September 11, 2019

2020 a decisive year for digitisation in the construction industry – new report claims

News Article

A new report claims that the construction industry is on the verge of a major digital transformation opportunity.

According to a survey of 200 UK construction industry decision makers, 2020 could be a decisive year for utilising digital solutions to sort out the problems associated with supply chains, risk management and increasing staff productivity.

The report: ‘Construction’s Digital Frontline; How an industry is stepping up to its transformation opportunity’ has been commissioned by UK construction software company, Causeway.

It revealed that while 54 per cent of survey respondents felt the industry had been slow in the past to adopt digital technologies, there are signs that this is about to change.

An analysis of respondents who confirmed their construction business had embraced digital solutions, found that:

  • 43 per cent had increased their business win rates
  • 56 per cent had reduced operating costs
  • 54 per cent had improved workforce productivity
  • 70 per cent had witnessed better and faster flows of information and data
  • 48 per cent had built stronger relations with their supply chain
  • 58 per cent had been successful in attracting and retaining new digital talent
  • 52 per cent had experienced increased client satisfaction

The report also claims that the desire to further embrace the benefits of digitisation is set to continue, as 81 per cent of construction sector respondents reported that they hoped to make further digital improvements to their business in the next 12 months.

Chief Executive of Causeway, Phil Brown, commented: “Construction isn’t always the first sector that comes to mind when you think about innovation and business transformation. In fact, it is often presented as a laggard, mired in complexity and challenge.

“This can be partly attributed to the fact the industry is stuck in a vicious circle of low productivity and low profitability. Yet across the construction industry – right now – our customers and many other forward acting businesses are going beyond traditional back-office systems to harness digital technologies at the front-line. An area where, in today’s mobile and digitally enabled world, success will increasingly be found.

“And as a result, many businesses and clients are transforming their commercial performance by reducing operating costs, managing risk, enhancing supplier relationships increasing productivity, and boosting service delivery.”

Adam Davis is a Partner with Palmers who specialises in helping clients understand the ramifications of digitisation, said: “The report provides a tantalising glimpse of the many benefits that are available to both the construction and engineering sectors.

“However, as is always the case, when it comes to technology, construction companies need to commit to investing in digitisation if they are to ultimately reap the benefits.

“Take, building information modelling (BIM), for example. Initially, the sector as a whole was slow to recognise the benefits and although it is now widely adopted by larger companies operating in the construction and engineering sectors, many smaller businesses still run the risk of being left behind if they not take steps to embrace BIM technology.

“The development of smarter, easier to use BIM software means that the market is now opening up and smaller businesses can now operate on a more level playing field, by being able to bid for contracts which require BIM, alongside larger construction firms.”

For information on how BIM and other digital solutions will impact on your organisation’s project delivery and help with compliance and contractual issues relating to BIM, please contact us.