Since Mark Farmer’s 2016 review of UK Construction, titled ‘Modernise or Die’, the industry has taken great strides in its adoption of digital technology.
The benefits of digital construction are well rehearsed – investment in such technology pays dividends in the long term – but there are still barriers. What is it that prevents some contractors from improving profit margins, collaboration, time-efficiency and productivity?
Operational barriers to digital adoption
Due to the structure of the industry, there are 4 systematic barriers to digital adoption that can be identified:
Fragmentation: Because projects tend to be broken up and distributed amongst small groups of specialised contractors working separately on ‘siloed’ tasks, unified workflows can be perceived as difficult to introduce. Within those silos, there is likely to be a lack of insight into the overall organisational structure, making it more difficult to get everyone pulling in the same direction. Careful coordination is therefore paramount in order to implement digital collaboration between all parties involved in a project.
Decentralisation: It’s not just separate companies that struggle with coordination. Individual construction companies can also contain disjointed silos. Larger companies in particular may be highly federated, with separate departments working independently and autonomously.
Digital construction tools should not be regarded as prohibited by decentralisation and fragmentation. Rather, digitisation provides an excellent solution to these issues. Storing all of your project data on one, cloud-based system such as Zutec’s, makes collaboration simple. No matter how complex your project or organisation, features like document sharing, notifications, customised workflows and real-time versioning will improve communication and productivity.
Uniqueness: Because no two construction projects are alike, there is an assumption that systems used on one project will be irrelevant on the next. But there are technologies and methods available that can (and will) be used repeatedly. In Zutec’s case, digital modules are customisable and can than therefore be tailored to suit your unique project, whatever it entails.
Transience: Within construction, it is typical for specialists to come together and work on a single project and then disband. This high level of staff turnover means that individuals have less time to adapt to your organisation’s specific processes. As with decentralisation and fragmentation, digital tools should be seen as the solution in this instance, not the problem. Zutec’s systems are incredibly simple to use and will actually help short-term recruits to adapt more quickly to your methods.
As other parts of the supply chain move into digitised processes, it will become much easier to deal with day-to-day tasks such as invoicing if you’re on board the digital train too. Companies must not underestimate the appetite and capacity of their workforces to adapt to digitisation.
Zutec’s cloud-based modules offer effortless collaboration on everything from CDE and Field Management, to Handover and BIM. Very easy to use and compatible with standard smartphones, tablets and laptops, Zutec’s systems require no undue investment in training or hardware. Each module can be customised to your specific project for maximum efficiency.
In short, if you think the barriers to the benefits of digital construction software are insurmountable, you haven’t tried Zutec.