Managing a construction project requires great attention to details, organization and a good threshold for stress.
The last chapter of the construction project is the actual building process itself. A lot of work is put in, from the initial plan, to the last brick. Today, the digitalization of the industry is beginning to gain traction, but why is it exactly? What could we gain from it?
What is it?
First of all, how can we define the digitalization of the construction industry? Well, the best definition I have heard is from Gartner: “Digitalization is the use of digital technologies to change a business model and provide new revenue and value-producing opportunities; it is the process of moving to a digital business.”
What it entails is basically a democratization of the construction industry, whereas complex and technical projects that could only be reserved to large corporations can now be, through different technological tools, accessible to smaller firms. These tools could be the FramR by Mechasys, for example, but also management software, integrated BIM, 3D modeling of the environment, prefabricated components, 3D printing, wireless monitoring, etc.
Basically, it is the changing of the business model, through these tools, to increase the ROI (Return on Investment) and minimize risks associated to different projects.
Our sector is at the cusp of change; projects are increasingly complex and difficult, clients more demanding and the workforce decreasing. What switching to digital models and tools offers is a means to survival in the upcoming years.
As an example, let us use the situations regarding RFIs and RFI management (Request for Information). To put it briefly, it is a tool which is used to clarify communication and/or request for more information, to better understand and align a common vision through the entire project team. When used properly, it partially resolves one of the greatest challenges in a project, which is communication. It ensures that all parties involved in the project are on the same page and get the same information.
Although it is an efficient way to organize and communicate, when done with traditional methods, such as with paper, it can rapidly hinder the process. The answers may take longer to arrive, some might get lost, etc. RFI management software are beginning to appear throughout the industry and help minimize these issues and increase the workflow on the jobsite.
Naturally, this is only a brief example of how the digitalization of the sector is changing the way we work. All in all, this trend is here to stay. Being ahead of the curve can ensure that your company, not only remains competitive, but can become a leader in our industry. How has the digitalization of the construction sector impacted your business? Please let us know!