The construction industry depends on people, processes, and technology, yet firms have been hesitant to adopt the latter. One reason for the seemingly slow adoption is that the tech world lagged in creating technology that specifically fit the industry. Additionally, some companies are not yet willing to fully embrace new digital tools and technology.
At a time when the industry is facing rising construction costs, a growing complexity to construction projects, and a shrinking workforce, the huge benefits technology can bring is not a nice-to-have but a must-have.
“I think it’s important for the construction industry to continue to adopt new technology because construction, like many industries today, is faced with a severe labor shortage,” said Rob Krueger, Vice President of Operations at Fessler & Bowman Krueger. “One of the things that technology is doing today is allowing us to fit more people into those professional roles who have less experience or a background in commercial construction.”
It’s hard to understate how technology is changing the construction industry. People and processes can stagnate without the proper technology. However, even when technology solutions are available, they aren’t always implemented fast enough.
Contractors who actively seek out new technology opportunities may still hesitate to implement new software due to costs, the project-based nature of the industry, difficult learning curves or lack of simple integrations. Many construction companies don’t have a dedicated IT department or person to help with the implementation of new technology. Organizations can also face difficulties with buy-in from executives and time-strapped field teams.
Effective People and Process Management
Managing people and processes in construction is challenging for a number of reasons: labor is a hard-to-manage asset, teams can often rely on time-consuming manual processes and organizations often lack visibility into financial health and budgets. These obstacles can lead to wasted time and money, making it difficult to remain efficient. However, there are some steps to effectively manage project costs, including:
1. Know that real-time financial insights are necessary for keeping costs in check and gaining a competitive edge. Clients increasingly demand real-time, actionable data, and construction owners must be able to provide it.
2. Practice real cost management by establishing the basis of an estimate and applying labor rates, materials, and performance factors, and transitioning from a reactive to a proactive cost management approach.
3. Set up the business for real-time insights by using a combination of people, processes and technology, keeping all information in one place and providing clear communication loops to internal and external teams.
4. Benchmark cost management basics to understand where the business currently stands. These numbers must be precise and accurate so owners and contractors have a realistic picture of what’s happening.
5. Create a team culture of accountability and provide construction teams with the right processes and tools to meet and exceed expectations.
Three Benefits of Cost-Effective Construction Techniques
The construction industry is constantly evolving, and one of the biggest drivers of change is technology. Technology has brought about many benefits to the industry, but it also has some drawbacks. The advantages and disadvantages of technology in construction must be considered before implementing it into business processes and getting people on board.
Some possible disadvantages of construction technology include cost, complexity and security. But it’s easy to address these potential obstacles with a construction platform like Procore that incorporates all necessary data for both home office and remote teams in one place. This saves money while adding a secure and simple interface to access data. Three other benefits of construction technology include:
1. Increased Efficiency
One major advantage of technology in construction is increased efficiency. Technology has revolutionized the way construction companies operate, with tools like project management software, drones, and Building Information Modeling (or BIM) helping to streamline workflows and automate tasks.
Using construction technology is the best option for contractors to handle more work efficiently. It enables teams to do as much of their best work as they can in the most efficient manner possible—without the need to hire more people and overload staff. When teams can achieve the same work in a shorter period of time and with better quality, the technology more than pays for itself.
2. Replace Manual Processes
It is important to streamline communication between the office and the field. Companies with poor communication make costly errors and miss out on important opportunities, and it’s more vital than ever to be on top of real-time conditions. This can be done through automation, such as auto-generated reports that provide only necessary information and prevent people’s inboxes from overflowing.
Technology has also brought about many advances in construction safety, with tools like wearables, exoskeletons and sensors helping to monitor workers’ health and safety in real time. It can even be easier to monitor construction sites remotely, reducing the need for workers to be physically present in potentially hazardous areas.
3. Gain Better Visibility
Solutions like Procore provide contractors with a single source of truth through which all information is channeled and accessible in real time to every project stakeholder. This removes the need for scattered and disparate handwritten notes, spreadsheets, forms, and documents. Instead, a contractor can trace an entire project’s workflow from end to end.
Ultimately, this enables better visibility and reduces inefficiencies in construction, as teams can analyze data much more easily.
It’s no secret that the construction industry has had a slower start when it comes to adopting new technology, but the right technology hasn’t always existed for construction. Technology is crucial for almost every aspect of work in construction, from collaboration and safety to process improvements and project visibility. With efficient and cost-effective tech and processes and the right people, construction companies can keep up with the pace of change.
Request a demo today to find out how Procore can help your construction business.
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