digital transformation in construction

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, US and India, leading the way and accounting for 57% of all global growth.

Though there are lots of expectations on the growth rate of the construction sector, the industry has been somewhat slow in adopting digitalization and is lagging behind many other industries. As per 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 construction projects involve lot of activities that are done on field and in remote places sometimes without access to Internet. The projects suffer from lack of access to real-time data from the field and lack of coordination between the field workforce and office staff.

There is immense opportunity to improve efficiency, reduce costs and speed up project timelines through adoption of digital solutions. Given the extensive fieldwork involved in the business, the industry requires that most digital solutions be available through smart phones and tablets. Some of the key areas in which digital solutions can be leveraged are discussed below.

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

Thorough site inspections

The conventional form involves managing information available in books, spreadsheets or e-mail by dedicated resources. Site inspection apps on the other hand help the on-field workforce to inspect the site and digitally capture and store information. This minimizes delays in 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 site inspector.

Prompt safety incident reporting

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

Accurate punch lists

Preparation of punch lists at the end of each 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 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 daily basis.

Effective inventory and material management

Inventory and material management is one of the most crucial yet difficult tasks. Digitalisation 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 for the project starting from requirement capture to implementation and support.

Improved equipment management

Equipment scheduling and maintenance plays 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 in the seamless updating of contract-compliance checklists or collecting information about client and contractor communications when contract terms are renegotiated.

Also read: The Impact of Digital Transformation on Business Performance

Useful performance management

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

Better document management

Document management applications can help with uploading documents, tracking changes and keeping track of all decisions, as well as provide easy access to past 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 the much needed accountability to clients or serve 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.

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 expected results, as business requirements are most often lost in translation.

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 integrate with each other using a single centralized database. In addition to the core applications, 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 the security, scalability and performance of these digital solutions.

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 are using Quixy to automate their manual processes and drive efficiency, productivity and transparency.

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