Engineering firms may be outfitted with some of the smartest minds in the world, but that doesn’t render them immune to the same IT headaches faced by every business. Don’t worry, this is an opportunity in disguise. By addressing each of these points, you’ll find your team can suddenly achieve far more with far less.
Modern engineering depends on having the right tools in place, yet many firms lack ideal solutions for efficient engineering.
1) Weak front ends. Your teams shouldn’t have to rebuild the wheel on a regular basis. Your IT solutions should make it easy to pull general data into projects and share it across your network.
2) Integration of systems. Similarly, you shouldn’t need to fight your own network to import and export data; your systems should work together seamlessly across your network.
3) Lack of analytical tools. Modern businesses, including engineering firms, can benefit immensely by focusing inward and crunching the numbers on how work is performed. Make sure you have the solutions in place to collect, organize, and utilize this sort of data.
4) Solutions for the wrong problems. It’s important that you resolve the issues your team faces with technology. Instead of using off-the-shelf solutions, firms should instead work with an IT partner to customize solutions appropriate to their unique needs.
Communication is an issue for any organization—engineering firms aren’t immune to these problems, and in many ways have bigger challenges to face.
5) Collaborative difficulties. Collaborative technologies have come a long way, but engineering firms require far more precision than other businesses. This means the standards for collaborative solutions are much higher—a network outage can’t be allowed to produce flaws that make their way into major projects. Modern solutions can eliminate many of these issues, but they must be configured appropriately.
6) Vertical communication. If the people at the top aren’t working towards the same goals as the people at the bottom, there’s going to be a major loss of efficiency. This is true from an administration/engineer viewpoint and from a project management viewpoint. The right IT tools make it easy for everyone to stay focused on the same goals.
7) Horizontal communication. Relating back to our issues with weak front ends, a lack of collaboration across different projects or departments within your engineering firm can introduce unnecessary losses of efficiency. Make sure your IT solutions allow for easy collaboration across different parallel groups.
Adoption of new IT solutions
Engineers can be quicker than many to embrace new tools, but that doesn’t mean the adoption of new technology solutions is painless.
8) Weak IT support. You’ll struggle with new tech if you don’t have the support infrastructure in place to help people resolve problems promptly. Make sure new tech is a boon, not a headache.
9) Unclear benefits. You need to be able to communicate to your firm any problems that may arise. The more personal the issue you can point to is, the faster people will get on board.
10) Top to bottom buy-in. Everyone involved with the new technology needs to be on board, not just those with the most hands-on relationship—any weak link in modern collaborative technologies weakens the entire system.
It may be a bit overwhelming to see these issues and recognize them from your own firm, but don’t despair. In identifying these problems, you’re well on your way to resolving them. It isn’t too difficult to modernize your network, your software solutions, and your approach to utilizing both. You just need the right help and the right mindset.