Finding the Right Implementation Partner for Your Surveying Technology Upgrade
We live in a digital world, yet we still see a number of surveying firms rely on data collected by pen and paper. This “traditional” way of collecting data inevitably leads us to question the reliability and quality of the data captured, due simply to the increased opportunity for human error. Without being able to trust the data collection process, how can clients trust the data and the conclusions that come from it?
As more firms continue to upgrade to digital surveying solutions, they must ensure a smooth and seamless adoption for surveyors. It is about more than just learning how to use the features of the software. Transitioning to a new, modern way of collecting data can be challenging, and having experienced implementation consultants guide firms through the implementation process makes all the difference.
By working with someone who is a seasoned consultant and can speak the surveying language, firms can not only speed up the implementation process and make a faster, smoother transition to a standardised solution, but also have a surveying methodology that is in line with the customer’s expectations.
The Importance of an Experienced Implementation Consultant
Before implementing a new solution, it is essential for the implementation consultant to understand the ways that surveyors perform surveys without the use of technology so that the consultant can deploy the technology in a way that makes sense and adds direct value. By having a broader understanding of the surveying process, the implementation consultant can better suggest ways that the technology can assist in that process.
Additionally, experienced consultants will understand why current methods are used along with the common pain points that are associated with them. For example, understanding which processes take the most time can help an implementation consultant know where to look for time gains. Many surveying tools, such as Accruent’s Kykloud, can be configured to help surveyors move through these processes more quickly and do their jobs more effectively, ensuring accurate and reliable data reported to clients.
Designing a Survey to Match a Surveyor's Needs
When designing a survey, it is critical that it matches a surveyor's or firm’s needs. Asking the right questions, such as the ones below, can help ensure this alignment and enhance the value that the surveying technology delivers.
- What to look for when entering a building?
- How to record required information?
- How do we ensure critical information is not missed?
- What validation requirements do we need in place?
What the surveyor needs should be right in front of them in the correct order when they open the application, so they do not have to jump around different places in the technology to capture data. Critical pieces of information should have clear and specific ways to be captured. For example, having validation rules in place to ensure surveyors cannot miss it.
Experienced consultants understand what works about the current processes and any pain points that exist and can help firms design surveys in the new technology that not only meets those needs, but also addresses the paint points.
Transitioning to a Software Solution
Transitioning to a software solution is an excellent way to increase efficiency and reduce errors. The process of implementing a new solution is also a unique opportunity for surveyors to revisit and improve their current processes.
Often, surveying firms will provide their data and implementation requirements on either paper, a spreadsheet or a PDF. Rather than take these system requirements at face value, a knowledgeable implementation consultant will review these alongside the established processes and highlight improvements that can be made. And because these consultants have performed many of these implementations, they speak the surveying language and can easily translate the needs of surveyors into more effective solutions and processes, and offer suggestions for industry best practices that have been successful in other firms. Consultants can also point out areas where improvements can make adoption of the new technology less painful for teams.
The most painful aspects of software implementations — from the piloting of projects to the final QA testing of the solution — can be addressed and the solution brought to value more quickly with the assistance of a diligent consultant. This not only allows surveyors to see the benefits of the solution faster but allows organizations to avoid multiple iterations to get to a proven solution that works with their current processes. Industry experience is paramount in any situation, and with implementations this is even more apparent.
Taking Advantage of the Right Surveying Software Data Validation Features
Most surveying solutions will have additional features designed to enhance current processes to add extra value. When an organisation is new to a solution or adopting new software for the first time, it is tempting to explore all potential features. After all, you do not want to miss out on anything that could be transformative for your business.
However, the sheer number of features and options within a new surveying program can be overwhelming, and not every feature may be useful for each project.
For example, tools that have functions such as survey tracking or data quality that have rules that do not allow surveyors to leave sites until they have captured all the critical pieces of information needed. There is nothing worse than getting back to the office and realizing that something is missing and turning this feature on will help prevent instances where that happens. However, this may not be necessary or useful for all projects.
Rather than turn everything on for all of your surveying projects, you want your vendor to advise you on the best features that will add value and make sense for different types of projects. Having a knowledgeable consultant advise you on what will make the most sense for how you work will ensure complete user adoption across your surveying firm.
Avoiding Implementation Obstacles
The obstacles that can arise during implementation involve more than just getting the right configuration. Several different bumps can occur when adopting technology for the first time. The initial challenge is understanding and deciding on what software to purchase since selecting a software system that best fits your organization can be a challenging prospect. The issues that arise are typically two-fold.
First, there needs to be a unified goal for the use of the software. Where is it meant to go? What is it intended to work with? Too often, solutions get pulled in many different directions by different departments. By establishing agreed success criteria, you can gain the highest return on your investment.
Secondly, teams need to build out a path to allow its users to get used to using new technology. Many surveying firms encounter involves individuals who are not confident in learning new software. Many individuals — particularly in older industries — have never used software for surveying tasks in the past and may be wary of switching to an entirely new solution.
When it comes to developing comfort when learning new technology, working with an implementation consultant who is not knowledgeable about the solution or is actively learning at the same time will not be as productive as working with an expert. Anyone — regardless of age, comfort or experience — will appreciate the support from consultants who have been there before, who are experienced with the solution and can speak credibly on it. This is a critical piece to getting users to commit to using a new solution and for an organisation to achieve a return on investment with the new technology.
In our experience, it is rarely a compatibility issue between users and consultants, but rather than a knowledge one. A knowledgeable, experienced consultant can help even the most reluctant user learn new software.
Need a surveying tool you can trust? Contact us today to learn more about Accruent’s surveying solution Kykloud and how our implementation consultants can set you up for success.