Construction professionals talk about how to scale up building project on site

The Secret Weapon for Scaling Your Construction Business


Don’t Just Build More, Build Smarter. Scaling a construction business demands strategy, not just hustle. By taking a thoughtful approach to scaling, you can not only increase profits and strengthen your workforce, but also position your construction company for long-term success in a competitive industry.

What is the role of scaling in the construction industry?

Meaning of Construction Scaling

Construction scaling means strategically expanding a construction company’s capabilities to handle larger projects and achieve greater output. It’s not just about taking on more work, but about building a strong and solid foundation:

  • Systems and processes: Implementing efficient workflows, project management tools, and standardized procedures ensures projects run smoothly and profitably even as the company grows.
  • Workforce: Attracting and retaining skilled workers allows the company to take on more complex projects while maintaining quality.
  • Market reach: Exploring new markets or project types helps diversify income and mitigate risk.

Why is scaling important for construction companies?

Scaling in the construction sector is crucial for several reasons.

First, it enables companies to tackle larger, more complex projects. This expansion not only promotes company growth, but also increases market share.

Second, scaling enhances operational efficiency. By refining processes and optimizing workflows, construction companies can deliver projects more quickly and at a lower cost. This efficiency translates into better profit margins and increased competitiveness.

Lastly, scaling fosters resilience. A well-scaled construction business is better equipped to weather economic downturns and industry shifts, ensuring long-term viability.

What challenges do construction businesses face when attempting to scale up?

Scaling up a construction business comes with its own set of challenges.

Labor Shortage: The construction industry faces a persistent skilled labor shortage. It’s difficult to expand operations when you lack the manpower and right people to handle additional tasks. This issue is particularly pronounced with specialty contractors who have a unique set of skills that can’t be easily replaced.

Communication Breakdown: Effective communication is crucial for managing the complexities of scaling in construction business. Coordinating and collaborating with numerous suppliers, subcontractors, and internal teams becomes increasingly challenging as projects multiply.

Quality Control & Resource Allocation: Maintaining strict quality control while effectively allocating resources requires precise planning and clear communication throughout the team. This can be particularly difficult during periods of rapid growth.

Technology Integration: While technology offers great potential for streamlining processes and communication, construction companies often struggle to find the right tools that seamlessly integrate with their existing systems. Data silos created by incompatible software can hinder information flow and lead to inefficiencies. 

Technology capital expenses: Historically, companies in the construction industry have shouldered substantial upfront costs when acquiring software licenses and setting up on-premises servers, plus the men/hour intensive setups. This capital-intensive approach, while providing ownership and control over the software and infrastructure, comes with inherent challenges. Furthermore, these capital expenses don’t end with the initial purchase; ongoing maintenance, updates, and upgrades add to the long-term financial burden, especially when the construction business is scaled up. This approach locks up capital that could otherwise be invested elsewhere in the company.

How can a company grow and scale a construction business?

Building a strong and sustainable construction business requires overcoming all the challenges mentioned earlier. Yet, one crucial element is often neglected in long-term development plans: strategic technology investment.

Many companies do utilize technology, but their approach is short-sighted. They view it as a temporary fix, implementing systems for immediate needs without considering its transformative potential for long-term growth.

Choosing and implementing the right technology with a future vision helps construction businesses start a growth journey with confidence and gain various benefits in the long run.

The CapEx vs OpEx Dilemma: SaaS vs. Traditional Software

In the construction business, where margins are tight and efficiency is paramount, the decision of strategy between adopting a Software as a Service (SaaS) project platform or investing in traditional software with on-premises servers boils down to a fundamental financial consideration: capital expenditure (CapEx) versus operational expenditure (OpEx).

Capital Expenditure (CapEx): This refers to upfront costs – the initial investment a company makes in something like buying software licenses and setting up servers. Traditional on-premises software is a classic example of CapEx. Construction companies would need to pay a hefty sum for the software itself, server hardware, and potentially additional licensing fees for multiple users. While you “own” the software in this model, the upfront cost can be a significant barrier, especially for smaller companies.

Operational Expenditure (OpEx): This refers to the ongoing costs associated with running something. SaaS project platforms fall under OpEx. Instead of a large upfront payment, companies pay a subscription fee to access the software. This typically includes maintenance, updates, and even technical support. While you don’t own the software in this model, the predictable, ongoing cost can be easier to manage, even during the scaling up phase of the construction business.

The relevant question here is: To achieve the goals of growth and scaling for the construction business, which approach should be taken?

And the answer to this question lies in SaaS, which unlocks the power of the OpEx model to fuel significant and sustainable growth.

The SaaS Revolution: Shifting to Predictable Operational Expenditure

The emergence of SaaS project platforms has revolutionized the financial landscape in the construction industry for all participants in construction projects. SaaS operates on a subscription-based model, transforming the heavy upfront capital investment into a more predictable and manageable operational expenditure (OpEx). With SaaS, companies pay for the software services they consume on a subscription basis. This shift to OpEx brings financial advantages, as it eliminates the need for large upfront investments and spreads the cost over time. The pay-as-you-go model ensures that companies only pay for the features and capacity they need, promoting financial flexibility in construction business.

The transition from CapEx to OpEx is a key advantage offered by SaaS. This financial flexibility is particularly beneficial for smaller and mid-sized companies with limited budgets. It allows them to access state-of-the-art project management tools without being burdened by the heavy upfront costs associated with various questions regarding traditional software installations.

Predictable Costs and Scalability: SaaS in Action

SaaS project platforms provide not only financial flexibility but also predictability in costs. Companies can accurately forecast their software expenses, enabling better budgetary control. Moreover, scalability becomes seamless with SaaS. As project sizes and teams fluctuate, companies can adjust their subscription plans, adding or removing users, and adapting storage capacity based on current project requirements. In some cases, like with CATENDA, there will simply be no cost increase, as the price is fixed. This agility contrasts sharply with the rigid nature of traditional setups, where scaling often involves significant additional capital investments.

Conclusion: SaaS is almost natural in our industry to grow with a concrete foundation

In the perpetual quest for efficiency and cost-effectiveness per project, the players in the construction industry have always tried to find ways to funnel specific costs towards specific projects. The SaaS model’s emphasis on operational expenditure and financial flexibility is the perfect environment to work inside this logic.

Catenda Ecosystem: Unleash the Power to Scale in Construction

Catenda offers cloud-based Building Information Modeling (BIM) solutions to streamline collaboration from design to operations management. Our core offerings include Catenda Hub, Catenda Site, Catenda Boost, and Catenda Duo, which grant you the power of cutting-edge technology to unlock greater scalability.

Scale Up with Confidence: Unlimited Users and Unmatched Flexibility

Unlike traditional BIM solutions that often restrict the number of users per project, Catenda Hub offers a significant advantage: unlimited user access. This eliminates concerns about hidden costs associated with additional licenses and allows construction companies to scale their teams effortlessly as project requirements evolve.

Focus on What Matters Most: Delivering High-Quality Projects

By streamlining collaboration, removing user limitations, and promoting software integration through open standards, Catenda empowers construction teams to concentrate on what truly matters – delivering exceptional projects on time and within budget. This directly translates to achieving growth objectives and solidifying a competitive edge in the construction industry.