The Philippine construction industry is expected to grow rapidly over the next decade based on analyst expectations of robust economic expansion. In early 2023, the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) approved 194 infrastructure flagship projects (IFPs) worth around P9 trillion, with 71 ongoing and 123 in the pipeline. This is great news for owners of construction businesses who are recovering from the slump brought by the COVID pandemic. However, the overall inflation in the country is projected by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to be around 5.3% to 6.1% in September 2023, up from 5.3% in August. Supply chain issues brought by global events such as in the Ukraine and China have also led to the volatility in material costs.
With growth prospects and fluctuation in prices of materials, construction business owners face a tough challenge: as they add more projects, how can they manage their resources effectively and keep a tight grip on costs?
“Construction companies with up to 5 small projects running simultaneously can get by with digital tools to manage everything – usually a combination of email, chat, and shared online files. However, when you have a growing business, doing site visits or attending progress meetings will start to take their toll and most entrepreneurs like me will feel that they are not in control of everything,” shares Nicole Eusebio, Director at Big Ben Construction.
A new app called Steer seeks to solve this problem plaguing business leaders. “Steer is a construction management software that bridges the information gap between construction sites and the head office, giving valuable insight into project progress and resource utilization,” shares Arup Maity, founder and CEO of Steer.
Arup, a civil engineer, founded one of the leading software engineering companies in the Philippines. His background gives him first-hand experience into the challenges construction companies face, particularly when it comes to controlling costs. “Studies show that almost every construction project (98% according to research firm McKinsey) is over budget or delayed. We want to help Filipino construction companies beat this seemingly unavoidable fate through our app, Steer” shares Arup.
Steer helps construction companies gain better visibility and control over construction activities and resources, to manage costs more effectively and protect profits. It has over 30 modules covering various areas of construction. Material cost is one of the top concerns of executives because it directly affects profitability.
“On the average, materials make up about 70% of the total cost of many construction projects. Rework and materials misuse, if not managed properly, translates to a lot of money down the drain, but it can be saved if you have Steer’s materials tracking & collaboration solutions in place,” shares Ram Macasaet, Steer’s Digital Success Consultant.
Steer has worked with fast-growing builders like CDCC-PHINMA, Big Ben Construction, NationStar Development and Mindanao Global (as well as construction managers like Colliers Philippines) to reach their business goals. “Three things we like about Steer: it’s flexible, it’s easy to setup, and it’s user-friendly. Steer has all the features that we are looking for, for our needs,” shares Roberto Nuez, President of Community Developers & Construction Corporation (A PHINMA Company).
“With Steer’s resource management modules, we help construction companies go paperless, keep everyone in the project in sync, and even lower material costs by up to 9%. Using our materials management solution alone, companies can enjoy a staggering 345% ROI, meaning the benefits of using it will pay for itself multiple times over,” shares Richard Launio, Steer’s Head of Customer Success.
A proudly Philippine-built software, Steer has its eyes set to grow globally. It has a local sales and customer support team as well as a growing number of strategic partners in the United States, UAE, Singapore, and Australia. Steer CEO Arup Maity shares: “While the construction industry is one of the least digitized in the world, we are invested towards realizing business success of construction companies in the Philippines and beyond through software.”
To know more about Steer, visit their website www.steerplatform.com and find them on LinkedIn and Facebook.