A good technology partner can help your capital-project management needs well after the facility has been constructed. Large corporate owners across the country are looking at new ways in which to leverage the technology investment for the long term.

For example, The Home Depot, www.homedepot.com, Atlanta, Ga., which operates more than 2,200 retail stores in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and China, and conducted more than 6,500 capital-improvement projects in 2011, relies on the use of Web-based project management and collaboration technology. This is certainly nothing new for the national retailer, as it has been using the technology from Systemates Inc., www.projectmates.com, Dallas, Texas, since 2004.

The company considers Systemates to be a key partner in its capital projects team, helping facilitate executive reporting, store surveys, project rollouts, document distribution, part ordering, and a number of tools for tracking project progress, including schedules, punch lists, issue tracker/RFI, photo albums, and field reports. The company believes this technology has given the team a high level of visibility at the program level as to where they stand with projects at any given time. This is due to the many different reports that are offered right out of the box, as well as the custom designed store surveys and executive reports it gets from Systemates.

For example, the company was looking for a way to identify bays/shelves in more than 2,000 stores that were not being used most effectively. Consulting with Systemates, the company came up with a cost-effective solution that was implemented within less than a week. The solution was an online survey that the regional merchandising managers from each region filled out after surveying each store and identifying under used bays. The regional merchandising managers then assigned each bay with a product and designated a team to stock the bay. From there, Systemates developed a customized daily report that helped The Home Depot track the progress of the project.

Within the first month of implementing this initiative, The Home Depot says it was able to identify 3,000 of these bays, and correct the matter, which in turn helped to increase productivity and sales. This is an example of the company using the technology more for simply just building and construction, but rather extending the value to the overall operations of a store.

For these efforts and more, The Home Depot recently took home a Constructech Vision Award. It goes to show that good technology can certainly go a long way in the construction industry.