As contractors react to software vendor acquisitions across the industry, each could be identified as an optimist (“I’ll make the best of whatever happens”), a pessimist (“This can’t be good news”) or an opportunist (“There is value in this for me and it will grow my success”). Of course, the opportunist stands to be more competitive and profitable as this wave of consolidation and acquisition carries through the industry. By understanding the driving factors behind such business transitions, construction executives can properly evaluate the reigning vendor’s vision and assess if it’s in line with their own business objectives.

What Does It All Mean?
The consolidation of construction technology providers can be an opportunity to offer the broader industry solutions that are best of breed, while providing a consistent look and feel and allowing for product integration. These opportunities are possible due to a dynamic changing of the guard, and contractors embracing the change are poised to rise to the top by leveraging innovations and strategic partnerships with leading technology providers.

Not long ago, the industry was fueled by family-owned and regional IT companies with a founder at the helm who programmed, sold, implemented and supported their solutions. That type of partnership worked well. In fact, the industry was built on home-grown and custom-developed software—not easy to scale or enhance, but a person to call when a problem arose.

However, technology providers couldn’t (or wouldn’t) invest in growth. For example, even when a company developed a new idea that could propel the industry forward, it would not invest to maintain the momentum of that innovation. The result was a large number of contractors eager to make the most of technology but being underserved due to vendors offering minimal software maintenance, lack of financial investment in new operating platforms, and apathy toward the unique needs of construction business operations.

Acquiring for Advancement
Change has swept through the marketplace, and contractors eager to ride the wave of technology innovation have many variables to consider in their construction technology partner of choice.

In large part due to the growing demand of construction businesses, the industry is consolidating, and the best technology companies are going through acquisitions to offer clients a full platform of capabilities. Amid these new clusters of companies, contractors can find IT partners that are passionate about construction and have the bandwidth and expertise to execute new technologies. Among these innovations, construction business leaders will see a focus on collaboration, BIM and mobility, and contemporary software that meets the industry’s evolving needs.

Savvy construction executives are looking to theseconsolidated technology leaders to advise on strategy and provide solutions for long-term success during the next five, 10 or 15 years and beyond.

Smart Technology Infrastructure
Consolidation is a key differentiator among construction technology vendors pioneering the future of the marketplace. Thought-leaders and innovators committed to change are focused on the smart technology infrastructure—most evident in solutions for BIM, collaboration, mobile and content management.

BIM’s benefits touch all stakeholders involved on a project and dramatically improve the collaboration process. Beyond being 3-D design software, it allows an entirely seamless process in project execution while increasing efficiency and productivity.

Contractors also have swiftly gained appreciation for mobile technology, and it’s widely embraced by the expanding tech-smart generation of construction professionals. This may be due to the value of bringing dispersed and on-the-move team members more easily in step with those in the office.

Devices like the iPad have given contractors a true competitive edge with timely access to business-critical data and documents. By gaining decision-making power in real time, owners and project leaders stay informed and connected. This helps executives manage complex construction projects—driving down costs, increasing productivity and improving customer satisfaction. Plus, with better efficiency and accuracy, mobile technologies enable construction firms to more quickly realize revenue and increase profitability on every job.

Technology also has simplified document management. The most valuable construction software offers a comprehensive, easy-to-use solution to manage the creation, routing, revision, approval and centralized organization of electronic documents. Meaningful online “paper trails” automatically help minimize risk, give peace of mind, and simplify collaboration and accountability.

Many opportunities can stem from acquisition and consolidation for those open to change and innovation. By leveraging a true partnership, both technology vendors and clients can find success that will translate to moving the entire industry forward.

Online Learning
As a strategic partner of Associated Builders and Contractors, Viewpoint is hosting two webinars this summer as part of its “best practices” series.
June 18 - In the Zone: Drive Sales and Profit
Aug. 13 - To Live and Die by Change Order Management
Visit www.abc.org for more information.


Rob Humphreys is vice president of product management for Viewpoint Construction Software. For more information, visit www.viewpointcs.com.