Digitalisation: The new normal for the construction industry

Digitisation is a driving force across economies today. The pandemic conditions of the past year or so have considerably accelerated what was already a priority process for many businesses. In construction, there are a lot of benefits to engaging with digitisation, including a potential 60% increase in productivity as a result. That’s why digitisation is quickly becoming the new normal for the construction industry.

Driving up productivity for the long term

The construction sector has a historic problem where productivity is concerned. In the past 20 years, other industries have seen an almost 3% increase in labour productivity while the construction sector has struggled to achieve 1% in the same period (according to a McKinsey report). However, there is a clear solution: digitisation. For enterprises right across the industry, embracing technology, such as advanced automation and innovative materials, has the potential to considerably increase productivity for the long term.

Analogue practices are outdated

Analogue practices are still widely used across the construction sector and are undoubtedly slow and inefficient. Construction is still one of the least digitised of all sectors. Changing this could have a seismic impact on businesses operating in this area, from reducing costs and streamlining operations to helping to make employees more productive and, consequently, improving profits. These are three of the ways in which digitisation is going to become the new normal for construction.

  1. Live field data. Real-time visibility when it comes to data provides construction teams with more insight and perspective, making it easier to ensure projects remain on target in terms of time and costs and providing a warning if there are deviations from forecasts and planning. Not only does this benefit current projects, which can be quickly steered back on track, but the historical data provides a strong foundation for future projects too.
  2. Digitising payroll and time tracking. There is a clear need to digitise processes when it comes to payroll and time tracking, not least because 43% of hourly workers have exaggerated the time that they have worked. Digitisation allows for precise time tracking, exact arrival and departure times and avoids any temptation that workers may have when it comes to inflating hours worked. It also provides vital data for workforce management and automated systems can also take the pressure off management by making time tracking the employee’s responsibility.
  3. Paperless environments. The shift to paperless has already begun in construction, as many enterprises already recognise the benefits of reducing the time that employees spend searching for the information that they need to do their jobs. Digitisation can minimise errors and mistakes and ensure that the right data is accessible by the right people at the right time, no matter where they are. Digitised forms in particular save a lot of time and space, both when it comes to submitting and storing them.

Digitisation is already a goal for the construction industry and, thanks to the benefits when it comes to essential functions such as payroll and tracking, will be the new normal for all in the years to come.

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