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Digital Transformation in Engineering
Quixy Editorial Team
August 7, 2023
Reading Time: 5 minutes

As per PwC – Global Construction 2030, the volume of construction output will grow by 85% to $15.5 trillion worldwide by 2030, with three countries, China, the US, and India, leading the way and accounting for 57% of all global growth. Digital Transformation in engineering and construction industry is undergoing a substantial shift.

Though there are many expectations for the construction sector’s growth rate, the industry has been somewhat slow in adopting digitalization and is lagging behind many other industries. As per a McKinsey report, the construction industry is ripe for disruption. Large projects across asset classes typically take 20 percent longer to finish than scheduled and are up to 80 percent over budget.

The engineering & construction projects involve many activities on the field and in remote places, sometimes without access to the Internet. The projects suffer from a lack of access to real-time data from the field and a lack of coordination between the field workforce and office staff.

Digital Transformation in Engineering and Construction Industry

Digital Transformation in the Engineering and Construction Industry refers to the adoption and integration of innovative technologies, such as Building Information Modeling (BIM), artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), and automation, to modernize traditional processes, streamline operations, enhance collaboration, and optimize project outcomes. This transformational shift aims to revolutionize how engineering and construction projects are planned, executed, and managed, ushering in a new era of efficiency and effectiveness in the industry.

Also read: Business process management – The what, why, and how

There is immense opportunity to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and speed up project timelines by adopting digital solutions. Given the extensive fieldwork involved in the business, the industry requires that most digital solutions be available through smartphones and tablets.

Some of the Key Areas in Which Digital Solutions can be leveraged

Digital Transformation in Engineering

Thorough site inspections

The conventional form involves managing information available in books, spreadsheets, or e-mail by dedicated resources. On the other hand, site inspection apps help the on-field workforce inspect the site and digitally capture and store information. This minimizes delays in the process and helps in seamless communication with the stakeholders. Dynamic inspection forms can be created with photographs of the sites inspected along with the signatures of the site in charge and the site inspector.

Prompt safety incident reporting

With safety being a crucial factor in the engineering & construction industry, an app on safety helps the project management team report any mishaps or incidents that occur on the field. This includes the ability to capture photographs and geo-tagging incidents.

Accurate punch lists

Preparing punch lists at the end of each engineering & construction project is a tedious task that can lead to errors when handled manually. Automating the punch list processes ensures accuracy and smoother payment processes.

Regular timesheets and materials tracking

A single project requires different types of material and manpower at different phases of engineering & construction, which need to be tracked for several reasons. The material and timesheet tracking app helps businesses to track and record the status of material and manpower on a daily basis.

Effective inventory and material management

Inventory and material management is one of the most crucial yet difficult tasks. Digitalization of the system helps manage overall assets with features such as timely alerts that can be set up to warn against low stock.

Timely quotations and Invoice Management

This system helps the internal procurement team manage quotations and invoices related to the requirements of the project in an effective, transparent, and timely manner.

Complete project management

This helps track all the tasks related to the project starting from requirement capture to implementation and support.

Also read: No-Code for Project Management

Improved equipment management

Equipment scheduling and maintenance play a critical role in determining the bottom line of a construction company. With a mobile solution, tracking, managing, and logging equipment use and hours becomes a relatively easy task, greatly improving planning and usage.

Seamless contract management

These tools help seamlessly update contract-compliance checklists or collect information about client and contractor communications when contract terms are renegotiated.

Also read: No-Code for Legal Department

Useful performance management

Applications help to instantly update and share critical information about the workforce across the pre-construction and construction phases. Some performance dashboards can import field data and ease the process of collecting information.

Better document management

Document management applications can help upload documents, track changes, track all decisions, and provide easy access to records.

Using mobile apps to gather information at the job site improves accuracy and minimizes issues such as manual writing, illegible handwriting, unpredictable data, and information gaps. Photos, GPS, time stamps, and invoices captured on-site provide an accurate and indisputable audit trail for the project, delivering much-needed accountability to clients or serving as evidence in legal matters.

Integration with IoT

Just a few minutes of downtime can impact your manufacturing facility’s bottom line, so it’s vital that your technicians are alerted immediately when a piece of machinery or equipment goes offline. Adding integration of these applications with IoT helps in faster response time, and the facility can resume operations within moments of the repair.

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Limitations of COTS products

There are multiple COTS available for each application discussed above. However, COTS products provide limited customization capability, create clutter, and most often don’t seamlessly integrate with each other. In the absence of integration, it becomes difficult to manage and get value out of these individual solutions.

Traditional development, on the other hand, is time-consuming and expensive. They often don’t yield the expected results, as business requirements are most often lost in translation.

Read More: No-Code Vs. COTS

How no-code or low-code platforms can transform business

No-code and low-code platforms allow business users with no coding skills to automate their processes and develop applications as per their requirements significantly faster than the traditional approach. This alternative allows all applications discussed in this article to be developed on the same platform that seamlessly integrates with each other using a single centralized database. In addition to the core applications, the support team can automate their processes, e.g., HR can build an HRMS system, Administration can build a Travel and Expense Management system, etc., on the same platform. Reports and dashboards can be configured to access data across all these applications. Cloud-based installations ensure that businesses don’t have to worry about these digital solutions’ security, scalability, and performance.

Also Read: Everything you should know about no-code development

Quixy – an ideal digital platform

Quixy is one such platform that is helping businesses across verticals in their digital transformation journeys. Businesses use Quixy to automate their manual processes and drive efficiency, productivity, and transparency. Get Started Today! Empower your organization with automation and customized app development without coding.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

Q. What is digital transformation in the construction industry?

Digital transformation in construction refers to the integration of technology to modernize traditional processes, enhance productivity, and improve efficiency across various construction phases, from planning to execution.

Q. Why is digital transformation important for the construction sector?

Digital transformation streamlines operations, boosts collaboration, minimizes errors, and accelerates project timelines by leveraging technology like Building Information Modeling (BIM), drones, IoT sensors, and project management software.

Q. What technologies are driving digital transformation in construction?

Key technologies driving digital transformation include Building Information Modeling (BIM) for 3D modeling and data management, drones for site surveying and monitoring, IoT sensors for real-time data collection, cloud-based collaboration tools, AI-powered analytics, and “no code” platforms enabling rapid application development without coding expertise.

Q. How does digital transformation benefit construction projects?

Digital transformation optimizes resource management, enhances safety through real-time monitoring, enables better project visualization, facilitates seamless communication among stakeholders, and supports data-driven decision-making for efficient project planning and execution.

Q. What challenges may arise during digital transformation in construction?

1. Integration Complexity: Adapting “no code” solutions to existing systems can be complex, requiring seamless integration and expertise.
2. Skill Gaps and Training Needs: Training the workforce to use “no code” tools effectively is essential due to potential skill gaps and unfamiliarity with such technology.
3. Customization Limitations: While user-friendly, “no code” solutions may have limitations in meeting specific or complex construction project requirements without additional coding.
4. Security Concerns: Ensuring data and application security when using “no code” platforms is critical to protect sensitive construction data from cyber threats.
5. Vendor Lock-in Risk: Dependence on a single “no code” platform may limit flexibility; evaluating exit strategies and platforms offering adaptability is crucial.
6. Scalability Challenges: Ensuring the chosen “no code” solution scales effectively for various project sizes and complexities is essential for long-term use in construction projects.

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