Build vs. Buy: Use Technology to Eliminate 4 Productivity-Damaging Factors

Build vs. Buy: Use Technology to Eliminate 4 Productivity-Damaging Factors

This is the third post in our “build vs. buy” series.

Technology-driven change is happening everywhere.  We hear, see, and experience the impact of it every day, whether at home or at work.  Whether you see the glass half full or half empty, the net result is that technology is changing the status quo everywhere. And it will change yours.

Let’s focus specifically on the opportunity technology brings to change and eliminate factors that hurt productivity and thereby lower profitability in operations in construction engineering. Four factors rise to the top of the list.

Impact of Latency on Productivity

The first factor is latency.  Most firms suffer from long turnaround times in delivery.  If you look at the information journey from field work through testing/QA and delivery, wait time can accumulate at many points along the journey. This often results in delivery turnaround time of days, weeks, or even months.  Yet, technology already exists that can drive a repetitive and consistent flow of data throughout the process, eliminating this expensive wait time and resulting in delivery turnaround of hours.  Think about the impact of that!

The High Cost of Errors

The second factor is errors, omissions, and rework.  Whether these occur due to a lack of timely access to project requirements, lack of definition, lack of engineer training, poor execution, or any other reason, the cost of responding to these factors is high, sometimes very high. Unfortunately, the cost of errors, omissions, and rework has a double impact. First is the obvious direct out of pocket cost to fix what went wrong.  Second is the hidden cost of client and employee frustration.

Current technology solutions can provide multi-faceted, timely information to all resources throughout a project. This fosters a “right first time” result that not only will improve productivity and profitability, but set the stage to differentiate one firm from another in a marketplace where competitive pressure is increasing.

Risks of Non-Compliance

The third factor is non-compliance. Let’s face it, keeping up with regulatory requirements is challenging in and of itself. Likewise, keeping your staff informed of regulatory requirements on a project by project basis is equally challenging.

You simply can no longer ignore the need to have regulatory requirements embedded in the definition of every project in order to provide the right information at the right time to the right resources throughout the data curation process. This is not only a problem that results in higher errors, omissions, and rework noted above, but more importantly raises legal risk of non-compliance. Once again, technology solutions are coming online that provide these capabilities.

Lack of Strategic Alignment

The fourth factor is misaligned incentives. Many technology implementations fail for lack of strategic alignment across the organization.  For most firms, staff compensation must be addressed in order to drive the maximum productivity and profitability benefits available with the successful implementation of today’s new technology solutions.

The potential to accurately schedule projects + assign the right resources + deliver on time + stay on budget will be maximized. This eliminates the chronic problem of unexpected overtime or additional time from unscheduled resources necessary to hit a deadline. Firms will need to share some of the profitability gains that result with employees in order to attract and retain talent in a resource starved industry. All in all, this is a win-win, but must be approached timely and intentionally.

Building a technology ecosystem that provides the environment capable of eliminating these factors is an important first step.  For guidance in this area, take a look at our blog titled “Construction Industry on Collision Course, Rise of New Approach Brings Hope.”

Find a Trusted Partner

Likewise, don’t think you can do this alone.  Finding trusted partners that share this vision also will be a key to your success.  Agile Frameworks is at the forefront of providing next generation solutions to construction engineering and will help you move more quickly through this digital journey with greater success. Learn more about Agile Frameworks and their solutions by visiting