Construction

GUEST ARTICLE: How real-time insights can unlock performance for the construction industry

  • 28 Apr 2021

This article sees Brandon Oliveri-O’Connor, Senior Director EMEA at Procore, explain that having real-time data and insights on construction projects (such as the number of snags and the time spent on a task) is improving overall quality, efficiency and productivity in the way projects are run.

“At a time when industries and markets are evolving more quickly than ever, technology is proving to be a constant in this journey. In the construction industry, this rings true when solving and addressing specific tasks, from snagging to document management. 

With increased remote collaboration in the post-pandemic environment, it’s crucial that the industry arms itself with tools which connect the dots and offer value. Only then will the industry unlock the greatest level of performance which real-time insights can offer.

Currently, a challenge for construction companies is not in capturing data but in extracting valuable insight from it. In fact, research shows almost two-thirds (64%) of UK&I construction managers surveyed are still using outdated manual tools, like spreadsheets, to measure performance.

This helps to explain why only 32% rate their level of visibility of performance as “very high” and many are often met with incomplete, inaccurate, and duplicated insights (all 34%). 

One area which technology is notably helping construction businesses to thrive in, is the ability to access and use real-time insights to gain visibility of an entire construction lifecycle, as well as overall business performance.

With information being used to make more informed decisions, businesses are experiencing a wealth of benefits – including saving them time and money.

For instance, real-time insights, showing how many days a particular trade takes to resolve snags, can allow project managers to identify the best partners to work with moving forward.

Construction

Quality and safety

However, the benefits of real-time insights are not purely time and money – quality and safety are also two areas which can be improved. Almost half of those surveyed (49%) registered fewer defects, 48% reported better tracking of safety records, and 46% felt visibility helped support their compliance with standards such as ISO 9001/45001.

As a company with a data-driven culture and vision of being Defect Free at practical completion, BW: Workplace Experts, is a good example of a company who has revolutionised snagging by using platform technology to access and use real-time insights – using the platform to build a bank of snags which they can learn from with each project.

Real-time insights are helping to save businesses both time and money. Our survey found that every manager, on average, saves nearly a full day’s work (almost five hours) each week, while businesses as a whole save £253,000 per year. In contrast, those without visibility of performance globally lose 3.5 hours each week, at a cost of £265,000 per year.

By connecting business applications and storing relevant information all in one place, single-platform technology not only enables applications and tech tools to talk to each other, but also offers the ability to gain real-time insights to improve workflows and processes through data insights—something which is more challenging with point solutions, Excel spreadsheets and traditional pen and paper.

It’s time to look to the future as we head towards a new era of smarter construction. The adoption of the right technology to gain access to and use real-time insights will transform the UK&I construction industry, to be more efficient and profitable.

Saving time and money and boosting quality and safety are just a few of the benefits that the industry will realise from great data-insights and visibility of performance.”

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