Venture capital investments in ConTech increased from €2 billion in 2020 to over €3.5 billion* in 2021.
And this investment will continue to increase, driven by continued solution innovation with massive potential for growth, as the construction sector digitises to overcome obstacles and battle the head winds of the current climate.
The construction sector, particularly the residential sub-sector, is adapting to an influx of changes right now – recently updated or new building regulations, such as the Regulation 40 Part L amendment, the Building Safety Act 2022, and the upcoming Fire and Safety Act 2022 – mean working practices and processes are evolving to ensure compliance.
And then there is the constant challenge of squeezing more efficiencies and productivity out of every project and workday – which are driving transformation on sites and offices across the world.
These obstacles require solutions, and ConTech is being developed to support safety and regulatory requirements, enhance sustainability and deliver more productivity, to match the drive toward net-zero, and to optimise projects to protect them against rising costs.
Construction technology or SaaS provide answers to problems that everyone in the sector faces. And so the still-rising star of ConTech indicates that businesses are looking to digital solutions to ensure that teams have the tools they need to be more effective and efficient to achieve targets that can lead to faster project completion.
Read on to find out 5 reasons why a digital answer to your project can not only solve your issues – but yield more benefits.
1 – Be ready for more change
As the above suggests, the construction sector is no stranger to a moving playing field. And despite the industry turning toward digital methods, the construction sector is still the second-least digitised sector in the world. Outdated processes and working methods that the sector still believe in, result in inefficiencies, which leak costs.
When changes are inevitable then bad data is the last thing needed when managing a multi-million or billion pound project.
By integrating a configurable, digital solution to your project, bad data can be significantly reduced through standardisation of process, workflows, templates and rules, alongside clear dashboards providing visibility of what data you do and don’t have. If data is missing or inaccurate, as an example, team members can spot the issue before it becomes a problem that leads to delays.
And with a SaaS platform that is adaptable, regulatory changes and amendments on the horizon can be prepared for well in advance with updated templates and forms aligned with any new requirements, ready to go when enforced and saving you precious time and resources.
2 – One process for all
Construction companies are averse to risk, with relatively low profit margins making every decision pivotal to the bottom line. And it fits nicely with the old adage, ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’ Which is why digitisation in the sector is still in its infancy and is an ongoing transformation, with businesses reluctant to change processes and workflows that have got them this far.
Another common strand in the industry – a multitude of stakeholders for each project at each stage – means that there can also be clashing processes that result in one thing for everyone. Delays.
Something has to give.
With a digital – and bespoke – platform at the heart of your project, managers, site operatives and external stakeholders can be guided by common workflows and milestones to ensure critical and accurate data is collected, stored, shared and made visible to those that need to see it, so the whole project moves forward. This negates lost time suffered thanks to documentation needing to be completed or stakeholders not aware of certain processes and tasks. Everyone, working toward the same goals, at the same time.
Sounds ideal – and with one dashboard displaying all relevant project information, with workflows chosen and designed by you, a SaaS solution isn’t just a fancy gimmick.
It promises to be a project lifesaver.
3 – Instant communication
A ConTech tool can mean the difference between project completion and going past the projected completion date – potentially leading to fines for the contractor, dependant on the contract.
The perfect example is found in the recently uplifted Part L regulation.
An SAP assessor will attend every project site and they require photographic evidence throughout the construction phase to prove that each plot or building is in line with the new 31% reduction in emissions from prior standards and required to be compliant.
A SaaS platform like Zutec is not only the best way to send over all relevant plot photographic data to the SAP assessor for review ahead of an inspection, but the SAP assessor can be given access to the platform – so they can instantly add any comments, feedback or requirements they have in order to get the evidence they need to issue sign off and the BREL Report you need.
Your team can also share data easily, and by displaying data in a visual way with a tool that includes a notification system, all stakeholders are clued in as soon as information is added to ensure the right decisions are made along the way.
4 – Your office, in your hand
You’ve collected your data from the site, but it’s no good sitting on your clipboard or siloed on your device.
You need to upload it so the next part of the process can continue.
Cue a rapid dash back to the office so you can load it up to the computer.
This needs to stop – and a cloud-based digital approach saves you more than vehicle emissions.
The number one cause of data loss is human error, and according to a recent IBM report, the average cost of a data breach in the construction industry was nearly $5 million in the US alone.
The cloud offers the most secure contingency plan to data loss, with all collected data sitting securely and with less risk of data loss, compared to manual data capture with unspecialised tools such as an Excel sheet and analogue methods.
A cloud-based SaaS tool allows you to work offline across many devices too – so if your wi-fi connection on site is sketchy, you can carry on regardless, and upload your information as soon as a connection is re-established.
5 – Data, as standard
There are plenty of ways that data is collected, but for collaboration to be at an optimal level, the data needs to be standardised.
3D drawings, geographical data and much more can be created using a wide range of metrics – but confusion can occur if data is in two or more different forms.
Not only this, but ineligible or incongruous data will be a big blocker to progress.
It’s something that ConTech firms have seen and addressed, with some platforms offering standardisation for data, so regulations can be complied with swiftly and stakeholders can know the parameters before work begins, avoiding do-overs that take too much time.
It’s clear why ConTech has seen so much heavy investment and continues to do so – issues that have blighted the industry can be eradicated and projects can protect their margins, while ensuring their teams have everything at their disposal to progress efficiently and effectively and reach project completion quicker and better than before.
You can see for yourself – click here to get a whistlestop tour through our innovative, configurable solution.
It could be the most rewarding thirty minutes for your next project.
*Figure applies to Europe