The construction industry is tormented by severe productivity and efficiency problems at the moment. One of the most significant reasons behind this problematic reality has to do with the ineffective collaboration between the office and the site. Construction projects are becoming more and more complex and as a result, the communication between the various agents becomes more time and budget consuming.
Nevertheless, the advent of digital technologies has made things look a bit more promising for the future of the industry. If used correctly, digital tools can significantly optimize the construction project management process. For that reason, there has been lately a big discussion on the issue of digitization within the construction industry. A few months ago, Mark Farmer, the great British construction consultant, published a detailed report named ‘Modernise or Die’ where he mentions the imminent need for construction to adopt a more digitized approach.
The benefits of digital tools for construction
Communication in the building industry has to become more direct and digital tools have a lot to offer toward that direction. Unhindered information flow, increased accountability and a smarter control over the projects are only a few of the ways in which new technologies can help construction regain its momentum and fight against the numerous hiccups that normally pop up.
In a nutshell, here are the ways in which digital tools can enable communication between the construction site and the office:
First and foremost, real-time updates are undoubtedly an incredible gift for anyone involved with a construction project. In that way, you can boost the efficiency of the project and facilitate its development. More specifically, the ability to connect with the other members of your team in real-time signifies that you can prevent crucial mistakes and find answers to your problems as soon as possible. Thanks to this, you can avoid costly delays both in terms of time and financial resources. What is more, last minute changes on the project can easier be addressed if all the different parties relied on digital tools for their collaboration. That’s why the implementation of a trustworthy, real-time project management software is always a great idea for your construction project.
Astute data management
It’s no exaggeration to claim that ‘data is the new beacon’ for every type of industry. Digital tools can help construction both with collecting vast amounts of data but most importantly with monitoring and managing it right. That is tremendously important for construction, as it provides a complete and well elaborated overview of the whole project. On top of that, solid data management will eventually increase transparency and minimize the risk that every construction project entails. This smarter management of the information flow will enhance data driven decision-making and will prove to be remarkably beneficial for the way construction projects are built and executed.
The higher transparency in your construction project the more increased its accountability. It goes without saying that this is one of the greatest gifts that you can give to your project (team?). By having a straightforward image of who is responsible for which task, you can be confident that everyone is doing his or her best and that the project is progressing as it is supposed to. Furthermore, this level of accountability can motivate the various members of your team in a remarkably efficient manner. For instance, you can establish some types of reward for those who complete their tasks on time. In the same sense, you can easily detect and eventually help or remove those who are holding back your effort.
A few sentences above we referred to the importance of digital tools in your effort to empower your decision-making process. Now, we will explain why it is like that. Simply put, data is a powerful window to every industry’s future if used smartly. Thanks to it, you can predict emerging trends and adjust your long and short-term business strategy accordingly. Moreover, a full overview of the project-related data can help you to foresee some of the potential risks for your plan and find the right solutions before it’s too late. Thanks to this, you can be sure that you made the best possible decision without having to spend a great deal of time talking with numerous agents who in many cases may have different views on the topic.
Digital is synonymous to efficiency. In that aspect, digital tools can help you enable the automation of the construction process and by extension critical cost and time savings. In a sentence, more humanless processes will lead to less mistakes and more profits. Additionally, digitized procedures will allow for more measurable and accurate information. You can be fully aware of the potential problems and you can establish more stable collaboration channels with the various project agents. Lastly, humanless processes will eventually boost your knowledge around construction and enhance your endeavor to build a more effective future for the construction industry.
All in all, the construction industry is traditionally a slow sector when it comes to change and technological disruption. Nonetheless, it becomes more and more apparent that digitization is the only way forward. There is an imminent need for an optimized flow of information and that can be attained only through well-established collaboration and a digitized construction process.
About the author: Anastasios Koutsogiannis is working as Content Manager at GenieBelt.