Construction Technology: At a Crossroads

“Projects are becoming ever more complicated, with punishing timescales and tighter budgets…”

Construction has traditionally been a low margin sector which has resulted in a lack of investment in disruptive technologies. Highly segregated disciplines have also hindered progress. An innovation that benefits civil engineering may be an irrelevance to M&E. Add a tendency towards bespoke projects rather than repeatable designs and you have an industry that has fallen behind other sectors such as retail and automotive in terms of innovation.

There is a sense however that this is starting to change, albeit from necessity rather than desire. Businesses are finding themselves with increasingly stringent regulations to adhere to, from financial and environmental, and this is only going in one direction. There is a real sense that construction projects in the UK generally are getting more and more complex, with customers expecting firms to be as modern as other industries.

The inconvenient truth for a lot of companies above a certain size is that running your projects from spreadsheets simply isn’t practical anymore. To keep up with a highly competitive and complicated landscape construction businesses need to be working from a responsive single source of information.

The idea of “information best practices” is also at a crossroads for construction firms. That we live in a world dominated by information is no secret, yet a common side effect that harms construction projects is multiple file types, multiple data silos and out of date information.

A large construction project will typically involve a variety of unique tools that all produce information. This information can be compartmentalised in different files that are difficult or even impossible for other areas of the business to access.

For construction businesses to remain competitive there needs to be a common platform used throughout the business.

New Technologies on the Rise

BIM

Building Information Modelling (BIM) is an intelligent 3D model-based process that provides insight into architecture, engineering, and construction. Now standard in all government projects BIM allows users to efficiently plan, design, construct, and manage buildings and infrastructure. Click here for information on BIM.

Real Time Collaboration

Cloud based solutions offer a variety of benefits to construction firms, one of the foremost is the ability of separate departments to collaborate on projects efficiently. Modern ERP Systems are accessible on any device with an internet connection meaning that, whether on site or in the office, team members always have access to up to date information.

Digital Workflows

When implemented into a project properly digital workflows can boost efficiency and significantly reduce risk. Instant comparison between cost estimates and reality allows for accurate job costing and quick graphical reports allows to you to share information with all departments.

*

Metaphorix is the Microsoft Dynamics NAV partner for the UK construction industry. As a Certified for Microsoft software house we can tailor the powerful ERP functionality of NAV for highly specific construction requirements. Metaphorix was named international 4PS Construct Partner of the year 2016 and 2017.

The following two tabs change content below.

Gareth Charles