The construction industry employs about 7% of the world’s working-age population and is one of the world economy’s largest sectors, yet the construction sector has been far slower than other industries in adapting to and adopting new technological innovations. Accordingly, this has caused its labor productivity to stagnate.
Persistent fragmentation of the industry, inadequate collaboration among teams, rising material and labour costs, increased competition, and shrinking profit margins, to name just a few, are some of the major cases for this stagnation of productivity.
Digital technology such as building information modeling (BIM) and project management software are tools, however, that construction firms can use to bolster productivity. Research by the McKinsey Global Institute indicates that digital transformation can result in productivity gains of around 15% and a reduction of costs by up to 6%.
The 3 main factors that are hurting construction project performance
1. Profit loss from inadequate planning
Project planning without comprehensive collaborative processes causes errors, delays and profit loss. For example, time wasted by having to wait on materials and supplies to be delivered or for prior work to be completed. It is critical to lay out a comprehensive plan in the pre-construction planning phase. This will give your firm a clear perspective of your time, manpower and materials and help to estimate the firm’s capabilities from the very beginning of a project.
2. Working in silos & decision making with incomplete data
Information silos are extremely common in industries and companies with complex processes that remain manual. Contractors may have different groups pursuing different kinds of work and teams may work in diverse location using multiple platforms, causing information silos and resulting in delays, re-works and fragmented collaboration. Working in silos makes it a challenge to meet common goals and is a major contributor to the lack of improvement in productivity levels over the years.
Dr. Gernot Strube, Senior Partner of McKinsey & Company, said at iTWO World 2018 that “If you own the data you can do the analysis, you can also draw conclusions better than others, and then you can get into digital business building models that will add additional business opportunities for your companies.”
3. Lack of collaboration and communication
When things go wrong on a project, it is almost always due to a communication breakdown along the way. Collaboration refers to the process of working together to achieve a common goal. In the construction business, collaboration ensures that all resources, communication, and workflows are always striving towards the same goal. For any construction project to be successful, collaboration between multiple stakeholders is a must.
Here are 3 ways …
1. BIM-enabled project lifecycle management
Prior to actual construction, contractors can 5D (3D design + 4D time + 5D cost) simulate the progress of construction activity, in turn helping the construction team to gain a clearer understanding of the project and ‘what if’ scenarios. You can compare BIM simulations side-by-side to evaluate different time and cost scenarios. The BIM models are then used extensively during the implementation stage. With BIM models integrated into the planning workflow, you can manage the entire project lifecycle from design management, QTO & estimation, scheduling, bid/tender management, to procurement and project management in one platform to avoid oversights.
Visual, more optimised comprehensive plans before bidding
BIM model-based data tracking throughout your project lifecycle
Model visualisation of your project data, easy for different roles to gain a clear understanding of the project before the shovel hits the ground
2. Collaborate seamlessly throughout project lifecycle
A construction project’s success relies heavily on effective collaboration among all stakeholders. With MTWO, an enterprise-level cloud platform, contractors can manage their entire team from one place throughout the project lifecycle, ensuring that everyone is on the same page at the same time. Since the whole team is working on ‘one single source of truth’, information silos are eliminated, and communication is significantly improved. Contractors can also manage their business partners on the platform in one place. The ability to share information, changes, and updates instantly empowers teams to complete all aspects of every project more quickly while improving quality.
Easy to customise your own workflows based on your project data
The enterprise level platform enables seamless collaboration among stakeholders, avoiding silos
Cross department collaboration is based on a single source of truth, avoiding errors
Increased coordination efficiency with business partners, suppliers and subcontractors
3. Decision-making with real-time project data
For contractors, accurate and up-to-date information is a particularly acute challenge. With a centralised platform that captures data from various sources and updates them in real time, stakeholders can work in full confidence, knowing the data they are using is reliable and up to date. This makes a big difference as your team and projects continue to grow.
With easy access to enterprise level project dashboards, decision makers always have complete insight into project costs, schedules, resources, risks and more, using their desktops, laptops, and mobile devices.
Data visualisation with MTWO Control Tower
MTWO’s Control Tower presents visual and interactive project performance. This allows decision makers to know real time project KPIs at a glance and make data-based decisions.
Custom reports made easy
Once you set your own report templates, MTWO will automatically generate highly customised reports and publish them directly to module dashboards. Diving into project details is only a few clicks away, saving valuable time.
Build out your enterprise database
The Master Data module of MTWO collects and standardises historical project data so that you’re automatically building out your enterprise database as you execute tasks. Lessons learned from one project could therefore be usefully applied to subsequent projects.
We are quickly reaching the point where technology is going to be a critical component of all construction projects. In a fiercely competitive sector like construction, it is an absolute must to invest in a project management software solution that will help you build faster, better and smarter. As Tom Willemen, the CEO of Willemen Groep - one of Belgium’s largest family-owned construction groups, puts it, “we strongly believe that innovation is the most important thing to live, to exist, as a construction company.”
Interested in elevating the efficiency of your construction business?
Learn more about MTWO.