Here are a few examples of how we delivered real-world efficiencies for our construction industry clients using Microsoft Power Automate.
If you have been following our posts, you will know that we are big fans of the Microsoft Power Platform and, in particular, Power Automate, Microsoft's modern take on workflows. Available in Microsoft 365 with E and M licenses or separately if you need to access premium connectors, Power Automate provides a quick way to take advantage of workflows to improve processes predictability and business efficiencies for your organization.
Construction Use Cases for Power Automate
Microsoft provides a gallery of Power Automate workflow templates, which can be used for simple business scenarios or as a starting point for more complex solutions. We have helped numerous construction industry clients achieve their goals by leveraging Power Automate. Below are a few use cases of Power Automate for construction.
There are several ways to create document approval workflows in Power Automate. For example, you could leverage the built-in approval actions to send approval requests via email or SMS to a mobile phone where the user clicks on a link to perform the approval.
One of our clients needed their sub-contractors to approve and respond to document changes without having access to the company's project management information system (PMIS). We leveraged Microsoft's Adaptive Cards technology to allow recipients to approve document modifications without leaving the email they received with the notification for action. Handling approvals entirely within emails was more convenient for the approver and helped improve engagement while increasing the turnaround time for feedback since users didn't have to learn a new system. A bonus was that the client didn't have to purchase additional licenses for their sub-contractors.
For another client, we used Power Automate to generate a daily digest of new and updated documents from each program's projects for PMs to review and provide feedback. This workflow also sent a weekly digest of projects that were closing out and attached a PDF document binder (also created by the workflow) of all the project documents as an attachment to the email. In each case, the body of the email contained project-specific information extracted from the project sites.
One of our clients needed to log when personnel entered and left construction sites to allow them to know who was on site quickly should there be an incident. To meet this requirement with Power Automate, our client's users registered their mobile phones with the new workflow we created. Then we leveraged Power Automate's geofencing features to trigger updates to a SharePoint list on the movement of personnel around construction sites.
For another client, we created a workflow to monitor data from weather stations located at the construction site. The workflow recorded the real-time weather at the site and sent alerts in the event of inclement conditions. Another workflow monitored data from a weather service and processed weather forecasts for construction sites to allow project planners to schedule or reschedule work based on forecast local conditions.
We built a workflow for a client to automate the request, approval, and provisioning of Microsoft Teams sites from a predefined set of templated sites. Users would complete a form to request a new team site, specifying the owner, users, the template to use for configuration, and if it needed to be private or public. The workflow would route a request to the project manager for approval. If approved, the team site would be provisioned and configured, and an email sent confirming its approval and creation to the requestor. If the project manager denied the request, the workflow sent a notification to the user with the reason.
For another client, we created a workflow to allow users to work cost reports and budgets in Excel without changing their processes rather than forcing them to log in to the PMIS to update project financial information. The workflow reads data from the Excel workbooks and sheets and updates the corresponding SharePoint lists in the PMIS. Additionally, if someone updates the values in the PMIS, they can optionally be written back to the master Excel file.
Take Advantage of Power Automate for Your Construction Projects
The above are just a few examples of how we have helped our clients use Microsoft's Power Automate to achieve efficiencies with repeatable processes that provide predictability and ensure accuracy. There are so many more. Make sure you explore what Power Automate can do for your construction projects.
And if you would like some help, we have several construction-oriented Power Automate flows and components to jump-start workflows for your projects. You can request a free one-hour consultation here.