A new era in every industry is brought in by small changes at a very basic level to create a revolution.The construction industry is also awaiting to unravel a superior level that has not been experienced as of now. The question is, what is that next level? Why does it need to be unlocked? Is it so significant in nature that it will upgrade the industry and bring forth the change that was awaited until now?
Why the need for digital intervention?
The construction industry, which was plagued by manual mechanisms, outdated operationalities, and inconsistent communication, needed a catalyst to transfer it to the future and make it more consistent, convenient, and cohesive. This is where the construction industry’s need for divine intervention was felt and digitization came in as a blessing. Let’s do a meticulous autopsy of the sector to find out why there is a need for digital intervention?
You may have seen construction projects, historically, been surrounded by continual bottlenecks that made them less productive than other industries. According to a McKinsey analysis, when it came to defining the worldwide worker productivity rate, the construction industry lagged behind the others. As per the report, our industry has grown at a pace of roughly 1% per year over the past two decades, compared to the 2.8 percent for other industries. Underinvestment in software and technology innovation is one of the reasons related to the slow rise in productivity in this field. For project contractors and subcontractors, the lack of useful digital solutions or construction project management applications may lead to the usual confusion and inefficiencies.
Numerous factors often cause construction projects to be delayed of which problems with the supply chain, changes to the project’s scope, design flaws, communication issues, unanticipated hazards, and construction failures are only some of the hurdles confronted in projects. These issues are worsened by the industry’s continuous use of paper and other antiquated methods to handle design, operational processes, supply chains, communications, and deliverables.
The factors that can furnish the construction industry with a future look
Three can be the magic number. With three Ps in alignment, the construction industry can be freed of these inefficiencies. To improve the current aspects within the construction industry we need to evaluate what to prioritize, what could be its potential and is it really as proficient as it looks? The answer to all these questions hints towards digitization. Let us see how digital construction fits the exact dose of what the sector yearned for.
Why must digitization be prioritized? In the modern day construction sector, digitization is being welcomed by most construction companies, and it’s at the top of the pecking order in the priority lists. American multinational software corporation Autodesk’s survey revealed that 66% of construction firms in India see digital transformation as a top priority for driving much-required improvements in processes, business models, and ecosystems.
What is the potential of digitization? Digitization’s immense potential in the field of construction can be understood by the modern digital tools and their operational efficiencies that are creating a world of difference. Digital tools like Building Information Modeling (BIM), 3D printing, drones, and construction project management applications and a networked data environment allow both broad and comprehensive views of all stages of a project, assisting in mitigating or avoiding difficulties that might halt a project.
Is digitization proficient? Proficiency is often judged by adaptiveness and flexibility. The capacity of a fully digital building process to be both predictive and reactive is a significant benefit. These digital tools are appropriate for construction projects and their phased execution, but if we see from an overall perspective, construction is not just about delivering the project. The delivery depends on the management. Hence, construction project management is the bigger proposition that needs to be rejuvenated through digital direction.
Construction project management apps gives the industry a digital avatar
Imagine a corporate meeting room. The agenda of the meeting being the dip in performance, remote working issues, scattered workflow, and collaborative communication concerns. These problems can make or break any organization, right? Similarly, the issues of declining productivity, on-site visibility, workflow fragmentation, and other core communication problems were constant snags in the construction sector. Mckinsey’s report revealed that the construction industry was one of the least digitized sectors in the world according to the digitization index.
The 2020 CIO survey by KPMG has emphasized how digitization has provided a much needed impetus to pioneering companies who’ve embraced it over those who’ve lagged behind. Many industries have noticed a significant rise in operational efficiency (+12%); customer experience (+14%); customer trust (+12%); and employee experience (+11%) when a digital transfusion has taken place into the old veins of many manually-inclined sectors. Construction project management applications and software have hit the market and are purpose-built to pilot the construction sector onto its next level of operational efficiency.
Today, project owners, managers, and employees may use construction project management tools to take advantage of their innovative technology and resourceful interoperability. Due to the simplicity with which they may be incorporated into day-to-day operations on the job site, India’s construction project managers have grown to depend on some of the best construction management software available. Work-in-progress, material, and labor management, real-time information relay through dashboards, and remote on-site visibility for all app teams are a few of the apps’ creative features. Everything relevant to construction project management is available on a single platform; it is literally divine intervention for a sector notorious for delays in delivery and exorbitant project prices due to core collaboration and communication inefficiencies.
What is the use of a key if we do not use it to unlock the dormant potential of an industry? The construction industry is being injected slowly and gradually with a new lease of life from the continual incorporation of digitization. It truly holds the fundamental key to unlocking the sector towards the new era of operability. Some construction project management companies with an end-to-end SaaS software system now enable mobile-first solutions for site workers, managers, and owners. In 2021, for example, an Indian construction project management application was used to manage projects and activities worth 7000 Crs, the same as about 1% of India’s construction projects. This demonstrates the potential for coordination via the use of handy technologies that simplify communication and assist in popularizing the process as a whole.
(The author is Mr. Iesh Dixit, CEO and Co-Founder of Powerplay and the views expressed in this article are his own)