Contractors on a tablet

In today’s construction industry, contractors and firms are undertaking increasingly complex projects. With increasing costs of materials, profit margins are smaller than ever, and the margin for error is even smaller. As a result, project managers and engineers need more control over projects in ways that weren’t necessary before. Contractors are employing a higher level of granular control over their daily operations. They are doing so to ensure efficiency, accountability and — lastly — profits. This article discusses the importance of granular control at multiple levels. It will discuss the true meaning of granularity and its importance in construction today. We will also look at how firms can improve their project management practices to get the best results.

What Is Granularity?

The concept of granularity is actually a metaphor, drawn from one or more sources, depending on who you ask. The word “granular” actually means “consisting of fine or coarse particles.” The technology and construction industries have borrowed this term to create a metaphor where “more granular” means “containing finer details.” When we talk about granular control, we’re talking about a data-driven, detail-oriented approach. Granular control is a fine-grain approach to management and decision making. Granularity doesn’t mean specificity. Regardless of what level of control you have over a construction project, you’re still only in control of that project. Granularity refers to the level of detail you have access to when you need to analyze how the project is going and how to improve it.

Why Is Granular Control Important in Construction and Contracting?

In construction, a lack of granular control is like having a low-resolution picture of how your project is going. You’ll still be able to complete the project, but the lack of adequately detailed feedback means that you’ll lose opportunities to improve your methods, reduce cost or save time. Imagine you’re a construction manager and your job is to ensure that the project is completed on time and at the lowest possible cost. There are many moving parts to the project, and you receive a weekly report with some details of how it’s going. Which option best allows you to succeed in your role: Receiving a weekly report with 10 data points or receiving a weekly report with 100 data points? What if you had 500 data points to examine, correlate and analyze? It’s clear that the more information you have, the better you’ll be able to analyze what’s happening. And the better your analysis, the quicker you can find specific solutions.

Methods of Bolstering Granular Control

We’ve established that increased granularity means a detail-oriented approach. This means giving general contractors direct control of many factors in the construction process. But how can we facilitate that? The first way is through data collection. The technology industry supports the construction industry by creating data collection tools with unprecedented levels of detail. As a result of having more information, managers can problem-solve and find efficiencies at a higher level.

The second method is through increasing levels of automation. In order for managers to get detailed reports that are both useful and timely, automation is key. Live data is the strongest data. Because of this, automation softwares that use real-time data are highly effective. In the past, the ability to efficiently collate and aggregate information in a useful and timely way was an obstacle. Nowadays, industry innovators are hurdling these obstacles. Technological leaders are focused on business process improvement for general and subcontractors.


Granular control has been difficult for firms to achieve in the past. They struggle because of logistic complications associated with collecting all the necessary data. Not only that, getting it in front of the right people in a timely fashion isn’t easy either. Now, the construction industry can take advantage of current technologies to generate the granular reports they need. Contractors can readily identify inefficiencies in their projects. They can cut costs, save time and improve the processes — all in real time.

Tyler Riddell is the director of marketing for eSub Construction Software.

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Volvo Embracing Impressive 24-Hour Parts Guarantee

Volvo had a lot to discuss at CONEXPO-CON/AGG in Las Vegas in March, but what stood out most were its service-oriented upgrades. The Volvo 24-Hour Parts Guarantee in particular is a new program to help ensure customers get parts. If a machine should go down, Volvo guarantees delivery of parts within 24 hours of order placement in the United States, including Alaska, and 48 hours in Canada and Hawaii for all Class 1 parts orders. The Parts Guarantee follows the opening of a third U.S. distribution facility — a $70 million Central Parts Distribution Center near Memphis, Tenn. With additional investments in systems, inventory and people, Volvo is continuing its commitment to customer support and expansion in North America. For more info, visit



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