Build Better, Safer With Technology: Using Tech in Construction
The construction industry in the Philippines and in Southeast Asia continues to forecast growth despite the challenges the industry continues to face in the aftermath of the global pandemic. While the construction sector is handling these challenges using tried and tested solutions, a recent study suggests that leaders of construction companies are willing to use the latest technology and artificial intelligence to streamline their business practices and improve their bottom line.
Industry leaders recognize the need to build better with technology, and understanding how technology can revolutionize the construction sector is key to maximizing the benefits of new software and construction management tools.
What are the Challenges Faced by the Construction Industry
Costs are the biggest challenge that companies face in the industry. These can refer to the rising costs of raw materials, equipment, and labor, as well as the cost of acquiring competitive bids on different infrastructure projects.
Company leaders also report increased concerns around project payments, and several businesses are even considering a change in the contracting models by incorporating new payment methods to protect margins. Some of these newer methods they consider include early payments on construction projects.
In response to these challenges, the building industry is starting to adapt. They are choosing to build with technology, using data to manage risks and improve their business processes.
What are the Findings of the Latest Construction and Tech Research
Earlier this year, ProCore Technologies Inc. released a report that details how technology trends are shifting the systems and practices of the construction business sector. This research was done by YouGov, and consisted of surveys and interviews of the top construction executives from Malaysia, Singapore, and the Philippines.
The findings of this research forecast how the different companies are choosing to build safer with technology and use data to propel their business to new heights.
Huge Gap in Belief in the Benefits vs. Ability to Use Powerful Technology
The Procore study found that industry professionals are aware of and believe in the benefits of using data management software and artificial intelligence to build safer with technology and achieve better results and profits.
According to the study, 99 percent of executives say that handling information and data better through the latest web technologies can deliver positive results for their businesses.
Improved data management through the latest technologies and software can improve their decision-making, aid in achieving sustainability goals, refine information visibility and dissemination, increase overall productivity, and create a safer working environment for their workers.
Workplace safety is a significant goal as the building industry is continuously trying to reduce the number of workplace accidents, injuries, and other unfortunate incidents.
Another benefit that leaders see in using the latest technology is an increase in potential savings through more efficient use of time spent on different projects. With better data handling, it can notify workers on the amount of time saved on their builds.
Despite awareness of the latest market research and belief in the benefits of using technology to build safer, only a small percentage of business leaders have taken steps to implement data management technology in their practice.
77 percent of builders plan to implement a data technology strategy in 2023, but only 52 percent of them are confident in their ability to maximize these powerful analytic tools. These concerns point toward issues regarding adequate support and guidance when planning and executing a new data strategy process. As a result, these leaders observe a gap between intention and execution.
The onus is now put on software developers and vendors to address this gap and help the building industry make headway in using technology. By sufficiently demonstrating how to implement data management and other software, developers can highlight the true returns on investment of these new strategies. This will help an industry-wide adoption of innovative technology solutions to propel the industry forward.
Increased Interest in Using and Adapting to the Latest Technologies
Despite the difficulties in using technology, analytics, and advanced data for businesses, the construction field as a whole are steadfast in joining the digital revolution because of the many benefits they expect to see upon implementation.
These benefits include cost management, reduction of reliance to human labor, efficiency brought on by fewer human errors, less time spent on rework, the ability to build better quality infrastructure, and the ability to handle an increase in projects.
77 percent of survey participants revealed that they are willing to include the newest construction technology in their yearly budgets. Interest in investment in the latest technologies can be observed across Southeast Asian companies.
However, there is a slight difference in attitudes seen in new companies versus more established enterprises. There is also disparity when it comes to employee size. The research shows that 81 percent of businesses under ten years old are more willing to adapt and use technology. Only 71% of businesses operating at 10-20 years and only 68 percent of companies over 20 years in the industry are considering the use of tech. 81 percent of companies with over 100 employees are also more likely to spend on technological solutions, compared to only 69 percent of smaller businesses.
Research projects that construction management platforms will be the most sought-after technology stack, followed by payment technologies. Builders will also be interested, albeit to a lesser extent, in prefabrication tech, big data, and updated BIM.
Challenges in Implementing Construction Technology Trends
While the sector is largely interested in the latest digital trends, there are still barriers to actual implementation. The biggest factor is justifying the cost of investing in tools to build safer with technology. Cash flow and a good bottom line are one of the biggest concerns in business, and investing in new tools might be an expense that will not pay off in a resulting increase in profit.
Another challenge is a conservative view on innovation, with most companies preferring to wait and see how technology develops and progresses before adopting them. As more of these digital tools are established in the market, only then will companies be more willing to make use of them.
Leaders also cite quality and safety as critical factors in the industry. If these new digital tools can be proven to improve the quality of builds and the safety of the projects, then businesses will be more likely to use this tech.
The construction industry is continuing to bounce back after the global pandemic. But to make even greater strides, adopting technology in their business strategy is the way forward to maintain a competitive edge.
While there is a strong interest in the ability to build safer using technology, execution and implementation is still behind. What companies need to realize is the multitude of benefits they can reap from implementing the latest technology in construction and data management. These benefits include better productivity and profitability, as well as an increase in quality and safety. Using digital tools can also give them a better competitive edge against their peers on the market.
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