Embracing innovation – transforming construction with data and technology

Innovative new technologies can provide you and your business with better insights into your projects and what you need to do to take your projects forward. In this article we look at the construction innovation available that could help projects cut costs and create efficiencies.

construction innovation

Construction businesses continue to play catch up when it comes to new technology and digitalisation. The slim margins in the sector have resulted in a lack of investment in technology and many businesses have felt a sting in the challenge of the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent need for real time information. Now, the industry has construction innovation firmly at the top of the agenda.

So, what can your business be doing to push innovative frontiers?  

Collecting and using data

Capturing live data on projects has been a consistent challenge for all businesses, but it is especially challenging on construction projects. The huge amount of data produced by sites can be overwhelming, including:

Drone icon     Details of contracts with suppliers
       
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    Workers’ data
       
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    Materials coming in and out
       
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    Hiring equipment

 

Collecting and reporting on data consistently while dealing with a lack of integrated systems has resulted in decision makers often not having the right, or most relevant, information to hand. Through the use of integrated ‘bots’, robotic process automation (RPA) can help collect and collate massive amounts of data accurately and quickly.

Bots can put together real time information on a project by project basis and reduce the reliance on human input and room for error, leaving stakeholders with quality data they can trust. 

In an industry with tight margins and a shortage of labour this could dramatically change reporting processes and enable the industry to learn from its mistakes and share best practices. 

Understanding your data

With the accurate data collected using RPA the world of data analytics will be open to you. Analytic technologies can help you gain real time insights into your projects and help you answer pressing questions such as: 

Drone icon     What is hurting your project? 
       
Drone icon     What should you be monitoring? 
       
Drone icon     Where are there inefficiencies? 
       
Drone icon     Are you measuring the right outputs and metrics? 
       
Drone icon     Are you reviewing your KPIs?
 

Analytics is a core part of any digital transformation journey and implementing a business intelligence solution will bring together the data from your difference sources to produce insights, sometimes at the touch of a button. 

With these valuable insights from your trusted data source you will be able answer these pressing questions quickly and make the changes needed to drive your projects forward.

Onsite technology 

The images of space age technology we once associated with science fiction movies now exist very much in the present and are proving themselves to be powerful additions on construction sites. 
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones can collect real time data, safely and efficiently, and remove much of the human error that causes delays in traditional processes. Some can detect oncoming issues and provide the information to resolve them, helping avoid the issue all together. 

The video capabilities of these drones have also opened up the ability to connect with live construction sites, facilitating heightened communication and ongoing surveillance. These live images of live sites have also been used as a marketing tool for potential clients who are able to see actual progress of a project. 

Drones, RPA and analytics are by no means the only examples of technology available to us now that can help drive efficiency and cost savings on construction projects. Augmentation, wearable technology, building information modelling and modular builds are other examples on an ever-expanding list of technology that can help transform an industry that has been slow to change into one that forges ahead and embraces construction innovation. 

We can help

RSM is well equipped to help your construction company along its innovation journey. Contact Sarah Belsham to find out more.

Contact Sarah