In the wake of the Great Recession of the late 2000s, some industries have been able to find their way back to a period of growth. Engineering and construction firms, in particular, have seen steady business growth with signs that the boom will continue.

Yet, in spite of this incredible turnaround, productivity remains a significant challenge for many in these industries. And what we know to be true is that productivity has a strong correlation to profit. A recent study by McKinsey showed that the difference between construction productivity and that of the U.S. economy has never been greater. And in an industry where projects are getting more complex in scale and scope — maintaining a high level of productivity is critical for success.

So, what causes low productivity?

According to McKinsey, almost one-third of the productivity gap can be attributed to a lack of digitization, which McKinsey defines as where and how companies build digital assets, expand digital usage, and create a more digital workforce. This so happens to be an area where engineering and construction companies lag significantly compared to other industries. Another survey by Roland Berger found that sales, marketing, and post-sales teams within engineering and construction companies had the most to gain — in terms of productivity — from the digitization of data, and an increased access to data, automation, and connectivity.

For some, implementing a full-scale digital transformation may seem too complicated. Many construction companies still largely rely on spreadsheets, point solutions, and old-school “sticky notes” to keep track of important customer data and interactions. All too often, information gets lost or is too hard to find, and smart employees end up wasting time re-doing work. Plus, without a centralized productivity system in place, there's no efficient way to track progress, predict results, or uncover opportunities.

If any of those pain points sound familiar to you, you're likely ready to give your business's productivity a boost by implementing a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system that can digitize your business. The best ones can effectively manage critical customer information all in one place to help teams build and foster a more profitable business and stronger customer relationships.

Salesforce has helped many companies in the engineering and construction fields digitize their businesses with our #1 CRM. To understand how we do it, here are four ways that implementing a CRM can transform how you do business:

  • Centralize Your Data
    Get access to one centralized place for managing all relationship data, including current and past projects, bids, clients, suppliers, subcontractors, and partners.
  • Accelerate Productivity from Initial Bid to Project Completion
    Manage and track all active and past projects efficiently by keeping information out of email silos, reducing paperwork, and optimizing project schedules and budgets.
  • Improve Visibility and Insights
    Generate real-time project reports, create forecasts, and assess profitability (and more!) all from the same platform.
  • Scale With Ease
    Easily configure Salesforce to meet the specific needs of your business as it continues to evolve and grow, including key integrations that work seamlessly with other systems you may already have in place.

With an effective CRM in place, engineering and construction firms can unlock the benefits ofdigital collaboration. They can enable on-site execution and integrate back-office data with an effective system for customer engagement.

Want to learn more about how you can build breakthrough relationships with a cutting-edge business development platform? Download the complete Skeptic's Guide to CRM: