Technology is changing the construction industry much faster than some engineering and construction firms can adapt. And even though many firms acknowledge the need to adapt and to adopt construction technology, many still resist committing time or money to investing in it. Others invest sporadically hoping to see results by using technology for technology’s sake.

The good news, according to Building Design+Construction's Giants 300 Technology and Innovation Study, is the nation's largest AEC giants are leading the technology and innovation charge. The report states: "Overall, the AEC giants are feeling good--but not great--about their progress in adopting advanced AEC tech tools and processes when compared with their direct competitors."

Usually, firms that are able to adapt and embrace technological change are the ones that survive the competitive business climate. These early adopters understand the benefits of embracing new construction technology advancements as they look to gain an edge on their competition.

These benefits include:

  1. Help people and critical operations to stay connected
  2. Increase speed of decision-making process
  3. Automate functions to make day-to-day tasks more efficient
  4. Strengthen your competitive position

Connect People and Operations

The construction industry often has been labeled as “siloed.” Each participant in a project manages their own part of the project while keeping their information largely to themselves. The need to communicate and align frequently is paramount because seemingly minor modifications could significantly increase timelines or costs if made too late in the game.

Construction technology allows project team members to communicate with each stakeholder to share information in a timely manner and in an automated fashion. Technology allows for centralized information that you can easily track, access and share across all project team members as well as clients.

Make Faster Decisions

Construction technology using mobile communications has increased decision-making speed and is driving down the costs of projects because information is more timely and accurate. Real-time results can be available to an entire project team from any mobile device. You can end frustrating miscommunications, inaccuracies, and costly rework which allows for faster decision making and a way to drive up margins.

Streamlined workflows allow for consistent successful data gathering and reporting, which enables project managers to deliver clear directives, preventing costly delays and rework resulting from communication breakdowns. Field and/or lab data review, analysis and recommendations can be accelerated because engineers have access to a comprehensive set of data.

Automate for Efficiency

Construction technology can provide end-to-end automation of construction engineering and inspection processes. This includes generating work orders and dispatching the job all the way through to reporting, which all along provides higher accuracy and minimizes costly discrepancies. Technology adoption makes for a less fragmented and more streamlined operation with standardized processes across offices and locations. You can gain some of the biggest benefits by identifying and correcting areas of margin loss across operations.

You can eliminate the need for inefficient paper-based processes and for re-keying of information. With the right technology solution you can enter data one time, in the field, and collect all of the information you need to get accurate results fast.

With electronic data collection, your team avoids delays and errors that can result in costly rework. Inspectors or technicians receive a checklist of work item tasks, including instructions, and are able to quickly produce daily reports for each site they visit. Some construction technology solutions allow you to manage tests and inspections in the field or lab with a single tool.

Differentiate with Construction Technology

Current construction 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 enable efficiencies, but set the stage to differentiate one firm from another in a marketplace where competitive pressure is increasing.

Engineering and construction firms would do well to embrace technology and not with a fingers-crossed, hope-for-immediate-ROI approach, but with forward thinking and plenty of strategizing. Doing so will not only provide the best end product on current projects, but also will ease the transition into a more connected and automated future.

Those firms that successfully blend change management with process re-engineering and new technology deployments will strengthen their position in the marketplace. This will allow them to gain a competitive position for the indefinite future.

Use Technology to Your Advantage

Agile Frameworks offers a construction technology solution, MetaField. This platform is a subscription, cloud-based solution that you can access on any computer or mobile device. MetaField also is the only industry solution that fully integrates corporate, field, and lab information management activities in one platform. You can use the platform across multiple engineering and construction disciplines like construction materials testing, non-destructive testing, and many others.

Want to Learn More?

Learn more about how MetaField’s capabilities have helped other AEC firms leverage the benefits of construction technology, read this post "Streamlined Projects Benefit MetaField Customers."

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