When managing construction, it is no surprise that countless problems, obstacles, delays, or potential roadblocks can hinder your way to a successful project outcome. Suppose you have been in the construction industry for a while now. In that case, you may be familiar with the current issues we face today – from a skilled labor shortage, miscommunication, inadequate cashflows, poor planning to equipment breakdowns, flawed document management, and inventory mismanagement. With the rise of construction technology and digital advancements, many project managers and construction companies are expected to adopt modern solutions and cutting-edge technologies to battle these trying times.
Throughout the years, construction businesses have been eyeing technologies to streamline, innovate, and optimize their processes. Luckily, there are a lot of software and systems that deliver real-time visibility, valuable data, efficient construction crew management in just a few simple clicks. It offers an innovative solution to simplify all the laborious, tedious, and repetitive tasks while reducing paperwork, saving time and increasing profitability.
Embracing technology is something every business needs to face. Some firms still stubbornly stick to the old, outdated, traditional ways, but modern, tech-savvy construction company allows you to have a significant edge against your peers. With the support of these digital innovations, it is now easier to gain valuable insights and a clear view of your processes, which was hard to obtain in the past.
This article lists down seven strategies on how you can adopt technology and create a modern, tech-savvy approach to your construction processes. But first, let us define what construction technology is and why you should consider implementing them in your day-to-day operations.
What is Digital Technology and Why is it Important in Construction?
Electronic tools, systems, devices, and resources that generate, store, or process data are referred to as digital technologies. These can range from social media, online games, multimedia, and mobile phones to cloud-based systems and construction scheduling software.
However, just because you are using digital technologies in your construction operations does not mean that you are automatically a tech-savvy contractor or project manager. It all comes down to being practical and strategic in using these systems to make your operations streamlined and optimized. Are you using the tool just to fit in with the bandwagon, or does it add value to your projects while ensuring successful outcomes?
Today, most companies have accepted that some level of tech knowledge is required for survival. Most likely, you already have digital tools – some new, some ancient – at your disposal. Before we get into how to make these technologies work for you, let’s look at four advantages of using them.
1. Added Security and Protection
With technological improvements come new and heightened security dangers. Rather than maintaining all of your papers and documentation on paper, which is vulnerable to mismanagement and loss, you can send critical project information, drawings, and data to your project teams via email, file-sharing platforms, or cloud-based services—no more sifting through stacks of paper in search of a single document. Keeping your information in the cloud not only protects them from destruction, but most software also provides increased protection for all computing devices and networks across the country.
2. Accurate Real-Time Information and Updates
One of the best benefits of construction technology is delivering accurate data and real-time updates to understand how your project progresses. This allows you to make better-informed decisions in real-time if there is an emergency or problems that need immediate attention. Autonomous rovers can traverse the job site and provide real-time production information in as little as 24 hours. There are now IoT (internet of things) devices that can monitor concrete pours or provide reports on current site conditions, giving you fast information without having to wait for someone to come out and do a survey. Web-based inventory software can give you an overview of the resources you have on hand, their status, levels, and whether or not you need to reorder to avoid material shortages.
3. Bigger Cost Savings
Project change orders, incorrect plans, and inaccurate bills of materials are the bigger drivers of unforeseen delays and additional costs. Construction technologies like Virtual Design Construction (VDC) and Building Information Modeling (BIM) are getting better and smarter every year. Using these systems can make everything more efficient – from coordinating with project teams, identifying potential clashes, and mitigating risk before signing any contract documents and starting the construction.
4. Improved Quality
With all of the breakthroughs in artificial intelligence, robots, intelligent analytics, mixed reality, and other fields, there are many potential tools you may deploy on your job sites or for your project teams. Using these technologies can make your project management for construction as smooth and seamless as possible. You can focus on offering higher quality and workmanship to every project with less need to micromanage the laborious, repetitive portions of construction.
How To Create a Modern, Tech-Savvy Approach in Construction?
There is a lot to consider when choosing the right construction technology for you and your company. Yes, it might seem overwhelming, but it starts with a vision for continuous development and improvement to slowly streamline and perfect your processes.
You can quickly modernize and advance your business by utilizing the power of digital technology and innovation. The outcome will be a more stable and efficient construction enterprise. Here are seven strategies for putting these technologies to work for you.
1. Prepare for Major Changes
Introducing new technologies can result in significant organizational changes. It would be best if you also verified that your firm is financially prepared to undertake changes in addition to managing resistance. One of the essential considerations for successfully incorporating technology and innovation in construction is determining your organization’s preparedness for change. Listed below are the things you should consider when making a big change in the processes and system:
- Your Company’s Portfolio
- Organizational Goals
- Budget and Financial Status
- Current Processes and Operations
- Client Needs and Expectations
2. Devise a Digital Strategy
Establishing a performance baseline benchmarking yourself against companies in relevant industries, segments, or projects to identify the most critical areas for improvement is the first step to devising a strategy in using construction technology. Take an in-depth review of how your processes in going and look for areas where you want to improve. It can be for engineering activities, construction productivity, or indirect costs. Once you have a clear view of what you want to achieve, assess your present systems, evaluate whether new technologies can be seamlessly integrated, and make necessary improvements.
3. Take Advantage of Free Trials
You will never really know if a specific construction technology is right for your business if you have not used it. In this case, try to take advantage of free trials to understand how the software works and how you can use these systems to your advantage. This is an excellent opportunity to try out and improve innovative digital solutions. These efforts can also assist close communication gaps within the organization and inspire enthusiasm among other employees who will use the technology.
4. Boost Investment in Construction Technology
Construction technology is advancing rapidly. There is a drive to develop new tools to constantly make everything seamless and streamlined. As stated earlier, investing in these technologies entail additional costs and financial risks. Since every digital initiative carries some financial trouble, you can approach owners, developers, subcontractors, and technology providers for possible partnerships or co-investment opportunities to bring digital skills in-house.
5. Reduce Possible Risks
Since the beginning, businesses have been looking for the best techniques to guard against loss. Construction inventory software, for example, may provide you with verifiable information regarding the current site status in real-time. Assets are safeguarded with proper documentation, regardless of any delays or damages that may occur. Most software can adapt, deploy, and innovate new practices or procedures quickly in the field. Industry standards are continuously evolving, and by recording and analyzing data, you can discover the possible risks and solutions on how to prevent them.
6. Accomplish On-Site Inspections
Teams cannot move forward on a project without passing a slew of inspections along the way and doing in-person assessments may be difficult to schedule. With technology, gone are the days when you had to inspect building progress in person. You may now utilize digital solutions to offer inspectors precise, relevant documentation, reducing the number of workers physically present on a job site and allowing inspectors to analyze the photographs on their own time. Inspectors can work with far better assets and access much more information than they do with video conferencing.
7. Prioritize Your Customer’s Needs
Although various reasons may influence the decision to update and streamline your construction processes, one overarching goal must be met: to deliver superior value in every project. Every investment in technology should increase the advantages to end customers, whether through improved experiences, higher product quality, or cost-cutting and value-adding operational efficiencies. You can put together a strong business case on why you should modernize your approach to your management – demonstrate your expected value and innovation. Include the essential customer outcomes explicitly and highlight measurable gains in critical metrics, including customer retention, user experience, sales, productivity, and recruitment.