Construction in the Cloud
How Moving Online Has Moved MN Forward
It’s fair to say those of us who make a living with our hands are not always early adopters when it comes to technology. If something works, we stick with it, at least until you can provide us with a darn good reason to change.
2020 provided that reason in the form of a global pandemic. Seemingly overnight and out of pure necessity, MN Builders moved the majority of its daily operations online. Team and client meetings, most of our documentation, daily check-ins—it’s all happening virtually these days. And the truth is: After seeing the many ways it has positively impacted our lives, our projects, and our clients, our only regret is that we didn’t make this move sooner. Here’s why.
Everyone is now on the same page.
The key to a more efficient workflow is getting the right information to the people who need it, when they need it. That’s what pushing everything to the cloud has enabled at MN Builders. It not only saves thousands of dollars in printing costs (and several hundred trees in the process), it puts all the information about a specific job at every team member’s fingertips.
Of course, it’s not just access to information that’s key. Even more important is access to people. Want to know a secret? Before March 2020, we didn't do virtual meetings at MN Builders. Fourteen months
later, we can’t imagine life without them. Because now we can have people located in different parts of the world—from clients on vacation to lead carpenters on a job—all coming together online to discuss the same project at the same time.
Seemingly overnight and out of pure necessity, MN Builders moved the majority of its daily operations online.
Better workflow = better work.
A more efficient process is not just about getting quicker answers. It’s about getting better answers—and we’ve discovered that in addition to removing hassles and project delays, pushing our business online helps eliminate errors and costly miscommunication. And wherever mistakes are few and far between, the work is on budget and built to the most exacting specifications. Yes, moving to the cloud has made MN Builders more nimble and more responsive, but even more importantly, it has allowed us to raise our already high standard of excellence.
And because we now work the way our computer-savvy clients work, using the same familiar online templates and tools they use every day, the builder-client relationship is more collaborative, more transparent, and, ultimately, more satisfying for all parties involved.
A more efficient process is not just about getting quicker answers. It’s about getting better answers.
A model that aligns with our mission.
One more unexpected but hugely important benefit of our move to the cloud has been its alignment with our mission to provide our employees with careers instead of just jobs.
Construction is not for everyone. It’s a tough gig, both physically and mentally, and without the right organizational structure and opportunities for advancement in place, people can burn out and bodies can break down. At MN Builders, we are determined to provide our employees with career paths that allow them to thrive long after they step away from the hands-on, physically demanding jobs for which they were originally hired. Our cloud-based work model is helping us get there.
With so many of our crucial operations now online, our best, most experienced people can take on more supervisory roles in the company, applying their hard-earned, highly valuable skills to a broader range of projects—without having to run from one job site to the other. The result: more people and more projects reap the benefits of their expertise.
Our recipe for growth.
We understand the idea of working in the cloud is hardly a new concept for most people reading this post. But it is relatively new to MN Builders, and it has brought about a radical change to our business in a short time.
It’s important to note, however, that some things about MN Builders will NEVER change. We are a community of professionals with a passion for building beautiful things with our hands. Yes, we take pride in our ability to elegantly put together the many complex pieces of a construction project. But we take even more pride in building relationships with our employees, clients, and partners that are as carefully crafted and long-lasting as every project in our portfolio. Taking our business online has enhanced our ability to do both.