Adapt or fall behind. No industry has been untouched by The Digital Transformation, and construction is no exception.
While market trends show that complex industry dynamics have slowed the technology transformation in the construction world, the impact from COVID-19 exposed large inefficiencies and risks to the profitability of the industry going forward. Plagued historically by budget and project time overruns, the impact of coronavirus can have long-lasting implications on the built environment, adding supply chain shortages, increased regulations, limited workforce interactions and more to the list of challenges.
Over the past 20 years, the construction industry has underperformed compared to nearly every other industry due to a reluctance to embrace technologies, according to a recent study by McKinsey & Company, “The next normal in construction.” Historically, profitability has been low, the study said, at about 5 percent EBIT margin. Lagging performance across the industry from low capital investment, stringent regulations, competitive pricing, and a growing concern for a shortage of skilled-trade workers, places added urgency to adopting technologies that help streamline processes and improve workforce efficiency.
The traditional construction model impedes productivity, scalability, and economies of scale due to the customized nature of the industry. Every project involves many steps and layers of communication throughout the lifecycle of the project, which impedes accountability, shifts risk throughout the value chain, and feeds a culture of making money from claims as opposed to good delivery, according to the study and from experience.
Early adopters to a turnkey approach that integrates software to evaluate the infrastructure needs of the project during the conception phase, identifies design risks early in the process, saving time, and redundancy of project steps. This approach adds value-chain control from design and engineering to manufacturing and supply chain schedules and budgets.
Embracing Master Integration Technology that connects equipment, like chiller plants, HVAC systems, lighting, security, and access controls into a single platform, facilitates a customized approach, but now adds scalability to the infrastructure. It also brings analytics to commissioned buildings, providing insight into early system failures with information for the technicians to come to the site equipped and ready to fix the problem without prolonged or extended downtime.
By consolidating digitalization of technology and facilities, processes can be streamlined, work orders can be handled with speed and efficiency, and product and service does not have to suffer. Digitalization, as it has done for nearly every other industry, incites change for the future. Those that embrace it will reap the benefits, those that fight it, will be left in the dust.
Stark Tech is a technology company specializing in building controls & automation, commercial and industrial HVAC and combustion equipment, building intelligence, and turnkey implementation solutions.
This blog was written by Tim Geiger, President of Stark Tech.