We see a construction industry now that tries to embrace changes with IT and information technology, but they are not sure of the direction they need to go in to make money. What measures do I need to take, to benefit my business going forward? Here are our recommendations.

1. Connect your entire supply chain

To get a building project or an infrastructure project off the ground you will need a series of processes. However, these processes are not connected, as the architect Phil Bernstein explains with this graph in his TEDx Talks from 2015:

For every transfer you lose a lot of information by handing over information on paper. Why cannot you have a smoother curve?

Knowledge is lost in each transfer step - could be changed if you shared data with a central reporting-system

Development of knowledge through a construction project’s life-time. For every transfer you lose a lot of information by handing over information on paper. Why cannot you have a smoother curve? Graph from Bernstein, P. TEDx Talk, October 2015.

Philip Wright, Contracts Consultant and Shareholder, Optimise International, has an answer to Bernstein’s question:

In each one of these processes everyone is currently using their own little bit of software without any thoughts for the on process afterwards.  You need to collaborate and share data across the project’s entire life cycle.

2. Start using your raw data

Start analysing the enormous amounts of data your company creates every day and the potential to learn from past mistakes saving time, materials and money are vast. For example, if you compare and analyse the data collected during the execution of piles for retaining walls of a new metro station, foundations for a new skyscraper or a bridge, you may learn why your team was underperforming and enable you to perform better in the future.

3. Establish a learning culture

It is important to establish a learning culture. If you want to move forwards, you need to learn from your past: Analyse your data, see how you can do better, communicate key messages to your staff.

4. Get rid of the blaming culture

It may not be that easy to establish a learning culture, if you are used to looking for scapegoats and culprits. Peter Coleman, Shareholder and Construction Lawyer, Optimise International explains:

From my knowledge, most companies in construction have a blame culture. But if something goes wrong, you must learn from your mistakes: Why did it happen? How did it happen? Could it happen again, if we don’t change our practice?

5. Create transparency

To establish a learning culture where you use your data both backward-looking and predictive, you will need transparency at all levels of your organisation. Are you ready for that?

6. Learn from other industries

Regardless of how you look at the use of IT, the construction industry is lagging behind most other industries. Therefore, the industry should learn from other industries like the car industry, sports like football and Formula 1 etc. how they have managed to embrace IT technology, e.g. to make predictive analyses.

7. Bring in IT-literate people on all levels of organisation

You may need to bring in new people to bring around change, according to Peter Coleman:

Wherever the company is, they need to bring people in, that are IT-literate, that understand IT, and that can develop IT processes, that are going to benefit the companies. Not least at the management level.

8. Establish a training system

Unless you want to replace all your staff, you will need to establish a training system, enabling everybody to understand the need and contribute to the aggregation of data

9. Get a central reporting system

A central reporting system should work for your projects like the central nervous system acts for your body: Assemble knowledge, analyse backwards and make predictions for the future.

McKinsey reports that on-site productivity can be increased by as much as 50 percent by implementing a cloud-based control tower that rapidly assembles accurate data in near real time that is both backward-looking and predictive.

Infographic showing how data move from construction site into a cloud-based central reporting system"

A cloud-based reporting system can improve on-site productivity in the construction industry by as much as 50 percent.

10. All change should start with the top management

We have already mentioned that you need IT-literate people at all levels of your organisation. This goes also for the top management, so that they will understand what it takes to change the organisation and bring it into the future by embracing IT-technology and make money.

This is how you can get a cloud-based central reporting system

Kapio has developed an integrated, BIM-compliant, Common Data Environment (CDE) for the storage of all your project drawings and other files. Files can be shared in the cloud with your project team throughout the entire life-cycle of your construction.

Further reading

 Further information

Contracts Consultant Philip Wright, Optimise International, tel. +48 694 520 339, pgw@optimise-international.comContracts Consultant Philip Wright, Optimise International, tel. +48 694 520 339, pgw@optimise-international.com

 

 

 

Construction Lawyer and Shareholder Peter Coleman, Optimise International, +44 20 3319 5115, pcl@optimise-international.comConstruction Lawyer and Shareholder Peter Coleman, Optimise International, +44 20 3319 5115, pcl@optimise-international.com

 

 

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