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5 challenges facing the construction industry

Despite pockets of progress, the construction industry is still being held back by inefficiencies, people-process-and-data silos, and lack of digital maturity. As this very environment serves to exacerbate a myriad of challenges that range from jobsite safety, resourcing, productivity, and keeping pace with regulation. However, through careful consideration and simple strategies, the construction industry can better equip itself to deal with these challenges and make big inroads into the industry productivity gap.

The following article outlines some of the key challenge the industry faces and how these problems can be addressed.

  1. Deliver Late and Overbudget
    Projects are complicated, challenging, and unpredictable, yet current construction project management practices and levels of digital maturity are driving accountability tension and conflicts that erode project predictability and profitability. A mindset of “it isn’t broken don’t fix it” is juxtaposed by statistics like 70% of construction projects are over budget and delivered late1 whilst 57% of construction project spend is on waste. This reluctance to change is limiting the adoption of construction project management technology designed to drive productivity.
  2. Shortage of Labour
    Resourcing and attracting talent remain a significant short- and long-term challenge within the construction industry. Not only are labour cost increases squeezing already tight margins in the short term (e.g. 3.6% increase in July 2021 alone2), 61% of the current workforce and relied upon experience is set to leave the industry in the next decade3. Using technology to automate menial tasks and maximise resource utilisation can resolve these shortfalls whilst attracting new talent will be determined by how innovative your digital strategy is.
  3. Communication Black Holes
    The construction industry supply and value chain remain disjointed with information sharing infrequent, hard to interpret and untimely and often actioned through informal communication channels. This fragmentation of people, information and technology makes it challenging to deliver a transparent environment where everyone is on the same page.
  4. Lack of a Holistic View
    Organisations are working hard but not smart as they lack a central data system as well as the standardisation and process to create consistent data capture. This means it is impossible for organisations to get and accurate picture of the changing demands on them over time, both in terms of today but also how emerging opportunities could impact their ability to deliver a project in the future.
  5. As Built Data Gaps
    Planning and executing a project successfully requires preparation of increasing levels of detailed around daily activities. If daily as built data from the site fall out of sync with the plan, schedulers need to be notified. However, this does not often happen which in turn creates a system of compounding delays as plans realignment is reactive and too late.

The Solution

To overcome the problems outlined above the construction industry needs to deploy business-level strategies rather than treat them as isolated single project issues. Implementing an enterprise strategy and embracing processes and digital solutions that address business wide problems are key to improve performance within the construction industry.

Organisations that invest in high performing project management solutions alongside connected construction project management software’s like Powerproject will equip their teams with the solutions to handle the myriad challenges in planning and executing a construction project. This is critical to successful project outcomes and a key hygiene factor.

In addition adopting solutions that remove communication barriers and upstream stakeholder engagement and feedback into planning and execution project phases early (like 4D planning) helps to drive real-time project visibility, eliminate waste and cost overruns, and accelerate the project timeline. Powerproject 4D planning can assist in overcoming those challenges.

Furthermore maximising outcomes requires climbing the digital maturity ladder and adopting cloud based collaborative construction software. These solutions allow organisations to automate processes, promote transparency and support real-time collaboration by removing data silos within organisations and the construction industry. This is where Powerproject Vision comes along by bringing transparency across all your projects, which in turn will improve productivity and present cost opportunity savings for organisations and the entire construction industry.

By taking a strategic approach and investing in connected construction project management software the ROI for organisations and industry are promising. Organisations that adopt a connected construction project management capabilities can expect to benefit from 10% to 30% reduction in engineering hours, up to 10% reduction in build costs, and up to 20% reduction in operating costs, throughout the entire project life cycle4. What is more they provide the stage to gain further competitive advantage and reputation within an increasingly fragmented and competitive market.

At Elecosoft, we carry out monthly webinars where we educate our audience on the best way to deliver and manage construction projects via our Powerproject portfolio of solutions. To find out more about our webinars click here or watch our recorded webinar on ‘ Avoiding common problems in construction planning’

References:

1) https://www.leanconstruction org/about-us/what-is-lean-design-construction
2) https://www.constructionenquirer.com/2021/08/23/cost-of-skilled-site-labour-jumps-3-6-in-one-month/
3) FMI, “Where Construction Firms Are Finding Value,” 2019
4) Deloitte, “Digital Capital Projects: The capital project of the future,” 2019.

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