time and energy to identify, plan, and execute value demonstrating programs.

Five - Find the right technology partners to help you innovate.

Ensure alignment. The pace of change continues to accelerate. Staying informed of the latest innovations available in the market, and evaluating them against your priorities, will be critical.

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