Industrial Construction Strategy & Technology
The construction industry has for some time been slow to adopt change and new technology. Building Information Modeling (BIM), for example, was invented in the 1970s but is still questioned for its necessity and talked about as if it were a new technology by some contractors. Also, “Lean Construction”, originating in the early 1990s, is a project-management approach that increases value to the customer and reduces waste, but has not been widely used in the US.
According to the Labor Productivity Index between 1964 and 2003 levels of productivity have, in general, remained unchanged for the construction industry. Although new technologies would have been adopted during this time, the fragmented business model of the industry has many times prevented new technologies from reaching high levels of efficiencies.
Construction costs often come from poor quality design and documentation, and fixing these problems can account for a reduction of 10% of the total project costs according to The Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Construction Innovation for Australia.
It is ironic that the money construction companies are losing every project is spent on solving the problems that innovative technology solutions could eliminate. However, a huge barrier to most construction companies is the capital expenditure of implementing IT solutions. Without taking this initial hit, how can companies move forward on the road to greater productivity and efficiency?
There is also the competition to consider. Reducing waste, decreasing capital expenditure, while boosting productivity will not only make a company’s projects better, but will also enable them to compete with their peers and grow their business. Why not seek information technologies that help you do these things? It is worth a discussion.