Digitalisation supports all aspects of construction, making investment in software and tools ever more important. To maximise any potential gains, good quality workforce skills training is also essential. But in an industry that operates on thin margins, digital transformation can be expensive, and organisations need to see there there will be a strong return on that investment.
Big clients can show leadership, in particular governments, said Sam Stacey, Challenge Director: Transforming Construction, UK Research & Innovation. Speaking during a break at the Construction Technology Festival 2022, he discussed the key considerations for construction companies when they embark on a digital transformation strategy.
This includes how to create confidence that a digital transformation is the right move to make, how to ensure it is economically viable and what an organisation must ensure is in place at the beginning of the process for best chances of success.
Thin margins does mean there is a fear of using up spare cash, he admitted. However, through digitalisation the industry can produce buildings that use less energy and require less labour during the build process. It will also reduce spend due to rework and quality issues.
“That gives confidence to the market and sure enough when these techniques are adopted, it’s beneficial for everybody. There might be an initial reluctance, but once you get into the swing of this, there’s no going back,” he said. “What digital represents is the ability to get rid of this waste or to improve productivity and therefore save money and therefore get return on investment.”